Europe’s culture — pretty much all of it — online

Two million items from Europe’s museums, archives, libraries, collections of all sorts are now available for the searching on a single website. Just type in a keyword and see what images, video, recordings and texts show up.

I searched for “Galileo” and it returned an entire digitized book from the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze, along with another 230 other texts, 448 images and 4 videos, including this awesome 1950′s Italian documentary on the importance of an educated populace to the economic and technological fortunes of the country.

Europeana’s list of contributors currently includes piles of national libraries, the International Federation of Television Archives, the Rijksmuseum and the Louvre in Paris.

Started by the European Commission in 2007, this is just the first prototype of a complete European digital library. Version 1.0 will have 6 million digitized items, and is scheduled to launch in 2010.

I’ve been waiting to post this entry since last November when Europeana first debuted, but it was so packed with win that it was instantly overwhelmed with traffic and had to be taken down for over 2 months.

Now it’s finally up and ready for copious, obsessive searching. :boogie:

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7 Comments »

Comment by Hans
2009-01-13 20:28:00

Thanks Livius- just the geek thing for me. Just added it to my favorites. Happy New Year- I missed you while you were gone.

Comment by livius drusus
2009-01-13 20:48:44

I’ve been geeking on it all afternoon. :D

Thank you, Hans, and happy New Year to you too!

 
 
Comment by Erin
2009-01-14 15:49:36

Thank GOD! This is something I’ve been wishing for for a long time. Trying to find items on some museum web-sites is downright difficult. Woot!! :boogie:

Comment by livius drusus
2009-01-15 09:52:18

I’ve found that anything short of the supermajor museums has very little in the way of web presence.

If I had the money, I’d totally invest in gigantic servers worldwide and give historical sites and collections free webspace. Oh! And designers too! Even places of immense historical import have crappy 1995 Powerpoint websites.

Comment by Maria
2009-01-15 15:06:50

I completely agree! I’ve been tracking the use of technology and history for a while and, well… it’s kind of poor. Thank for the great post!

 
 
 
Comment by Hondo69
2011-04-11 09:57:08

I’ve heard of a technology some refer to as “tiles” that allow tags to be attached to tiny bits of information such as images, descriptions or even short articles. Seems to be the idea is to link them in such a way as to make them searchable.

 
Comment by Mike M
2012-11-05 20:48:28

Hondo69: The most famous, is Facebook. FB implemented it years ago. (And yes, even “years ago” from April of 2011!)

 
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