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Europeana enables people to explore the digital resources of Europes museums, libraries, archives and audio-visual collections. It promotes discovery and networking opportunities in a multilingual space where users can engage, share in and be inspired by the rich diversity of Europes cultural and scientific heritage. On this blog you will find short updates on Europeana content, special events and things we are working on.
Updated: 2 days 20 hours ago

Explore our new Pinterest boards

15 January 2015 - 1:45pm

Over the past few months, we have created a couple of exciting new Pinterest boards. The boards highlight some of the beautiful content that can be found via Europeana.

The Pinterest boards feature images on themes such as Allegory of Death, Dragons and Mythical Creatures, Geisha, and Samurai as well as Pegasus, Horse and Unicorn.

The boards can be viewed by anyone, even if you don’t have a Pinterest account. If you do have an account, please do not hesitate to follow Europeana on Pinterest. We thank all our Pinterest users for supporting our mission to make Europe’s cultural treasures available to everyone!

 

1. Upplandsmuseet 2. Frissiras Museum 3. Frissiras Museum 4. Szépművészeti Múzeum 5. Rijksmuseum 6. National Library of the Netherlands 7. Etnografiska museet 8. Rijksmuseum 9. Rijksmuseum 10. The Wellcome Library 11. The Wellcome Library 12. Ars Electronica Archiv 13. Rijksmuseum 14. Crawford Gallery 15. The Wellcome Library

Categories: Europeana

Freedom of expression – the heart of our shared cultural identity

13 January 2015 - 3:38pm

One of the central tenets of our shared European culture is the freedom of speech and cultural expression.

Our museums, libraries and archives are proud bastions of the expression of this freedom which is at the very heart of a democratic society. Down the centuries they have collected and shared works expounding and epitomising this freedom.  In doing so, continued generations of our European society have been able share in, learn from and continue to represent this proud heritage.

In this age of digitisation we are in the privileged position to share more widely the power of that freedom, making for example the works of, Voltaire, Locke, Burke and John Stuart Mill available online  to all. The principles that Charlie Hebdo is built on are part of this proud tradition, with work digitised, archived and preserved by our libraries. The attack on its expression is felt deeply and with sadness by our community across Europe. We deplore it. Continuing our role as trusted guardians of and ever widening access to the works that represent that freedom, today and for future generations, is our response.

Demonstrators gather at the Place de la République in Paris on the night of the attack. CC-BY-SA JeSuisGodefroyTroude. Source: Wikimedia commons

Categories: Europeana

#OpenCollections

8 January 2015 - 9:48am

Last year we introduced you to #OpenCollections, this year we’ll continue highlighting some of the most interesting and high quality collections from around Europe. Below we listed some items of the beautiful and open collections we featured last year. For new updates, keep an eye on our Facebook, TwitterGoogle Plus or Pinterest!

Images:
1. Tekniska museet  2. Stadsarchief ‘s-Hertogenbosch  3. Bibliothèque municipale de Lyon  4. Uměleckoprůmyslové museum, Praha  5. National Library of Wales  6. National Library of Technology  7. Tekniska museet  8. Amsterdam Museum  9. Kupiškis Ethnographic Museum in Lithuania  10. Žemaičių vyskupystės muziejus  11. Museu Nacional dos Coches 12. The University of Edinburgh.

Categories: Europeana

Daily Dose of Art Direct to Your Phone & Tablet

5 January 2015 - 4:26pm

We’re very excited to announce that Europeana is working together with DailyArt to bring a selection of the collections found in Europeana to your smartphones and tablets. DailyArt is a free app that publishes one different piece of art every day. But that’s not all – with each update users of DailyArt receive additional information about the artwork; usually a description, where it was created and information about the artist.

To kick off 2015 DailyArt will be regularly featuring collections in their app found via Europeana. The first theme will centre on Vintage Fashion, using images from the Europeana Fashion and Rijksmuseum collections in Europeana. To get these daily updates direct to your phone or tablet, we invite you to install the DailyArt app, which is available for both iOS and Android devices.

The DailyArt app was conceived by Zuzanna Stanska from Poland, a young entrepreneur and well-known figure in the field of museum innovations. To celebrate the start of the cooperation, we asked Zuzanna to share with us some background information about DailyArt and the future plans she has for the app.

- What is the DailyArt app? Who should install it?

Zuzanna: “DailyArt is a free iOS and Android app that everyday publishes one piece of fine art with a short story about it. The story is not a boring, encyclopaedia-like description but it is always something interesting about the painting itself, the painter, some artistic movement or general broader art or cultural context. DailyArt exists for more than two years now and became quite popular worldwide, especially in USA. It’s a great app for everyone who love art or would like to know more about it and share this knowledge with their friends or family.”

- Why did you decide to create the app?

Zuzanna: “I’m art historian but only because I was lucky enough to have art history classes in high school. There is no art history education in Polish schools and it is such a shame. Someday I realized that maybe you can live without art, but what kind of life is it? With DailyArt I wanted to fill this gap of lack of art history education and give people small dose of art every day – enough to learn something and not too much to overwhelm or exhaust.”

- How many people have installed DailyArt, and how many people are actively using it?

Zuzanna: “Right now we have more than 180.000 downloads and around ⅓ of this number uses the app every day.”

- What are your future plans for the app?

Zuzanna: “We want to establish more institutional partnerships worldwide (until now we were working with Danish and Polish institutions, e.g with Polish Ministry of Culture showing art looted during II World War). Also we plan to update the apps and give the users some additional features that will make using the app even more plausible. These will be small things but very useful ”

Download DailyArt from the App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android. Watch out for the updates using collections found via Europeana and if you would like to see DailyArt feature more from Europeana, let us know!

Categories: Europeana

2014: Top 20 Searches on Europeana

17 December 2014 - 4:14pm

So this year is almost over and now we’re ready to ask – what were you all looking for on Europeana this year? Millions of you from the four the corners of the globe visited Europeana.eu in 2014 to search, browse and share over 36 million historical records from over 2,300 of Europe’s memory institutions… but what were the trends of 2014 and what were you all looking for? We’ve compiled a list of the 20 most popular search queries. Below some hints of what the searches were related to. Scroll down for the full list!

There were over 2,1 million unique searches performed on Europeana.eu in 2014. Below the full list of the 20 most popular search queries:
1. Vincent van Gogh (new entry)
2. Mucha (new entry)
3. Hieronymus Bosch (new entry)
4. Edvard Munch (new entry)
5. Photography (new entry)
6. Београд (Belgrade) (new entry)
7. Rembrandt (new entry)
8. Mode Longchamp (new entry)
9. Picasso (#11 in 2013)
10. Map (new entry)
11. Park (new entry)
12. Paris (#9 in 2013)
13. Mona Lisa (#16 in 2013)
14. 1868 boltz (new entry)
15. Spain (#12 in 2013)
16. Druck (new entry)
17. Édouard Charton (new entry)
18. Tretyakov Gallery (new entry)
19. Volendam (new entry)
20. Japan (#4 in 2013)

Categories: Europeana

Europeana Fashion has a New Look

17 December 2014 - 10:11am

By Gabrielle de Pooter, Communication Advisor Online Media Europeana Fashion Project -

Europeana Fashion has a new look! We are still presenting the fashion-and costume collections from European museums and institutions (over 540.000 items by now!), but you can now explore the collections in a completely new way. Let us tell fill you in on what is new.

 

The first new feature is the theme section on top. You can discover items from the collections curated around a specific topic, such as prints or fashion illustration. The themes will be regularly refreshed, but you can still browse all previous themes via the theme menu on top. Immediately below the theme section, you can browse even more items gathered around more generic topics, such as sketches or couture.

The Europeana Fashion Tumblr is also part of the new website. For nearly two years, museums and brands around Europe have used our Tumblr as a platform to showcase content that has never been published online before. You can now see the latest posts on Tumblr directly on the website.

Searching the collections in Europeana Fashion has also been altered. Items are now presented in a visual way, similar to Pinterest or Tumblr, letting your browse items more intuitively. However, when hovering over an image you can see a description of the item. You can still rely on the trustwhorthy information provided by the museum or institution hosting the item.

At Europeana Fashion, we continue to make improvements to make discovering Europe’s best fashion-and costume collections an even better experience every time you visit. Do let us know your thoughts via communication@europeanafashion.eu or #eurfashion.

Categories: Europeana

New Exhibition: 1514. Book. 2014

10 December 2014 - 2:47pm

In 2014, it was 500 years ago that the first book was printed. To commemorate this significant period in time, we created a virtual exhibition together with the National Library of Latvia. The printed book changed the world by first changing its readers. During the period 500 years ago, the nature of the book was undergoing important changes. With the development of printing technology, books became cheaper, more convenient to read and accessible to a wider audience; books became the messengers of religious and social change.

The distant year 1514 vividly characterises the age of great change: the end of the Renaissance and the blossoming of humanism, culminating in the Reformation. This virtual exhibition provides you an opportunity to examine the books published in that particular year across Europe, revealing the cultural richness and diversity of the age.

Explore the books in our English or Latvian exhibition. Below we show a sneak peek of what you can expect!

Categories: Europeana

Dancing on ice in an attic

4 December 2014 - 2:11pm

(A version of this blog was first published on Europeana Sounds)

It’s nearly time to bring out the skates. There’s a promising nip in the air, and although we have a long way to go before the canals and lakes are frozen over, you can always practice your moves at an ice rink.

Image credit: Gemeentearchief Weert, CC-BY SA

To inspire you, we found this curious video made in 1943 of a tiny ice rink in a Rotterdam attic, where people gathered to bust a move on ice.

IJspret op zolder, door Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, CC BY SA.

And here are two interesting sound clips that really give you a sense of the atmosphere at an ice rink – the sound of skates gliding over ice and the buzz at an ice rink. Both are from the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, and CC BY SA

The sound of a skater on ice

Atmospheric sounds from an ice rink

Categories: Europeana

Introducing the Tallinn Collector

21 November 2014 - 5:07pm

The Tallinn Collector is a website that showcases Soviet-era tourism guides and brochures to the Estonian capital, Tallinn. It gives its readers a glimpse of what life was like in the 70’s and 80’s, and a taste of Soviet propaganda. It is a great example of how cultural objects from another era can be preserved, re-used and shared with a wider audience. Here, we talk to Tomas Alexandersson, the Swede behind the project.

Tomas Alexandersson

1. How did your fascination with Soviet era tourist guides of Tallinn begin?

It started in Tallinn back in 2005, when I lived there. As a hobby, I started to collect old travel guide books. I like to look at old pictures inside the travel guides to see what Tallinn used to look like and compare the locations to what they currently look like. While browsing through images, I noticed how interesting the actual tourist information was. Everything from history to what to do in the Soviet Union (and more importantly, what not do) and bits of propaganda. These things made me very interested in travel guides as historical material and is the reason behind The Tallinn Collector.

2. How do you source your material? And what are the quotes that go along with the images about?

Basically, I’m collecting the material for own interest and use. It’s just a hobby – no commercial use really. What I show on The Tallinn Collector is just snapshots of how exciting the material is. Quotes that go along with the images are what appears with the image.

3. Do you think that being Swedish gives your collection a Western European interpretation of Estonian history?

I hope not. I don’t put my own opinion when showing pieces of the material on The Tallinn Collector. I hope visitors understand this. I also want people to see, think and analyse the posts on their own. So basically I don’t really put any own values in the material.

4. I would imagine that your Soviet era memorabilia may raise a few hackles in Tallinn. Is this true? And how do you circumvent political sensitivity?

People have been very positive about the project. I think (hope) they understand my aim. With The Tallinn Collector, I’m not really trying to tell people what to think or how to interpret the material. I’m very aware of the different political opinions and experiences from Soviet era. It’s rather just about showing how the travel guides, content and images actually looked and provide basis for the discussions about what it was like through the filters of the Soviet propaganda machine. In any case, I’d like to encourage people to come up with their own analysis and opinions about all this.

5. What would you pick as the key events of the era that your collection represents (eg USSR’s rise and fall, independence)? And then, could you please pick one item for each event that illustrates this, and explain how it does this?

Good question! I think there are lots of different key events. One great one is the overall tourism development of facilities and range. They are clearly shown in the travel guidebooks. For example, if you compare the travel guidebooks by year, you can always read and follow the development with new hotels, attractions and events. They are always proudly presented and the words ’ new’ , ’modern’ or ’future’ are side written. Another key event is of course Tallinn being part of the Moscow Olympic Games 1980. You can really tell this was a proud happening – Tallinn being part of an international event. And during the event, Tallinn got new hotels (like Olümpia), new tourist attractions and so on. The opening of legendary tourist hotel Viru in 1972 is also very proudly talked about in the tourist guidebook. Also the events at the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds, as well as the urban expansion of the city – from Medieval Old Town to modern suburbs.

6. Do you know if people have used these guides to do a nostalgia tour of Tallinn? Do you have pictures comparing the then and now?

I know there are so called ’Soviet nostalgia tours’ in Tallinn. But I’m not really sure if they use any of the older tourist material for inspiration. The Tallinn Collector is for sure one of a kind – only focusing on retro Tallinn tourist material online. Right now, I do not have any then-and-now content. But I’m actually working on it. I hope I will make it happen.

7. If someone invented a time machine, where would you go in Tallinn based on your content? The quirkiest, most interesting place you have come across? And why?

I’m still very fascinated about the Viru hotel and its ’tourism power’ back in the day. It was the first international hotel in Tallinn and the place to be for tourists, I think it would have been amazing to stay there a night or two. I heard about amazing parties there and variety shows in the 80s. I would then also sneak inside the so called Tallinn Service House (Teenindusmaja) close to the hotel – a huge complex full of services such as shopping, hairdressers, photo studios and much more. Very exciting way of putting all the services under one roof and one place in the city.

Categories: Europeana

Claude Monet: Rejecting the Traditional Approach

14 November 2014 - 12:03pm

Today in 1840, one of the founders of the Impressionism movement was born on the fifth floor of 45 rue Laffitte, in the ninth arrondissement of Paris. Oscar-Claude Monet started this movement along with his friends Renoir, Sisley and Bazille. The famous French painter rejected the traditional approach to landscape painting, instead of copying old masters, he observed variations of color and light caused by the daily or seasonal changes.

Below we’re highlighting some historical pictures of Monet painting in his atelier in 1926, and some of his colourful works. Explore more of his work through Europeana.

All photographs are from the French National Library, Public Domain. The paintings are from the Rijksmuseum (public domain) and Szépművészeti Múzeum (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Categories: Europeana

Rembrandt: the Art of Self Portraits

10 November 2014 - 3:27pm

No artist has left a loftier or more penetrating personal testament than Rembrandt van Rijn. The Dutch master painted more self portraits than any other artist of the 17th century. In more than 90 portraits of himself that date from the outset of his career in the 1620s to the year of his death in 1669, he created an autobiography in art.

Below we have gathered some of his impressive self-portraits. Explore even more portraits of himself through Europeana.

All images are from the Rijksmuseum, Public Domain.

Categories: Europeana

WW1: A Day at the Hospital

4 November 2014 - 1:22pm

After the First World War started, the flow of casualties soon overwhelmed the existing medical facilities. Large numbers of public and private buildings (often large houses) were turned over for use as small hospitals, most of which operated as annexes to nearby larger hospitals. Some hospitals were developed as, or became specialist units. Categories of specialism included mental hospitals, units for limbless men, neurological units, orthopaedic units, cardiac units, typhoid units and venereal disease. in Match 1915, convalescent hospitals were formed, these establishments helped soldiers recover under military control.

Below we’re highlighting some photographs that were taken in hospitals during WW1. Explore Europeana 1914-1918 for even more of these historical photographs.

Images: Austrian National Library (Public Domain), Wellcome Library (CC-BY) and The French National Library (Public Domain) via The Europeana LibraryEuropeana 1914-1918.

Categories: Europeana

A passion for design? Then this one is for you

3 November 2014 - 2:23pm

By Milena Popova

Process of co-creation for a design pilot at the workshop in Helsinki

Do you have a passion for design? Are you an artist, developer, designer or entrepreneur?
Join Europeana Creative’s final challenge! We want you to create products and applications that re-use Europeana content relating to the theme of Design.

We welcome a wide range of submissions for this competition – from fabric prints using museum pictures to 3D print designs based on antiques to apps remixing old paintings.
Let your inspiration run free!

You can submit your ideas till 15 January 2015 at http://ecreativedesign2015.istart.org/

Find out more on the entry criteria, content and tech help, and prizes here.

Categories: Europeana

The Moving Past: World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

27 October 2014 - 1:27pm

It’s World Day for Audiovisual Heritage and what better to celebrate with some moving images that can be found via Europeana. Celebrations for this dat take place every year on October 27. This day was chosen by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) in 2005, to raise awareness of the significance and importance of preservation for recorded sound and audiovisual documents.

To mark this day we have created some quirky GIFs, highlighting a selection of videos from Europe’s audiovisual archives. Take a moment to explore our Pinterest board ‘The Moving Past‘, or head over to Europeana and explore more of the audiovisual items that have been made available there.

All items are from Open Beelden and the Dutch Institute for Sound and Vision, explore their collections through Europeana.

Categories: Europeana

Parisian Haute Couture in the Early 1900s

22 October 2014 - 11:28am

What’s a better place to show of your new outfit than the popular horse racing tracks in a chic Westen neighbourhood of Paris. The popularity of Longchamp, where races were run for the first time in 1857, signalled a general revival in French horse racing, making it the perfect place for designers and fashion lovers to show their new outfit.

The early 1900s mark the full flowering of Parisian haute couture as the arbiter of styles and silhouettes for women of all classes. Designers would send fashion models or mannequins to the Longchamp races, wearing the latest styles. During the event fashion photographs were taken to identify the creators of individual gowns.

Below we have gathered some of these fashion photographs. Explore all photographs of the Grand Prix in Longchamps through Europeana.

All images are in the public domain, French National Library via The European Library.

Categories: Europeana

Autumn Inspired Art

20 October 2014 - 11:37am

The second month of Autumn, it’s starting to get cold and wet. Trees loose their green colour and eventually let go of their leaves. Autumn is a season people love or loathe. Many painters have been inspired by this season, a season that starts filled with a wide range of warm colours and gradually introduces us to the cold and grey winter.

We searched Europeana for some beautiful artworks inspired by Autumn, and highlighted them below. Interested in more Autumn related works? Explore Europeana.

Images: Teylers Museummuseum-digitalCentral Library of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, RijksmuseumStadtgeschichtliches Museum LeipzigThe Wellcome LibraryBibliothèque municipale de Lyon

Categories: Europeana

‘Take some more tea’

8 October 2014 - 4:24pm

It is finally beginning to look and feel a lot like autumn outside. Perfect weather to curl up with a book and a cup of tea.
This week, we celebrate the whimsy of tea time. Two orangutans sipping delicately from their teacups, a couple with fantastical headgear, Dr Duncan’s caution against hot liquors… such as tea.
As the March Hare said to Alice, ‘Take some more tea’.

All images are CC BY from the Wellcome Library

Categories: Europeana

Help the National Library of France acquire a national treasure

3 October 2014 - 4:43pm

 By Claire Bertrand

BnF / Avec l’aimable autorisation de Dr. J. Günther Rare Books, Bâle

The French National Library has launched a public appeal for the acquisition of a royal manuscript of King François I of France,Description des Douze Césars avec leurs figures (Tours, c. 1520).

This exceptional manuscript, classified as a national treasure, was illustrated by Jean Bourdichon for King François I of France. The manuscript, which is one of three original copies, is the most beautiful and will be the first to enter the French national collections.

These manuscripts were probably made to be used as diplomatic gifts for King Henry VIII of England and Charles Quint.
The public appeal is open to all who wish to help the French National Library to enrich its collections. Once acquired, the manuscript will be digitised and made available on our digital library, Gallica, for all to admire.

If you wish to participate as an international donor, you may :
- make a donation directly online. It is fast and secure.
Or

Write to us :
Bibliothèque nationale de France
Délégation au mécénat
Quai François Mauriac
75706 Paris cedex 13
France

Or
Contact us at manuscritroyal@bnf.fr or +33 (0)1 53 79 48 51

 

Categories: Europeana

Contraceptives, buttons and much more

30 September 2014 - 3:23pm

Written by – Ingeborg Verheul, Collection Manager – Library and Archive Atria

Since a few years and to a growing extend, objects form an additional source for historical research. Digitisation makes the material easily accessible for research. The objects collection of Atria consists of over 1700 objects that are related with the Dutch and international women’s movements and women’s organisations. A number of objects come from personal archives of women who played an important role in the emancipation of women and/or the suffragette movement in The Netherlands and abroad. A nice example are the fan or the writing folder of Aletta Jacobs (1854-1929), the first female medical doctor and leading suffragette, who played an important role in the achievement of voting rights for women in The Netherlands from 1900 until 1919.

In the collection one finds loads of obvious objects, typical heritage material of many social movements everywhere: banners, pins, ribbons, buttons, bags, t-shirts etcetera. Quite remarkable are the amount of contraceptives, portraits, games and stamps. Really interesting are the unique pieces that commemorate historical events from the (Dutch) emancipation movement, such as for example the National Exhibition of Women’s Labour in 1989, the exhibition ‘Woman 1813-1913’ or the protest-actions from Dolle Mina (Mad Mina) in the seventies of the last century.

Explore the collection of Atria through Europeana.

All images: Atria, CCO.

Categories: Europeana

Introducing #OpenCollections

23 September 2014 - 12:50pm

For those of you who are dedicated followers of the Europeana Facebook and Twitter accounts,  you have probably already seen #OpenCollections in your newsfeed in the last couple of weeks. #OpenCollections highlights some of the most interesting and high quality collections from around Europe.

 

Harper’s nov’b'r by Edward Penfield, 1866-1925. Part of the collection of the Bibliothèque municipale de Lyon. Public Domain

Open?

So why do we call them open collections and not just ‘beautiful collections’? Open Collections can be re-used without restrictions, and we believe that culture should be shared with minimum restriction. Works that are open because either copyright has expired, does not exist or permission has been given to freely copy, modify, remix and print the material – subject, at most, to requirements that preserve provenance and openness.

This is important for us to highlight because a lot of cultural objects from the previous century are still protected by copyright. This means that you as a user can’t just make copies or modify the work without consulting with the rights holders. A work that can be considered ‘open’ does not have these restrictions.


 Magasin för konst, nyheter och moder 1835. Part of the collection of the Stiftelsen Nordiska museet. Public Domain

Highlighting great, re-usable material

By highlighting the open collections, it not only becomes easier for you to find some of the best material available in Europe, but we also like to support the great work being done by the museums, libraries and archives that make these collections available to you. In this way, we want to bring European culture closer to a worldwide audience. And the good part is, you can share it as well! This is the material you can share freely via social media or use in your own remixes, websites, apps, educational material, and whatever else you can think of.

To keep track of the collections, follow the #OpenCollections hashtag on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

 Het Ganzenbord by Daan Hoekstra, 1920. Part of the collection of the Amsterdam Museum. CC-BY.

How to find more great open collections?

For more interesting open collections, take a look on Europeana Labs, where we present hand-picked collections that can be re-used without any restrictions. When browsing through the Europeana repository, it is quite easy to check if a collection or object is open and can therefore be reused. Just go to the ‘Can I use it’ box and tick ‘Yes, with attribution’. This will filter out the cultural objects that either have fallen into the Public Domain, or are licensed with one of the open Creative Commons license.

Categories: Europeana

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