Challenge in the digital kitchen: use digital food and drink ingredients and win 5,000 €!

What is European food and drink cultural heritage all about? When we think about food and drink, we imagine traditional regional delicacies, inimitable wines and beers, secret ingredients, intricate production methods and the climatic impact on flavours and aromas. Combined with dining etiquette, eating rituals, emblematic traditions, nostalgic locations and historically meaningful events and occasions, food and drink form the foundation of our culture. From very personal experiences to community specific habits and national traditions, food and drink simply define who we are in all sorts of ways.

For centuries, local and national museums, libraries, archives, galleries and other heritage institutions have been collecting artefacts, images, paintings, books, manuscripts, audio videos and other objects to capture the traditions and to document the development of European food and drink culture.

Europeana Food and Drink, a project promoting the wider re-use of the digital cultural resources and supporting cultural heritage organisations in development of commercial partnerships with Creative Industries, will demonstrate that relevant digital content available through Europeana can provide a solid basis for the development of innovative and commercially viable applications and services. Digital contents such as long forgotten recipes and cookbooks, images and drawings showing traditional foods and their preparation or remarkable food locations will be provided in the course of the project by our project partners. Furthermore images of vintage tools and artefacts from the food and drink industry as well as sound recordings with traditional songs accompanying hunting and food celebrations and many other digital items harbouring unique stories are waiting to be revealed and revived.

In order to support this creative process, Europeana Food and Drink has initiated its first Open Innovation Challenge “Reusing and promoting Europeana Food and Drink heritage contents”. The desired solutions should help GLAMs (galleries, libraries, archives and museums), touristic agencies and the food and drink industry to improve their business and support the promotion of the European food and drink cultural heritage in the modern digital age. The Open Innovation Challenge is waiting for descriptions of all kind of products and services (videos, mobile apps, games, virtual exhibitions, educational tools, etc.) helping to improve the interactivity between heritage organisations and their audiences. The competitors may use any kind of Europeana or Europeana Labs food and drink contents. Thanks to Europeana API you will gain access to more than 2000 collections which you can incorporate into your products and applications.

The competition is directed to all representatives of creative industries, start up enterprises, creative teams and non-profit organisations providing ideas for innovative methods and solutions.

Until 20th December 2014 the interested parties can apply and submit their proposals through a specific challenge platform. More information on the Open Innovation Challenge, its requirements, guidelines and the access to the challenge platform can be found under:

foodanddrink_OIC1_smallAuthor: Anna Lobianco


Looking Back at the Austrian Information Day of the Europeana Newspapers Project

On 16 October 2014, the Austrian National Library hosted the Austrian Information Day of the Europeana Newspapers Project. The event was structured around the theme of “digitised, historical newspapers as a source” (Die digitalisierte, historische Zeitungen als Quelle) and enabled the participants to examine this source from very different angles.

The programme was tailored to attract end-users coming from backgrounds as diverse as the topics in a newspaper issue itself. Besides attendees from different Austrian universities and university libraries, teachers and students were welcomed at the event as well. Günter Mühlberger of the University of Innsbruck as well as Hans-Jörg Lieder and Clemens Neudecker of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – both institutions are project partners – contributed to the programme. Altogether, 63 people attended the event and gave very positive feedback about the content of the programme as well as about the organisation. Eight presentations were held throughout the Information Day, each highlighting another aspect of newspapers digitisation.Newspapers Information DAyParticipants at the Austrian Information Day

The current state of newspaper digitization

Hans-Jörg Lieder of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin not only introduced the Europeana Newspapers Project to the audience, but he also put the project into a wider perspective, examining the current state of newspaper digitisation. His conclusion that the present situation of newspaper digitisation is best illustrated by a photo taken shortly after the start of a marathon proved to be very thought provoking and was widely discussed.

His talk was followed by Christa Müller, head of the Austrian National Library’s digitisation department ‘Abteilung Digitale Services’. She focused on ANNO (AustriaN Newspapers Online), the newspaper portal of the Austrian National Library. About thirteen million newspaper pages are currently available online of which about four million pages are searchable. Christa Müller also delivered insight into the selection process for digitisation and the planned functionalities of ANNO.

Günter Mühlberger of the University of Innsbruck, a technical project partner in Europeana Newspapers, gave an overview of the different stages involved in digitisation projects. While the emphasis was placed on technical aspects – OCR, quality of digital image, metadata – he also touched upon other areas such as the legal situation of historical newspapers or the archiving the digitised material.NewspapersInfoDay2

Günther Mühlberger provided insight into technical aspects of newspaper digitisation.

Digitised, historical newspapers as a source for historical research

After the coffee break two historians provided insights into their day to day work with digitised, historical newspapers.

Professor Oliver Rathkolb, who heads the Institute of Contemporary History (Institut für Zeitgeschichte) at the University of Vienna, pointed out how the use of ANNO increased the efficiency of his work and enabled him to find unknown material. Similar experiences were reported by Dr Marie-Theres Arnbom, a freelance historian, curator and author. She chose the example of Victor Léon to illustrate how she was able to find details about his life she would have never discovered. Both speakers cooperated with the Austrian National Library to digitise additional material. This shows that the relationship between memory institutions and researchers can be fruitful for both sides. Seeing how digitised material was used in actual research sparked great interest within the audience.

NewspaperInfoDay3Dr Marie-Theres Arnbom explained how she utilises ANNO in her own research

The versatility of digitized, historic newspapers

Lunch was followed by three talks – all diverse in content but oriented on practical aspects.

Clemens Neudecker of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin investigated the problems but also opportunities when using digitized newspapers as a base for research in Digital Humanities. He pointed out that a term such as ‘Big Data’ is also relative. After all, only an estimated four percent of European holdings have been digitised so far.

His talk was followed by Eva Maria Naimer. She shared her experiences of employing digitised newspapers in secondary school teaching – an especially exciting application of the content made available through newspaper portals. The following lively discussion engaged in topics such as if really all content should be made available to students – a topic which has seldom been discussed in connection with newspapers digitization so far. Martin Schaller, who held the last talk at the Information Day, gave an overview of different online newspaper portals, highlighting especially the content browser developed within the project.

Following the last presentation, the audience had the possibility for an in-depth discussion of their questions in three more informal Q&A sessions.
NewspapersInfoDay4 Clemens Neudecker’s talk was centred on digitised newspapers in Digital Humanities

Key messages of the Information Day

The Information Day was well received amongst participants. Especially talks emphasizing the use of digitised newspapers sparked interesting questions and further contemplation. The relevant examples highlighting how this source is actually utilized, not only in historical research but in teaching as well, gave the audience an impression of its versatility. However, newspaper digitisation is only in its beginnings and more work, especially in increasing the results of Optical Character Recognition or introducing Named Entity Recognition, needs to be done. To use Hans-Jörg Lieder’s metaphor mentioned in his talk: The starting shot just faded away, now we need to keep going.

The event was covered in social media, especially on Twitter. Tweets #eurnewsVIE show comments on talks, but some have even taken the discussion further.


Hans-Jörg Lieder using the Marathon metaphor

You can find the links to all the presentations here:

Hans Jörg Lieder:

Christa Müller:

Günter Mühlberger:

Clemens Neudecker:

Martin Schaller:

Eva Maria Naimer:

To try the content browser developed within the project go to:

Author: Martin Schaller

The DM2E project at the Austrian National Library

Harnessing the power of Linked Data in order to provide scholarly access to digitised manuscripts and archival items.

Join us on Tuesday ,18 November at the ONB Austrian National Library in Vienna to find out more about the DM2E project and the wider possibilities of scholarly and library (re-)use of Linked Open Data. More information about the agenda and reservations can be found on the DM2E website.

The DM2E (Digitised Manuscripts to Europeana) project is dedicated to making available internationally significant collections of manuscripts, autographs and letters through Europeana, targeting both scholarly as well as general audiences. This rich content is complemented by rare books collections and additional archival items, providing context to the handwritten materials.

A number of project characteristics make DM2E truly stand out. One novel aspect is that DM2E maps the very heterogeneous metadata of its providers to a common representation specified by the DM2E data model which is itself an application profile of the Europeana Data Model (EDM). As its name implies, the EDM is the newest data model used by Europeana and significantly differs from its predecessor in that it is based on Linked Data principles. Some of the advantages of representing metadata as Linked Data are:

  • Being able to semantically augment metadata such as stating if the subject of a work is a person or a place and to provide additional, specifying metadata about these entities; this is not easily achievable with traditional metadata models.
  • The published metadata are freely accessible on the Web, available to everyone.
  • Increased interoperability with other datasets, enabled by interlinking DM2E metadata with other data using common entities.

Indeed, all the metadata provided to DM2E are now an official part of the Linked Open Data Cloud. This means that they are now connected to a huge number of third party datasets through important data hubs such as the GND, DBpedia, Freebase, and Geonames . A little quiz: Are you able to locate DM2E in the LOD-cloud amongst the growing number of freely available Linked Data sets?


Image: Linked Open Data Cloud at

Digital Humanities Research and Engineering

Another distinctive project endeavour deals with tools and best practices for using the power of Linked Data to support (Digital) Humanities scholars in their work.

Not only should the metadata about the content from library providers be made available as Linked Data, but everyone, and in particular Digital Humanities scholars, should also be able to create annotations on the content itself and publish this as Linked Data as well. In this regard, DM2E has been further developing a family of applications around the semantic web annotation tool Pundit, which was initiated by project partner Net7. Using Pundit, scholars can easily augment documents on web pages by creating Linked Dated annotations.


Image: Screenshot of the Pundit annotation environment

These annotations are gathered in notebooks, which can be made private or public; the contents of all public notebooks can be viewed in the Pundit affiliated tool Ask. In addition, the annotations contained in the notebooks can be queried using Ask’s facetted browser and can also be used for powerful data visualisations. Below is an EdgeMap representation from one of the many experiments being carried in the project using the scholarly environment. Here, philosophers’ influences have been mapped on a timeline; the underlying semantic annotations were made by creating annotations that stated when philosophers cited other philosophers in their works.


Image: Pundit Philopher’s Demo using EdgeMap

In addition to developing Semantic Web tools for scholars, DM2E is also doing research on user requirements of such Linked Data applications. For this reason, a further area of the project is concerned with modelling the scholarly domain. Guided by the advice of a distinguished  Digital Humanities Advisory Board, Researchers from DM2E have been endeavouring to identify and elaborate on the functional primitives of the Digital Humanities.

DM2E/OKFN Information Day

For more information about the DM2E project, please visit the project website.  As mentioned above, we would also like to welcome you to our information event organized in collaboration with project partner OKFN on the 18th of November at the Austrian National Library. In this half-day seminar, you will find out more about the mapping of DM2E partner metadata to the Europeana Data Model (EDM), the Open Knowledge Foundation will talk about the value of open data and the OpenGLAM network and we will showcase how some Digital Humanities scholars are using the semantic annotation tools developed in DM2E. In addition, you can also get hands-on experience with Pundit in a workshop organized by Net7.

We are looking forward to seeing you there!

Authors: Doron Goldfarb and Kristin Dill