Are you a small or medium sized cultural institution and would like to provide on-line access to your digitised content through Europeana?
Contributing content to Europeana
LoCloud aims to support small and medium sized institutions in making their content and metadata available to Europeana by providing guidance, training and support facilities.
If you are interested in contributing your digitised content to Europeana, below are the basic requirements for participating.
Europeana is a long-term initiative, so you will need to have a governing structure in place that enables your collection to be maintained in the long term. You will need to provide us with a contact person who is able to answer technical and administrative questions about your collections.
On-line content availability
Institutions willing to contribute to Europeana will need to have a strategy in place for publishing their digital content and its metadata online. This could be on their institution’s own website or a hosted service.
By digital content we mean images, text documents, sound files, videos, films or 3D models.
By metadata we mean catalogue descriptions of the digital content (such as a Dublin Core metadata record), which provides important information such as the unique identifier, title, description, format, subject, online location and rights in the content item.
Currently, Europeana collects metadata and thumbnails (or previews) of the digital content supplied by institutions. LoCloud will provide tools to enable metadata to be harvested from institutions and supplied to Europeana. LoCloud will also offer smaller institutions a lightweight digital library system, that is to say, a user-friendly content and metadata management system enabling the storage of digital content and the creation of relevant metadata according to the Europeana standards.
LoCloud accepts metadata about items in partner collections in one of the following three intermediary schemas: LIDO, CARARE Schema or EAD. Content providers will be asked therefore to convert their original metadata to one of these three alternative schemas. All metadata supplied by content providers to the LoCloud aggregation infrastructure will be converted, without user intervention, to the Europeana Data Model (EDM), which is the model for structuring the data that Europeana ingests, manages and publishes.
The Europeana Data Model is a major improvement on the Europeana Semantic Elements (ESE), the basic data model that Europeana began life with. All relevant information and documentation on EDM are available from this link: http://pro.europeana.eu/edm-documentation.
Please note that the documents published at this link are regularly updated to reflect Europeana’s latest work and requirements.
Repositories & Systems
At the heart of the LoCloud infrastructure lies a metadata aggregator whose primary responsibility is to ingest, enrich and ultimately deliver content to Europeana. This implies that content providers deliver their content through some repositories. To facilitate this process, LoCloud provides a number of options:
a) Content is directly harvested by the MORe repository in supported metadata formats through existing systems using OAI-PMH protocols
b) Content is harvested or uploaded as XML into the MINT – a user-friendly tool enabling the uploading and mapping of XML content.
c) Content providers can use LoCloud Collections, a ready-to-use cloud repository that is directly linked to the LoCloud infrastructure.
Furthermore, plug-ins that allow to automatically ingest content from other systems (such as Wikimedia) are under development.
It is highly recommended that content providers assign persistent URIs to your digital objects as part of your metadata. This provides a persistent location on the web for your content item, this means that users of Europeana and other services will always find your content and never be faced with a broken link.
Europeana asks that every digital object is published with a rights label that describes its copyright status. You need to know whether the works that you are providing are covered by copyright or if the copyright has expired (and therefore the work is in the public domain). Institutions contributing to Europeana must make sure that this information is included in their metadata records.
Europeana asks that the metadata be placed in the public domain to enable re-use and to maximise the chances for your content items being discovered by users.
For updated information on technical requirements for provising data to Europeana visit the Europeana Pro web pages.
Europeana is an on-line portal providing access to Europe’s online digital cultural heritage. It offers direct access to digitised books, audio and film material, photos, paintings, maps, manuscripts, newspapers and archival documents that are held in European cultural institutions.
The content is drawn from every European member state and the interface is in 29 European languages. Europeana receives its main funding from the European Commission. Explore Europeana at Europeana.eu or find out more about how it works at pro.europeana.eu.
Europeana is not a commercial undertaking. It offers a multimedia space on the web for everyone interested in European culture. Therefore, it is far more specific than the generic search engines: it provides fewer hits, but more targeted results.
Contributing your collections to Europeana through LoCloud will offer you a chance to:
- increase the visibility and use of your heritage information resources
- increase traffic to your own website(s), since Europeana redirects its users to the content providers’ online resources.
- Benefit from a series of enhanced services and tools being developed by LoCloud such as metadata enrichment (by including additional information, e.g. historical place names and links to thesauri), multilingual vocabularies for local history and archaeology, a Wikimedia application to handling relevant ‘crowd-sourced’ content and a geo-location tool.