Investing in the Creative Reuse of Cultural Heritage

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Historypin is proud to join with 26 other partners from across the European cultural heritage, technology, creative, media, and academic sectors for an exciting 30 month project designed to demonstrate and instigate the creative reuse and remixing of digital cultural heritage. 

The online portal Europeana provides access to more than 25 million digitized objects of cultural heritage from European libraries, archives and museums. The Europeana Creative project will actively encourage and promote the creative reuse of digital cultural heritage and associated metadata made available through Europeana. As part of the project, a number of test applications will be developed as proof of concepts and which are being designed together with a number of events to spur innovation and further development by entrepreneurs from the creative industries.

The project was officially launched in February at the Austrian National Library in Vienna meeting where representatives of all of the partner organizations were assembled. There were presentations on the various work packages and workshops were used for the further development of the specific plans and tasks.


The Europeana Creative project will demonstrate that Europeana can facilitate the creative re-use of cultural heritage metadata and content. The project will establish an Open Laboratory Network, create a legal and business framework for content re-use and implement all needed technical infrastructure.


In the last few years we’ve seen a growing global convergence of communities working toward usability and discovery of openly licensed cultural heritage assets and data. Increasingly, the cherished institutions that have for so long provided stewardship of these materials and their accompanying data are embracing and investing in new ways of providing access to this information, opening a new world of possibilities for how we celebrate our shared global history. We’ve seen this trend illustrated across Europe.

The reuse of open data is an important part of the Digital Agenda for Europe.  There’s been several major activities recently throughout Europe to celebrate and stimulate the reuse of cultural heritage, such as the Open Knowledge Festival in Helsinki last fall, and GLAM-WIKI 2013 held in London earlier this month to name a few.  Last year, the Hack4Europe! competition was organized to develop applications to demonstrate the social and economic value of open cultural data.

In September 2012, Europeana encouraged the development of innovative applications by publishing the metadata for 25 million cultural heritage objects under the terms of the Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication 0 (CC0) license, and have also provided free and open access to the metadata through Application Programming Interfaces and Linked Open Data. Europeana Creative will not only use this metadata, but also many of the digital objects themselves, which are available for re-use together with the necessary licenses.


The project will create five pilot applications in the thematic areas of History Education, Natural History Education, Tourism, Social Networks, and Design, then conduct open innovation challenges to identify, incubate and spin-off viable projects into the commercial sector.

The project will also undertake an extensive stakeholder engagement campaign promoting the benefits of cultural heritage content re-use to creative industries and to memory institutions.


Historypin will be focusing on increased data integration with Europeana as well as creative reuse of geolocated sound archives as part of the Social Networks pilot.  We’re excited to feature a number of sound recordings and themes on Historypin from Europeana partners, including the British Library Sound Archive, and work package leader Netherlands Institute of Sound and Vision. We’ll also be getting  support in this work package from Ontotext AD.


The project brings together 26 partners from 14 different countries and is a strong alliance between:

  • the Europeana Foundation, with access to 2,200 + cultural institutions
  • Creative hubs and organizations that have access to the creative industries and professionals in the tourism and educational sectors in Europe
  • Living Labs in four countries (Spain, France, Finland and Belgium)
  • Technical and multimedia experts
  • Business planning experts
  • Partners who provide material from their cultural heritage institution or museum.

The full list of participants and more information about the project can be found on the Europeana Creative website.  Many thanks to Lizzy Komen for her original post which I borrowed heavily from!

Europeana Creative is a project co-funded by the European Commission under the CIP program 2007-2013.