Television Archives Join Linked Open Data Movement

The EUscreen project has recently taken steps to expand the scope of its aim to provide unified access to large integrated digital collections related to European television history. By implementing the Linked Open Data principles and by signing the new Europeana Data Exchange Agreement, the materials that are made accessible through the platform have become more widely searchable, findable, linkable, and thus more connected to the world wide web, its users… and the machines that link them together. Information about EUscreen’s Linked Open Data Pilot can be found at

1. EUscreen opens up to Linked Open Data

On the EUscreen platform, 27 partners (broadcasters, archives and universities) select, curate and provide television materials from their rich vaults that together hold a great part of European audiovisual history. By mapping the schemata that underpin their content descriptions to the EUscreen metadata model, content providers ensure greater visibility and findability of their content in the public realm.
Much work has been done on uniformly processing the different metadata models to one central EBU Core-based model. This model ensures a level of uniformity that surpasses the scattered databases that the different institutions work with. The integrated collections are published on the EUscreen portal and from there on aggregated by Europeana.

With this centralised model in place, it was a relatively straightforward step to implement the Linked Open Data principles, which permit the interpretation and interlinking of the data to various sources outside of the EUscreen domain, and allow for a machine-readable level of access to the content. EBU Core provides mappings to all known audiovisual metadata standards, including the W3C’s Media Annotation ontology. The EBU Core ontology was used to formalise the metadata in the Resource Description Framework (RDF) format and publish them as Linked Open Data.

Johan Oomen, technical director of EUscreen, and Vassilis Tzouvaras, leader of the work package on portal architecture, wrote a paper on the installation of the Linked Open data model: Publishing Europe’s Television Heritage on the Web (PDF). In it, the authors describe how this fits in within the larger technical challenge of creating the different components that make up the EUscreen ingestion workflow. The paper describes the reasoning behind the workflow, the set-up and overview of the process and how these technical developments improve access to our shared television histories to students, teachers and the general audience. You can leave your comments at the end of this article contact us by e-mail for feedback. The authors would like to acknowledge EUscreen consortium partner EBU, specifically mr. Jean-Pierre Evain, for their work in the area of multimedia semantics and Linked Open Data, as their EBU Core Metadata Set has been used to ensure semantic interoperability within EUscreen and beyond.
The Linked Open Data implementation will be presented by Nikolaos Simou (Technical University of Athens, GR) on Thursday, September 29th at the International Workshop on Semantic Digital Archives, which is held in the framework of the International Conference on Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries in Berlin.

Publishing Europe's Television History on the Web from EUscreen

More information about EUscreen’s Linked Open Data Pilot can be found at:

2. EUscreen signs Europeana’s new Data Exchange Agreement

A second, and related, development is EUscreen’s recent signing of Europeana’s new Data Exchange Agreement, which ensures access and enlarged user involvement with the materials published on the platform. The agreement replaces the current Data Provider and Data Aggregator Agreements and governs what Europeana may or may not do with the data of the different aggregators through its web activities.

The Agreement will come into force on January 1, 2012, but EUscreen is proud to be at the forefront and one of the early adopters in this bold step forward for opening European cultural heritage to wide audiences.

From the Europeana office: The Europeana Data Exchange Agreement is the result of a year-long process of consultations with the whole network of content providers and aggregators contributing to Europeana. The results of these consultations and other documentation can be found on the Europeana Towards a New Agreement pages.

The major revision in this new agreement, is that the metadata provided by the Europeana aggregators will now be released under a Creative Commons Universal Public Domain Dedication. This is in line with the recommendations of the New Renaissance Report of the European Commission’s “Comité des Sages” and the promises of the Europeana Strategic Plan 2011-2015. It will revolutionize the sharing and linking of cultural information and place its producing institutions at the heart of discovery on the internet.

Conference Report: Competences in Culture

The Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage held an expert conference on behalf of the Polish EU Presidency on 19 and 20 July 2011 in Warsaw. EUscreen was represented by its co-ordinator, professor Sonja de Leeuw.

Competences in Culture, Polish EU Presidency, Warsaw 2011

Conference Report by Sonja de Leeuw

The conference was titled COMPETENCES IN CULTURE and covered three main themes:
  1. Creative potential of digital archives (Audiovisual)
  2. Management of copyright and related rights in the digital environment (IPR)
  3. Cultural competences – the role of culture and creativity in the building of the intellectual capital of Europe (Culture).
The audiovisual theme of the conference was inscribed in the Digital Agenda for Europe and consisted of three panels, each addressing topical subjects:
  1. The future of digital content
  2. Education through the archives
  3. The wide distribution of digitized archive materials (VOD, Cinema, etc.).
In general the audiovisual panels allowed for exchanging best practices of digital archiving, new emerging business models, as well as building workflows for digital preservation of film and audiovisual archives and mapping out new approaches to valorization of archives that include collaboration with education and research centers, publishers, documentary film makers, and the users.
Photograph by Danuta Matloch
Sonja de Leeuw presented on EUscreen in the panel on The future of digital archives. This panel very much addressed issues of digitisation of the audiovisual and film content and the creative potential of digitized materials, taking into account a user’s perspective. The future of the European digital library was a central issue as well as the developments of partner projects such as the European Film Gateway and EUscreen.In her presentation she anticipated future uses of audiovisual material, television heritage in particular. To that extent she emphasized two features: Linking and Context. Linking relates to Metadata and Content, but is also related to uses in the sense that television online heritage links the present’s past to the user’s present. Explained was the level of interoperability as well as that of user interactivity with the help of the common metadata schema, integration into Europeana and the use case scenarios. Context relates to how EUscreen provides different access routes to the content, notably with the EUscreen platform, with virtual exhibitions on the EUscreen platform and with the establishment of a multimedia e-journal on the EUscreen platform as well.
This one and a half day conference indeed provided a great opportunity to meet colleagues in related fields and to discuss topical problem and solutions. It fitted well into the scope of the Polish Ministry covering Culture and National Heritage equally. It stressed the importance of culture for the social and economic well being of citizens and the need for developing specific competences to take up the challenges offered by the digital cultural landscape.
Photograph by Danuta Matloch


Funded by: Connected to: