Making a place for Europe in the World (Wide Web): Europeana

In 2005, the European Commission announced a new strategy for European digital libraries, in order to "make Europe’s written and audiovisual heritage available on the Internet."

Even while the amount of information available on the World Wide Web was expanding, there was concern that the heritage of Europe would be invisible because it was not digitally available. While this meant making data available globally, it also meant creating a separate place for Europe in the global reach of the World Wide Web.

The gateway to that space was the portal Europeana, which was first launched in November of 2008. Creating this somewhat separate space also requires new protocols for tagging online content so that it can be identified and presented on the portal.

Harmonizing the various modes of classification for a wide range of texts remains daunting.

How to cite this page


Alexander Badenoch, 'Making a place for Europe in the World (Wide Web): Europeana', Inventing Europe,


  1. EUROPA: "Commission unveils plans for European digital libraries", 2005.
  2. Thylstrup, Nanna: “The Digital Dimension of European Cultural Politics: Index, Intellectual Property and Internet Governance”, Culture Unbound, Volume 3, 2011: 317–336. Hosted by Linköping University Electronic Press.

About this tour


Knowing everything, understanding everything, gathering everything - from index cards to the internet

The modern belief in "universal knowledge," together with the global reach of communication, began to inspire thinkers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to envision ways of collecting all of the information in the world. While the technologies have changed, many of the principles have remained the same.

What's like this?

Digitizing cultural heritage

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