Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Europeana, the digital library: free app for Education

screenshot| Europeana app

Europeana is the European digital library, museum and archive. Europeana enables people to explore the digital resources of Europe's galleries, museums, libraries, archives and audiovisual collection. It is always open to new interactive resources-tools.

In 2011, Europeana Remix Europeana launched its first interactive video. Based on a short film that was pro­duced as a result of a crowd­sourc­ing project The First World War in every­day doc­u­ments, the video turned into a new enrich­ing experience. Watch the video here

Europeana Remix

And now, Europeana launched the first free iPad app, 'Europeana Open Culture'  introducing us to hand-picked and beautiful collections from some of Europe’s top institutions, and allows us to explore, share and comment on them.

The Europeana Open Culture app lets us explore hand-picked and beautiful image collections from some of Europe's top cultural institutions. We can browse, share and download for free more than 350,000 high-resolution images from four themes: 

  • Maps and Plans, 

  • Images of the Past, 

  • Treasures of Art,

  • Treasures of Nature.

screenshot| Europeana app


Exploring Europe’s culture on our iPad! Oh, my!

Europeana enables students and teachers to explore the digital resources of Europe's museums, libraries, archives and audio-visual collections. 

It promotes discovery and networking opportunities in a multilingual space where users can engage, share in and be inspired by the rich diversity of Europe's cultural and scientific heritage."

But let's continue to present the ne app for iPad! This version allows students to search in selected image collections of Europeana, Europe’s cultural and scientific heritage portal. The images included are available for free re-use and cover five themes: Maps and Plans, Art, Photography, Treasures of the Past, and Treasures of Nature.

screenshot| Europeana app

Ask your students to start their search by entering a keyword in the search field or by selecting one of the “badges” on the search page which represent entry points to the five themes. 

All relevant results will be shown as an interactive mosaic of image thumbnails. 

They can tap a thumbnail to view the image in full resolution, read other users’ comments, post their own impressions (teacher tutoring) and connect the image to other relevant pages on the web. 

They can also add the image to their favorites and create their own personal museum.

screenshot| Europeana app

The 350,000 images (wow!) available through the app come from collections as diverse as:
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, UK
  • Rijksmuseum, The Netherlands
  • National Library of Poland
  • The Archaeological Museum, Portugal
  • Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
  • Digital Library of the Spanish Ministry of Defence
But there are more: Biblioteca Valenciana Digital, Biblioteca Virtual del Patrimonio Bibliográfico, Catálogo Colectivo de la Red de Bibliotecas de los Archivos Estatales, Central Library of Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Fondo Fotográfico de la Universidad de Navarra, Institute of Balkan Studies and Thracology, Biblioteka Narodowa, University of Tartu - Museum of Geology, and University of Tartu - Natural History Museum.

All images included are either in the public domain or are openly licensed which means they can be used for any purpose, for example in a school project or a thesis, in a presentation to your local history society, on blogs, Wikipedia, or even commercially. What’s more, Glimworm IT have released the open source code behind the app, meaning that developers can get hold of it, use it and experiment with it.

Curriculum: Cross-curricular, specially Arts, History, Literature, Languages, Civics, Open Culture.

Levels: All levels 

Teachers must prepare different activities to different levels.

screenshot| Europeana app


Free App?
  • Yes, the app is free of charge.


The interface is in English, but the collections are in their original languages: 
  • English, 
  • Portuguese,
  • Dutch, 
  • Spanish, 
  • Polish, 
  • Bulgarian, 
  • Latin.

Operating system ?
  • Apple for iPad.

And about on Android?
  • Right now it’s only available for Apple iOS but the code is open source, meaning that others can develop it as they choose.
  • Now the first Android version of the Europeana Open Culture app is available at Google Play

iPhone or iPod?
  • Right now it’s only available for iPad but the code is open source, meaning that others can develop it as they choose.

Where finding the source code?
  • At the Github repository: 

Can students use the images for school projects?
  • Yes. All the images in the app are public domain or openly licensed and so available for re-use, both commercially and non-commercially. 
  • Ask students to tap the ‘Rights’ link in an image’s details to learn whether it is in the public domain or is licensed.
Download the app?


An upgrade to the Europeana Open Culture app has been released in January 2014.

The  new version of the app brings enhanced functionality, new content and a more user-friendly layout. 

The app is available in seven languages (English, German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Bulgarian, and Swedish) and for all Apple and Android tablets.

screenshot Europeana app upgrade

Useful information:

Remember, as educators, you can register on MyEuropeana and access easily to all the documents you need to prepare your lessons. You can choose your native language.

Europeana is a wonderful digital Library. 

Meanwhile, you can also participate in Europeana's community space linked to useful resources that can help you to explore, learn and share more about Europe's cultural and scientific heritage. They include photo sharing sites, forums and innovative digital projects.

This app makes digital libraries and archives fun and accessible. The new Europeana app is helping people to enjoy culture in new ways.

Enjoy your cultural tour – it’s only a fingertip away!



update: 25.01.2014
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