EUROPEANA: Making culture available for all online

Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht,
21 June 2013, Ireland

Making culture available for all online as it helps connect people across Europe and provides much needed innovation and social and economic growth is the message from a conference held today by Europeana, Europe’s digital library and museum, and hosted by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, as part of the Irish EU Presidency.

The “Funding digitisation: can accessible cultural heritage fuel social and economic growth?” conference was opened by Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and attended by the European Commission and key cultural organisations across Europe, including Trinity College Dublin Library.

Minister Deenihan said:

‘Ireland is a key partner for Europeana. Irish cultural heritage institutions contribute almost one million artworks and documents that can be discovered, shared and reused across Europe. Our young developers have demonstrated their innovation and commercial potential in hackathons using Europeana data, and the Irish public turned out in force to contribute to Europeana 1914-1918 collection days both in Dublin and in Limerick.'

The conference conclusions urged EU member states to use the current round of EU budget decisions to support future investment in culture online. They were asked to raise their voices in support of Europeana at European level for continued funding of Europeana and its network.

To support this endeavour a petition calling upon culturally minded people across Europe to voice their support for future funding of Europeana in current budget decisions was launched at the event. The petition can be found at

Europeana is Europe’s digital library archive and museum. Through it, anyone can access 27 million digitised cultural objects including books, paintings, films and audio from more than 2,200 cultural institutions and from all EU member states.

And Europe now leads the world in accessible digital culture as a result of Europeana’s work in bringing together and standardising cultural data and making that data available for re-use. This has important economic as well as social value as the open data can help fuel Europe’s digital economy.

Jill Cousins, Executive Director of Europeana said:

‘Europeana makes our culture available online for all to access and use, connecting people through their shared history and heritage.  And importantly, it makes a valuable contribution to our economy through the creative industries, one of Europe’s fastest growing sectors. These industries need fuel and Europeana provides it with rich, interoperable digital material, complete with copyright information which is vital for companies who want to re-use it.’,17014,en.html