Europeana - A project by the European Commission against the 'Dark Age' of private digitalization
Benedicte Page in The Guardian:
„The European Union and its member states must take more responsibility for the digitisation of Europe's cultural heritage if it is to avoid a "digital Dark Age," according to a new report written for the European Commission.
The report, the work of German national library head Elisabeth Niggeman, advertising chief Maurice Levy and Belgian author Jacques de Decker, recommends much greater focus on the EU's online library Europeana and the fostering of competitors to Google, which currently dominates the digitisation agenda. "Can Europe afford to be inactive and wait, or leave it to one or more private players to digitise our common cultural heritage? Our answer is a resounding 'no'," the trio say.”
Read the whole article:
>>> Report warns of 'digital Dark Age' if digitisation is left to private sector. Research commissioned by EU urges member states to take greater responsibility. By Benedicte Page in The Guardian (January 12, 2011)
Europeana enables people to explore the digital resources of Europe's museums, libraries, archives and audio-visual collections. It promotes discovery and networking opportunities in a multilingual space where users get inspired by the rich diversity of Europe's cultural and scientific heritage. More of 14.6 million items have been added to Europeana, including paintings, drawings, maps, photos and pictures of museum objects, books, newspapers, letters, diaries and archival papers, music and spoken word from cylinders, tapes, discs and radio broadcasts alongside with films, and TV broadcasts. Some items are world famous, such as Isaac Newton's book about the "Laws of Motion", the drawings of Leonardo da Vinci, Johannes Vermeer's painting of the "Girl With A Pearl Earring" and objects about the Berlin Wall.
Europeana was launched in 2008, with the goal of making Europe's cultural and scientific heritage accessible to the public. The project is funded by the European Commission. It is based in the National Library of the Netherlands, the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. Around 1500 institutions have contributed to Europeana, among them renowned names like the British Library in London, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Louvre in Paris.