Final Europeana Creative Open Innovation Challenge still open for applications! Only one more month to go!

Did you ever want to create something new, inspiring and absolutely creative with Europe’s amazing cultural heritage available? Then do so and send in your ideas:

Europeana Creative is once again looking for creative developers, designers, start-ups and other entrepreneurs to re-use Europe’s digitised cultural heritage from Europeana in innovative and creative ways!


Europeana Creative is an exciting European project (co-funded by the CIP) coordinated by ONB R&D, which enables and promotes greater re-use of cultural heritage resources by Europe’s Creative Industries. The project was launched at the end of February 2013 and 26 partners from 14 European countries with diverse backgrounds are contributing to the project.

The previous Challenges, on the themes of Natural History & History Education, Tourism & Social Networks, attracted applications from 16 different European countries demonstrating innovative ideas for cultural heritage re-use. If you wish to learn more about previous winning applications please visit the Europeana Creative blog here and here.

As always, the best idea will receive a tailor made Incubation Support Package as a prize, helping to bring it successfully to the market! The prize consists of specialist support measures delivered by a team of experts providing business mentoring, technical support, assistance with identifying and accessing finance, facilitation of business partnerships, access to specialised testing environments, marketing and promotion support.

What should you create?

A wide range of works for the Design Challenge is welcome with contemporary and creative approaches to digital cultural heritage materials appreciated. For example, including but not limited to results of digital fabrication, media art, design objects, web/mobile applications and services.


Where do you get the content?

Search for it on Europeana Labs. Use Europeana’s APIs for your developments! Access the collections and incorporate them into things like apps, games, websites, even creating mash-ups using other APIs.

Need some inspiration?

Europeana Creative has developed innovative Pilot Applications to demonstrate the things you can do with Europeana content and a little bit of imagination. Please visit the Europeana Creative website to watch the inspirational videos and test the pilot applications!

You think you can be even more creative?

Apply by submitting your project on http://ecreativedesign2015.istart.orgThe deadline for entries is January 18th, 2015 (22h CET). The best applications will be invited to pitch during Europeana Creative’s final Challenge Event in Manchester hosted during the arts & innovation event, Future Everything Festival, at the end of February 2015, where the winners will be selected.

Keep up-to-date with Europeana Creative by following it on Facebook or Twitter and use the hash tag #eCreative when you tweet about it. For more information or questions please visit:



The Europeana Newspapers Project is coming to a close

As the Europeana Newspapers Project is slowly coming to a close, we want to take a closer look at its achievements and the Austrian National Library’s (ONB) role in the project.

So what is it all about?

The Europeana Newspapers Project (ENP) is funded by the European Commission’s Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and brings together 18 project partners, 11 associated partners and 22 networking partners from all over Europe. The ambitious goal of the project has been to convert about 10 million digitised, historical newspaper pages to full text and make the content easily accessible via a content browser developed by The European Library. Since metadata to an additional 8 million pages is also being made available by the project, a total of 18 million historic newspaper pages are being aggregated by Europeana and The European Library. Thus efficiency and precision will be increased and the user experience significantly improved. In short, the Europeana Newspapers Project allows for ‘a European view’ of historical events, utilising full-text search.

Click on the image for a short video visualising the project


Technology and content

The Europeana Newspapers Project combines technical aspects with content related issues. For this reason, the project consists of both technical and content providing partners. When it comes to technology, there are three aspects of the project: Optical Character Recognition (OCR), Optical Layout Recognition (OLR) and Named Entity Recognition (NER).

OCR is the technology that converts digital images of historical newspapers into full-text. Optical Layout Recognition is applied on a smaller scale and is used to capture the layout of the text. The structure of about two million newspaper pages has been tagged using OLR in order to differentiate between headlines, subtitles and an article’s content. As a result, the full-text has been enriched with relevant metadata. In addition, resources for Named Entity Recognition have been produced for Dutch, German and French, thus enabling searches of person and geographic names in several European languages.

Our role within the project

The Austrian National Library is one of the largest content providers for the project. We are providing about 1.6 million newspaper pages that have been converted into full-text, selected from our holdings dated before 1876. This threshold was deliberately chosen in order to provide material that is free of any copyright restrictions. We are also sharing metadata to an additional 5.5 million pages to be ingested into The European Library and Europeana.

On 16 October 2014, the ONB hosted an Information Day not only disseminating the goals and current state of the project but also showcasing the wider context of newspaper digitisation. The event was centred around the theme “digitized, historical newspapers as a source”, thus allowing for the combination of talks given by project members with presentations on more practical issues such as how to use this source in historical research. You can find a summary of the event and links to the presentations here.

What to do now?

The content browser developed by The European Library is online and ready to be used. In different blog entries, we present research carried out using the content browser to show a European perspective of different historical events. Why not try it out yourself? To get started, all you need to do is follow this link:!

Author: Martin Schaller