October 2011

Here are answers to common questions about Europeana.

About Europeana:

What is Europeana?
Europeana is an Internet portal that acts as an interface to millions of books, paintings, films, museum objects and archival records that have been digitised throughout Europe.

Around 1500 institutions have contributed to Europeana. Renowned names such as the British Library in London, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Louvre in Paris are featured alongside smaller organisations across Europe. Together, their assembled collections allow you to explore Europe’s history from ancient times to the modern day.

How does Europeana relate to initiatives such as Google Books?
Europeana is a cultural project and not a commercial undertaking. Europeana also has a broader remit than a service such as Google Book Search. Europeana gives access to different types of content from various cultural institutions. This makes it possible to bring together the works of a painter with, for example, relevant archival documents and books written about the artist’s life.
How does Europeana relate to The European Library?
Europeana and the projects contributing content to Europeana.eu have been funded by the European Commission under eContentplus, the Information and Communications Technologies Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP) and similar programmes. In order to participate in a wide range of projects, which are only funded by the Commission for 50-100% of the costs and do not include overheads, Europeana is also reliant for an element of its funding on Member States’ ministries of culture and education.
What is the organisational structure of Europeana?
The Europeana Foundation is the governing body of the Europeana service. A legal entity under Dutch law, Stichting Europeana comprises the heads of international associations responsible for cultural heritage. The Foundation comprises an Executive Committee, a Board of Participants, and the Council of Content Providers and Aggregators.

Content on Europeana:

Who decides if an item appears on Europeana?
The institution that holds the material – individual libraries, audiovisual collections, archives and museums decides what to digitise, based on several criteria:

  • What are the most beautiful, historic or highly regarded items that they are most keen to share with the world?
  • What do users most often want to consult or view?
  • Are there hidden treasures little-known items that could be enormously attractive to users once digitised?
  • Are items too fragile for users to consult, or to be displayed? Digitisation can help both preserve material and make it accessible to users.

Once an item is digitised, it can be submitted to Europeana.

Can I see items in a bigger size?
In many cases, you can see bigger versions of items on Europeana simply by clicking on the thumbnail. The available size of the item is decided by the institutions that provide content to Europeana.
Can I download files such as eBooks, music and films from Europeana?
You cannot download items directly from Europeana.eu but we connect you to the original source of the item on the provider’s website, where you may be able to download the object. The availability of an item for download depends on the facilities provided by each institution.
An item has been incorrectly labelled. What should I do?
Details of items in Europeana are provided by the institution holding the original content. Email us the details that you believe to be incorrect, and we will pass your information to the content provider.
Why can’t I find the material I’m looking for?
Europeana is expanding all the time. If you are not able to find what you are looking for at the moment, please come back another time to see if it has been added to the database. There are many reasons why a work may not be listed in Europeana:

  • The object has not been digitised
  • The institution that holds the work is not a Europeana partner
  • Copyright clearance is needed.

Based on users’ feedback we’ve been receiving since our launch in November 2008, Europeana underwent a significant makeover. The redesigned Europeana that went live today is now more visual and easier to use. You can quickly navigate through our diverse collections, learn more with our featured and curated content, and interact with others through various channels.

“The portal redesign is part of a long process, in which we have tried to incorporate the most important points, that were consistently made by our users, into our design principles for Europeana”, said Harry Verwayen, Europeana’s Business Development Director.

Here are some of the new things you can do on Europeana:

  • You can easily find our latest virtual exhibitions, content highlights and Europeana initiatives on the image carousel, the “Featured item” section or in the top navigation link “Explore“.
  • You can translate information about an item into your language with the translate function.
  • You can copy your favourite item to your site with the embed function.
  • You can quickly find ways to interact with other users through our blog, Facebook page, or Europeana Remix.


Patrons can only download the program, Solero, necessary to see and print sheet


music scores from Naxos Sheet Music Library on the PC’s.


When a student downloads Solero it will ask them for an administrator username


and password. When a student is on a PC their normal Loyola username and


password will work as the administrative […]


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