Europeana and Copyright

What is Europeana? It is Europe’s largest digital, online, freely accessible¬†collection of cultural heritage data.

Simply put, it houses collections of Europe’s musical, artistic and historical heritage from over 2,500 European institutions. According to the Europeana website, approximately 10% of Europe’s heritage has been digitised and harnessed by the organisation – that’s around 300 million digitised books, paintings, letters, recordings, interviews, photographs and so on. Once this has been done, Europeana then aggregates the files, organises them and presents them to the viewer in an engaging and interactive manner.

However, Europeana is experiencing a problem with making its material available to the public.Only 34% of this material is available online as much of it is held behind copyright barriers, locked away in archives and libraries from the public. In an effort to increase the amount of publicly-accessible digital heritage, Europeana is actively involved in lobbying the European Parliament for improved copyright laws. (“Europeana Strategy 2020: ‘We Transform The World With Culture'”) Continue reading

My Experience with OpenStreetMap

Recently, I used OpenStreetMap, a digital tool for mapping, as part of my assignment for one of my Digital Humanities modules. I chose to map Rathcormac, a village in North Cork which I personally know. I found the experience enjoyable, beneficial and enlightening. In order to increase my readers’ understanding of this experience, I will explore it under the following points: the process I undertook; the implications of what I contributed; what I learned from the experience and how I feel that I might be able to apply the spatial or the crowdsourced initiatives in my own work, be it now or in the future. Continue reading

Open Access: Financially and Practically Possible

When I first heard of Open Access in my Digital Humanities course, I considered it an ingenious initiative – “public access to publicly funded research” (Suber, 2015), the corrupted system of paywalling exposed and academic library costs reduced. However, on rethinking the whole situation, this utopic concept hardly seemed realistic: how does the noble idea of Open Access survive in this money-hungry, financially-driven world if it really is free? This is why I have decided to research and blog on the topic of Open Access in the light of pragmatism.

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