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Europeana and Copyright

Europeana and Copyright

What is Europeana? It is Europe’s largest digital, online, freely accessible collection of cultural heritage data.

Simply put, it houses collections of Europe’s musical, artistic and historical heritage from over 2,500 European institutions. According to the Europeana website, approximately 10% of Europe’s heritage has been digitised and harnessed by the organisation – that’s around 300 million digitised books, paintings, letters, recordings, interviews, photographs and so on. Once this has been done, Europeana then aggregates the files, organises them and presents them to the viewer in an engaging and interactive manner.

However, Europeana is experiencing a problem with making its material available to the public.Only 34% of this material is available online as much of it is held behind copyright barriers, locked away in archives and libraries from the public. In an effort to increase the amount of publicly-accessible digital heritage, Europeana is actively involved in lobbying the European Parliament for improved copyright laws. (“Europeana Strategy 2020: ‘We Transform The World With Culture'”) Continue reading “Europeana and Copyright”

Redesigning My Blog

Redesigning My Blog

As part of my Concepts and Collaboration module for Second Year, I am required to come up with a specific digital-humanities-related theme for my blog – something that would help orientate me towards a specific career and prepare me for work experience next year. Since I have a strong interest in languages and history (my minor subject is German), I have decided to go along this route and give my future blog posts a history/ language-related slant.

More specifically, I would be interested in embarking on a project that would help others understand some aspect of their heritage, be it national or international. Digitising a history project – for example, preparing a digital presentation for a local library, heritage centre or museum – would be an ideal task for me. I remember when my History teacher took my history class on a trip to London in my Leaving Cert year and we visited as many museums and historical places as we could schedule into two days. What I remember from that trip is how skilfully history was digitised and presented in places like the Winston Churchill museum and the British War Museum; the entire learning experience was much more vivid and didactic. Or take for instance Frederick Kaplan’s TED Talk, in which he explains his ideas for digitising Venice’s priceless archives dating back centuries, so that they can be viewed and explored by anyone. If I had the opportunity, I would like to work on this kind of digitisation of knowledge.

An equally ideal area of work for me would be something German-related. As I mentioned, this is is my minor subject and I have been learning the language for the past six years. A job in which I could combine my German with my IT skills is something that I would find very appealing.