OpenUp! 2011-2014

Opening up the Natural History Heritage for Europeana
Reference Number: 270890

European natural history collections manage and give access to over 1.5 bn objects from the world’s biodiversity heritage, covering most of the species described worldwide. These are reference objects for all the common and famous species in the world, including those of high economic importance and even those that have already gone extinct. Many have great cultural value as they were collected during historic expeditions and scientific endeavours by well known epochal explorers or scientists like Darwin, Linnaeus, Humboldt, or Stanley.

EUROPEANA has made these treasures available to the general public for the first time , in addition to providing scientists and policy makers with a substantial information source needed in the understanding and protection of global biodiversity.

Although being clearly within the scope of EUROPEANA as part of the scientific and cultural heritage, multimedia objects from the natural history domain were dramatically underrepresented. This project aimed at closing that gap. It initially made available over 1 M high quality images, movies, animal sound files, and natural history artwork from 23 institutions in 12 European countries. Access is based on the established technical infrastructure of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). Once the pathway from museums and GBIF to Europeana has been created, it will provide a steadily stream of additional objects that have entered the network.

The project addressed the following objectives:

• Mapping between Community and EUROPEANA data standards

• Adding data providers for multimedia content

• Enrichment of metadata towards compliance with EUROPEANA standards

• Incorporation of multilingual metadata, in particular common names of organisms

• A single access point to distributed natural history multimedia content for EUROPEANA

• A sustainability plan for network maintenance

• Development of a consistent copyright strategy for participating data providers