EC website hosts more than 14m European cultural items

19 Nov 2010

Europe’s digital library, Europeana – a website that enables anyone to access millions of digitised books, maps, photographs and more from all cultural institutions across Europe – has increased in size to 14 million objects.

Initially targeted at providing around 10 million items, Europeana was set up to explore “new ways to bring Europe’s cultural heritage online”.

Set up in 2008, the service provides paintings, film and film fragments, music clips, books, maps, photographs, newspapers and audiovisual documents. More than 14 million are provided in total – an amount to which Ireland contributed 6.47pc (905,799 items).

European enrichment

Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda, said: “Europeana is a great example of how co-operation at European level can enrich all of our lives. Fourteen million objects available online is good news for all internet users who want to have access to cultural material from Europe’s libraries, museums and archives.

“But Europeana could be even better if more cultural institutions digitised their collections and made them accessible through this European portal.”

France top contributor

All EU Member States have contributed items to Europeana, but France is still the largest contributor (18pc of total items). Germany has increased its share to 17pc, while Ireland and the UK come in at around 6pc.

Next year, Europeana intends to experiment with user-generated content and will invite users to contribute material to Europeana around the theme of World War I.

Europeana content by country
(Percentage of the total number of objects in Europeana contributed by different countries)

EU Member States Percentage
France 17.98pc
Germany 17.10pc
Sweden 9.69pc
Spain 8.85pc
The Netherlands 7.89pc
Italy 7.03pc
Ireland 6.47pc
United Kingdom 6.14pc
Poland 2.81pc
Belgium 1.45pc
Greece 1.40pc
Finland 1.31pc
Slovenia 0.98pc
Austria 0.32pc
Estonia 0.27pc
Romania 0.17pc
Slovakia 0.15pc
Denmark 0.11pc
Portugal 0.11pc
Bulgaria 0.08pc
Czech Republic 0.08pc
Hungary 0.07pc
Lithuania 0.05pc
Luxembourg 0.04pc
Latvia 0.01pc
Cyprus <0.01pc
Malta <0.01pc
European collections without an attribution per MS, eg, from European projects 2.91pc
Non-EU countries  
Norway 5.76pc
Others 0.85pc