Europeana: A Multilingual Trailblazer

author: Juliane Stiller, Berlin School of Library and Information Science, Humboldt University of Berlin
author: Marlies Olensky, Berlin School of Library and Information Science, Humboldt University of Berlin
published: July 12, 2012,   recorded: June 2012,   views: 5172


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For Europeana, the single access point to digital cultural heritage aggregated from libraries, museums and archives, multilinguality is a crucial feature to enable universal access. Europeana's content is aggregated from 33 different countries and it is Europeana's mission to provide access to cultural heritage content irrespective of the language of the content or the user's mother tongue. Multilingual access will be implemented in Europeana in different layers: (1) translation of user interface of all static pages, (2) cross-lingual search (query translation and document translation), (3) subject browsing (controlled vocabulary and semantic data layer). A challenge is the scope and coverage of semantic resources that do not cover all domains and all languages. Therefore the new Europeana Data Model builds on and accommodates different standards and provides interoperability while preserving the original data. It uses Semantic Web principles to represent the objects. The Europeana Data Model's feasibility was confirmed in workshops with representatives from the archive, library, audiovisual archive and museum communities. Last year, a LOD-pilot was released in cooperation with partners that were willing to publish their metadata as Linked Open Data. At its launch it comprised 3.5 million of the 19 million objects represented in Europeana. Hence, Europeana is a trailblazer for the planned European Open Data Portal. The work that has been done in the related Europeana projects with respect to data modelling, multilinguality and publishing Linked Open Data, is an important step towards such a portal and should be reused by other European initiatives.

The transcript of the Q&A session "Setting the Stage" is available here.

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