Posted on Thursday August 28, 2014

Best practices

Are your collections open for all to view and use? Is your data as rich as it can possibly be? Do you encourage others to use your collections in new ways?

Open your collections up

Around half of Europeana’s digital records now have open licences and so can be used and re-used in new and creative ways. And that’s only the start. Opening up cultural collections has already released powerful benefits for Europeana and its partners. By following suit, your organisation can:

  • extend the reach of your collections dramatically, way beyond your own website

  • build engagement with online audiences

  • unlock the business value of your collections - with increased online sales, access to funding and sponsorship opportunities, etc.

Find out more in the Rijksmuseum case study.

Enrich your metadata

If we want people to make new and exciting things out of our cultural heritage material, we must provide not just open data, but high quality open data.

We see how true this is every day.

Europeana portal users click through to more materials and spend longer on records with high quality images and more interesting and detailed descriptions. Developers and designers at our app competitions need high resolution images and the best possible metadata for their creative projects. While partners who help us distribute content might look for material with precise geo-coordinates or engaging stories. The richer your metadata, the more people will make use of it - in ways you might never have thought of.

Enriching metadata is a time-consuming process, of course. That’s why we’re exploring various options (including crowdsourcing) to make it as easy as possible for you to promote the re-use of your collections.

How about organising an app competition?

In recent years, Europeana has organised a number of hackathons across Europe – some independently, others as partner projects. Hackathons tend to be two-day events, at which developers experiment with data and technology and come up with prototypes for new products and services. We also run online app competitions, which give developers more (offline) time – usually three months – to draft, test and submit their creative project.

Over the past two years, we’ve introduced a business element to the app contest format, helping developers to take their prototypes to market. This takes the form of either a ‘business lounge’ or a business support package as a prize. The business lounge is an idea brought in by our partner project, Apps4Europe. It gives developers access to expertise and possibly funding that will turn their ideas into new business ventures.

If you’re interested in organising an app competition with a business lounge, Europeana can provide:

  • consultancy to help you plan and organise the event – including guidelines, templates and, when possible, attendance on the day
  • access to technical tools, documentation and online support through Europeana Labs
  • promotion before and after the event