10 million items available in Europeana thanks to the European Council

European cultural and scientific heritage will be accessible to all the EU citizens with the aim of making 10 million objects available, including movies, books, newspapers, photographs, paintings and maps through the website Europeana.

Currently the tool allows access to more than 7 million digitized works and it can be consolidated as a reference point for European culture on the Internet. Europeana is a single multilingual online portal, hosted by the Dutch National Library. The prototype was launched in November 2008 after months of work and, according to the Ministers, it should continue to improve its site with a more attractive presentation of the items, enhanced search facilities and full multilingual functionality.

The content is provided by more than 1,000 cultural institutions across the EU, but the contributions are unbalanced. It is necessary to increase the number of accessible objects, creating a wider geographic extent and doing a better balance between the types of works.

Europeana will be co-funded by the Commission, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania and Hungary. The Commission is invited to present a proposal for the sustainable financing of Europeana in the long run, together with a vision for the consolidation of the website.