Invitation for the Europeana Open Culture 2010 Conference

Press release by Europeana

We are pleased to invite you to the Europeana Open Culture 2010 conference, our annual event that highlights current challenges in our sector and works on practical solutions for the future.

The event is in two parts:

Europeana pre-conference meetings are for the Europeana Foundation Board, the Council of Content Providers and Aggregators and contributors to v1.0 Work Packages. The meetings will be on 13 October 2010 at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB) in The Hague and in the morning of 14 October at Amsterdam’s Westergasfabriek (the main conference venue).

The Europeana Open Culture 2010 main conference is on the 14 October (afternoon) and 15 October (morning) at Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam.
Open Culture 2010 will focus on how museums, libraries, archives and audiovisual collections can create public value by making digital information and knowledge openly available. The keynote speaker is Liam Wyatt, the British Museum’s first Wikipedian in Residence, whose innovative work in bringing the curator and the crowd together sparked international interest and significant traffic.

Three parallel sessions led by experts in the field get right to the heart of current concerns – linked data, User Generated Content and the risks and rewards of openness. Specialists with different perspectives will run small problem-solving groups and there will be demos of innovative sites that exemplify our themes.

The conference is free, and Europeana v1.0 will cover the travel and hotel costs of one delegate from each partner in the Thematic Network.

Europeana Open Culture 2010 will bring together people who are setting the agenda. Join us to stay in touch with the network’s latest thinking. Register now!

News from the field of e-learning

Although the summer is usually a quiet time for people working in the e-learning business, some organisations and projects continued their activities during these months. Sally Reynolds from ATiT has gathered news about recent developments and activities.

The MEDEA awards 2010
Following the closing date of the MEDEA Awards, the organisers are delighted to announce that they have received 140 educational media entries from schools, production facilities, broadcasters and other educational media producers. Submissions vary considerably from linear video clips showing scientific processes to media-rich websites created by networks of teachers in different European countries. 3D animations and moving image essays along with multimedia resource banks aimed at particular topics are all included in this year’s list of entries. Judging takes place in August and September and a list of finalists will be announced in early October.
The final awards ceremony when the winners will be announced takes place during the Media and Learning conference on 25-26 November in Brussels.

EduTubePlus begins pilot phase
The eContentPlus project, EduTubePlus, begins piloting its multi-lingual curriculum-related video-based e-service for European schools in September. This service will be piloted in 8 counties involving over 70 teachers. This pilot will continue until January 2011 and will provide the partners with important feedback about the operation of the EduTubePlus platform in schools before its launch as a service in 2011.

Copyright in Higher Education
JISCmedia in the UK have recently launched an interesting video clip on YouTube called Copyright and Moving Images in Education: The Open University Case Study which raises a lot of questions in relation to the use of video resources for education. Hear what a range of different practitioners have to say about the practicalities of dealing with copyright issues in their everyday work.

The EUscreen content selection policy and the future user

EUscreen will provide access to a critical mass of audiovisual content (>30,000 items) and it’s metadata, covering the history of European television. With such a large amount of data, a content selection policy is essential to provide meaningful access. The EUscreen content selection policy has been developed in the first six months of the project and the final policy has been presented to the content providers during the Mykonos workshop in June. This policy will not only influence the work of the content providers, but also the user experience.  We’ve invited Sian Barber, Postdoctoral Researcher  from Royal Holloway University of London (workpackage leader for WP3, content selection policies) to outline the content selection policy in more detail and to explain the benefits of such a policy for future users of the EUscreen portal.

The EUscreen project content selection policy is comprised of three strands: the 14 historical topics, content provider virtual exhibitions and comparative virtual exhibitions. The aim of this ambitious, multi-strand approach is to offer something sophisticated and multi-layered to draw upon the strengths of the various content providers. The approach will allow archives to showcase material from within their own collections which fall outside the parameters of the historical topics. Yet what are the implications of this policy for users, and what benefits does it offer to them?

Site users will be able to see the outcomes of the content selection policy within the 14 historical topics which will account for 70% of content in EUscreen and a great deal of which will be mapped from Video Active. However, the innovation with EUscreen is that each content provider will also contribute material to their own virtual online exhibition which will allow them to fully utilise material and content from their own archives. These individual exhibitions will account for 20% of EUscreen content and will allow each archive to play to its strengths and present the best of their material which has not been included within the 14 historical topics. Such an approach will enable content providers to support their own content with a range of still images, documentation and text. For the users, the individual exhibitions will highlight the diversity and breadth of material within the project and enable them to explore and examine the material and collections presented by individual archives and discover new information about the collections and their accompanying metadata.

Example of the content selection policy in Video Active

Perhaps the most innovative part of the content selection policy, both for users and for the project as a whole, is the decision to offer the final 10% of the content in the form of two comparative exhibitions. The topics for these exhibitions will be decided upon by a working group which comprises representatives from content providers, technology partners and academic partners. The topics selected could be a detailed consideration of TV history offering perspectives from different countries, or an in-depth focus on a single concept, such as minorities, or outsiders. Each content provider will contribute 5% of their total content to each comparative exhibition and the content itself will be shaped and developed by an editorial and curatorial team in order to pose questions and raise key issues. For example, a comparative exhibition on the topic of the European Union might compare material from Poland, Ireland and the Netherlands and examine reactions to joining the European Union. The exhibition could also utilise audio visual and textual material to examine what being part of the European Union means for different countries and what this in turn suggests about patriotism, nationalism and European identity. Such an exhibition will offer to the user a range of information, but will also link the content to broader discursive issues, topics and themes.

Through this innovative content selection policy and multi-strand approach, EUscreen will cater to a variety of end users, offering accessible audio visual content to teachers, lecturers, researchers and students but also drawing out comparisons between different collections, items, content providers and countries. These comparative elements, along with the opportunity offered for individual archives to showcase their material, moves EUscreen beyond a site simply for accessing information and indicates a new way for audio visual material to be curated online. Users will not simply be able to access and view the material but to respond, engage and contribute to the material and to the wider issues and questions raised by the diverse site content.

A richer data model for Europeana

Announcement by Europeana

The Europeana Data Model (EDM) – a new way of structuring data that will bring the benefits of Semantic Web technology to – has just been published. The release of the EDM indicates a qualitative change in the way Europeana will deal with metadata gathered from content providers. It will open up the possibility for browsing Europeana in new and revealing ways which are not possible with the current Europeana Semantic Elements data model. For example, the EDM will allow a digital object from one provider to be shown alongside a relevant article about the object or a thesaurus offered by other institutions, offering more context and information for users.
Once Europeana starts receiving content formatted using the EDM next year, it will also enable the use of linked data, which allows connections to be made between search terms. With linked data, a search for the “Virgin Mary” could lead to results not just for that single term, but also to objects labelled as “Mary, Mother Of Christ”, “the Blessed Virgin” or “Heilige Maria”.

Developed by members of Europeana v1.0, EuropeanaConnect and experts from academic and cultural circles, the EDM has been validated by technical specialists at libraries, museums, archives and audio-visual collections. This group will continue to make refinements to the EDM over the coming months, as testing is carried out between now and January 2011. The EDM is backwardly compatible with ESE, and will start to be used by data providers during 2011.

The EDM Primer and the Definition of the EDM Elements are in the Technical documents section of the v1.0 website.

First EUscreen International Conference on Content Selection Policies and Contextualisation

Date: 7-8 October 2010.
Location: Casa del Cinema. Largo Marcello Mastroianni 1, Rome, Italy.

EUscreen has organized a two-day conference on content selection policies and contextualisation in the audiovisual domain, to be held in Rome on October 7 and 8 2010. The conference will focus on contextualisation of audiovisual material, especially in the academic field. The conference programme is still under construction, but the first day includes a plenary session focussing on contextualisation of audiovisual material with keynotes and presentations of use cases. The second day comprises two workshops: one on European IPR legislations in the audiovisual sector and the impact on the exploitation of audiovisual and television archives, and one on best practices and guidelines for digitising  audiovisual heritage. Attendance at the conference is free but online registration is required.

Confirmed speakers

  • Prof. Andrew Hoskins, Professor of Cultural Studies at Nottingham University on media, digitization and memory.
  • Dr. Lilian Landes, scientific co-ordinator of the project at Bavaria State Library on creating a European Open Access infrastructure for historical reviews.
  • Dr. Alec Badenoch, from Utrecht University on Making Europe, virtual exhibits on European cultural heritage.
  • Johan Söderberg, lecturer and filmmaker from Sweden on using and reusing archival material in his works, like the series “Read my lips”.
  • Dr. Tibor Hirsch, from Film Studies at ELTE University on using digitized material in a creative way to help students understanding the language of film and television.
  • Dr. Andreas Fickers, from the Art and Social Sciences at Maastricht University on audiovisual source critique in the age of the web 2.0.
  • Peter B. Kaufman, President and executive producer of Intelligent Television. He is also the author of “Marketing Culture in the Digital Age: A Report on New Business Collaborations between Libraries, Museums, Archives, and Commercial Companies”.
  • Prof. John Ellis, Professor of Media at Royal Holloway – University of London.

More information about the conference can be found here.

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