Enhancing and Sharing Ireland's Digital Content for a Wider Audience
Europeana is a digital platform that allows European institutions to reach a wider audience by sharing their social and cultural heritage online. It aims to democratise culture by allowing content to be used and reused for enjoyment, research and education. Irish content on Europeana can also be viewed and shared through inclusion in Europeana’s blogs, galleries and exhibitions.
DRI is the Irish partner in Europeana’s Common Culture Project, which aims to improve the quality of up to four million records that have been provided by national aggregators to the Europeana platform. The project started on 1 January 2019 and will run until 30 June 2020.
The project kicked off with a meeting in the beautiful surroundings of the National Library of Latvia in Riga. DRI joined with 23 other project partners, from 21 different countries, which included other emerging aggregators at the beginning of their relationship with Europeana and experienced partners who have been involved with Europeana since its inception.
Several Irish datasets have been contributed to Europeana via a previous National Aggregator, but the service was largely manual and has not been active since 2016. As an emerging aggregator, DRI’s first step was to develop a service that would allow us to offer aggregation for collections within our repository that meet Europeana’s new content guidelines.
Europeana is committed to maintaining high quality content on their platform and therefore plans to remove objects which don’t meet Europeana Publication Framework’s new minimum quality guidelines. Content with issues such as broken links and missing or small image thumbnails is, therefore, at risk on Europeana. DRI are keen to work with Irish institutes who have previously contributed material to Europeana to ensure it meets the guidelines, as this material is of huge cultural significance and corresponds with Europeana’s thematic collections. Our Content and Engagement Coordinator has been working hard to identify the current Europeana “Content Tier” for each of these collections in order to let the data providers know if their materials on Europeana are at risk.
DRI’s mission is to preserve and provide sustained access to Ireland’s digital heritage. By establishing a Europeana aggregation service for Irish content, we are expanding on this by promoting Irish digital content on a European level. In line with DRI’s commitment to encouraging open access to data, aggregating Ireland’s cultural and social heritage to Europeana will provide greater visibility to Irish content, and enable it to be used by Europeana users in research, education and general enjoyment.
DRI is also leading the development of guidelines for submitting 3D data in Europeana as part of the Common Culture Project. We have joined with a range of stakeholders who have an interest in 3D data, as part of a new 3D Content in Europeana Task Force. The Task Force is currently conducting a survey of 3D data currently in use within the European cultural sector. DRI is working with member organisations such as Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) to contribute 3D data to Europeana in line with the Common Culture Project’s and the 3D Task Force’s agreed best practice recommendations.
In the coming months DRI will be working with our members to identify suitable collections to contribute to Europeana. We will also publish more information and guidance on submitting collections to Europeana. Watch this space...
One of the images previously contributed to Europeana by the RIA. Westropp, Thomas Johnson, MRIA (1860-1922). (2015) The Four Courts, after bombardment, May 18 , Digital Repository of Ireland [Distributor], Royal Irish Academy [Depositing Institution], https://doi.org/10.7486/DRI.3b591885p
By permission of the Royal Irish Academy © RIA