A drastic cut was made in the budget for the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) from 9 billion to 1 billion euros. This will hit Europeana, the infrastructure supporting Europe’s free digital library, museum and archive, very hard. Europeana is now being asked to put the case for funding under the revised guidelines for CEF, which were issued 28 May 2013. Europeana will face severe competition for the available funding from other digital service infrastructure such as e-Justice, e-Health and Safer Internet. All good causes in their own right, but the wonderful digital culture infrastructure that has been built in the last decade will soon get squashed if we do not speak out now! So here goes:
Here is a summary of the three arguments for funding:
1 Europeana supports economic growth.
Some Impact Indicators:
- To date, 770 businesses, entrepreneurs, educational and cultural organisations are exploring ways of including Europeana information in their offerings (websites, apps, games etc.) through our API. See examples such as inventingeurope.eu and http://www.zenlan.com/collage/europeana.
- Digital heritage creates jobs – in Hungary, for example, over 1,000 graduates are now involved in digitising heritage that will feed in to Europeana. Historypin in the UK predicts it will double in size with the availability of more open digital cultural heritage.
2. Europeana connects Europe.
‘People often speak about closing the digital divide and opening up culture to new audiences but very few can claim such a big contribution to those efforts as Europeana’s shift to cultural commons.’ Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the Commission
3. Europeana makes Europe’s culture available for everyone.
In 2012, all 20m Europeana records were released under a Creative Commons Zero public domain dedication making them available for re-use both commercially and non-commercially. Europeana’s CC0 release is a ‘coup d’état’ that ‘will help to establish a precedent for other galleries, libraries, archives and museums to follow – which will in turn help to bring us that bit closer to a joined up digital commons of cultural content that everyone is free to use and enjoy.’ Jonathan Gray, Open Knowledge Foundation.
For those unaware of Europeana – here is what they do:
Europeana has been transformative in opening up data and access to cultural heritage and now leads the world in accessible digital culture that will fuel
Europe’s digital economy. Through Europeana today, anyone can explore
27 million digitised objects including books, paintings, films and audio.
Europeana is a catalyst for change for cultural heritage
– Because they make cultural heritage accessible online.
– Because they have standardised the data of over 2,200 organisations, covering all European countries and 29 European languages.
– Because they provide creative industries and business start-ups with rich, interoperable material, complete with copyright information.
– And because they ensure that every citizen, whether young or old, privileged or deprived, can be a digital citizen.
So please support Europeana by tweeting, blogging, facebooking and whatever other media you like, using the hashtag #AllezCulture!