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The European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations is an independent umbrella association of library, information, documentation and archive associations and institutions in Europe.

EBLIDA submission to the European Commission Consultation: “Europeana: next steps”

Introduction

  • We would like to see Europeana develop into a channel for contemporary European culture, including popular culture and user-generated artefacts as well as culture from minority groups, and not just of ‘high culture’.
  • EU copyright laws need to be revisited for the digital age.
  • Europeana should give access to the born-digital as well as the digitised.
  • EU and national funding of digitisation is the best way to keep digitised content in the public domain.

General

Question 1

Which orientations would you suggest for the future development of Europeana as a common access point to Europe's cultural heritage in the digital environment?

We suggest that audience research should be conducted to establish the usage, potential and orientations of Europeana: a clear vision related to this would be the most compelling reason to support its development financially.

As content becomes ubiquitous, the utility of a single point of access is questionable: channels to content are more important.

There should be greater integration with web tools and other sites so that people do not have to come to Europeana to access content. e.g. Europeana could work with Wikipedia and Google Books to share content via linked data.

The database should also be opened up to people for creative uses: there should be clear, standard terms and conditions that allow re-use. 

There is a need to clarify its relationship with The European Library and the World Digital Library. Europeana is dependent on aggregators e.g. The European Library for national libraries: this is funded by TEL membership fees, yet Europeana may be competing for national library resources and could divert support from the very aggregator it is dependent on.

In the particular phase of the development of the World Wide Web we are in, Europeana’s greatest value may lie in its development of a network of cultural professionals, its research and development projects and its leverage in IP reform to enable digitisation.

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