Europeana Opens Its Immense Cultural Database

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Designed to be an alternative European cultural search engine, Europeana gives access to over 53 million items, including photo, text, ... and the information content contained in these items is often licensed under the Creative Commons license.

The Creative Commons (CC) is a global movement to promote the distribution and sharing of creative work in the digital age.

From now on the online European multi-media library allows not only to consult but also to reuse the metadata of over 3700 cultural institutions. It is the opportunity to explore on one site 53 million works inventoried by arts and culture professionals and available in 29 different languages. At the initiative of France, this project was launched in 2008.

The whole cultural ecosystem is free to access; since last year over 5 million documents have been added to the site. One can also use the data for commercial purposes in order to improve the quality of on-line and mobile services.

One can discover collections from some of the greatest cultural institutions including the British Library which contains one of the most comprehensive collections of books, the Louvre Museum, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Museum of Architecture in Berlin, etc.

The goal of this digital media library is to ensure a wide availability to the diversity of European culture and multilingualism. Internet users can discover information associated with cultural works from over 34 European countries.

Aside from providing access to great works of art and artefacts, Europeana allows internet users to view films, listen to music, read chronicles and newspaper archives, and do so much more. Europeana was designed for the common individual as much as for professionals.

Claude Monet Nenuphare (Monet, Nénuphar - Bibliotheque photo Marburg via Europeana.)

All the published and works that are made available by Europeana are under the CCO license, that you can legitimately use and re-use much easier, except for those works that are not yet available in the public domain. Indeed, according to those responsible for the site, Europeana is 'a decisive initiative to depart the world of closed and controlled data.

Gavarni, unpublished sketch of a young woman (Gavarni, Unpublished sketch of a young woman - French National Library - via Europeana.)

Le moteur de recherche Europeana ouvre son immense base de données culturelles, originally published in French. Check.


[1] Credit photo : Home - (Screenshoot)

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