All library professionals have heard about Europeana, however, do we really know what this project means? Who is aggregating content and digital objects? Concretely, a Spanish book has been recently published whose aim is to present an overview of the project origins, business model, strategic plan, providers and collections.
Europeana, promoted by the European Union, let researchers and users access to more than thirty million digitised objects from different European cultural institutions such as libraries, museums, archives, sound archives and universities.
So important and ambitious is the purpose of the book that readers may find a complete and united approach of the project in the publication. Accordingly, the content is divided into eleven chapters in order to provide a deep research. Consequently, authors are subject matter experts working at universities, libraries and archives; in other words, full professors, researchers and librarians. The majority of them have recently participated in Spanish research projects related to the access and reuse of the public sector information, especially those academic papers on public datasets. Apart from public demographic data, it is the cultural sector that has surprisingly obtained homogeneous results regarding how to organise information. As a result, the cultural sector has been included in the scope of the European Directive on the reuse of public sector information, which contributes to the Europeana’s development.
Having stated these considerations, the book examines the Europeana’s origins and some business concerns like its business model, strategic plan or business plan. At the same time, providers and collection analysis are most relevant for the scientific community. Undoubtedly, a deep study on audiovisual heritage is included in the book. Furthermore, Europeana: the European cultural heritage platform also analyses technical aspects regarding interoperability, metadata, usability, information retrieval and copyright issues.
I strongly recommend this book whose coordinators, Dr. Ramos Simón and Dra. Arquero Avilés, are subject matter experts as well as directors of Publidoc-UCM research group. Definitely, this rewarding paperback will contribute to Europeana’s development as well as to connect people through their culture and heritage.