User:Friedel (EL)/European Library

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The European Library
Type of site
Portal to the content of Europe's national and research libraries
Owner CENL (a consortium of 48 national libraries)
Commercial No
Launched 17 March 2005

The European Library is an Internet service that allows access to the resources of 48 European national libraries.[2] Searching is free and delivers metadata records as well as digital objects (most for free, others at cost). The objects come from institutions located in countries which are members of the Council of Europe and range from catalogue records to full-text books, magazines, journals and audio recordings. Thirty five different languages are represented among the searchable objects.

From 2011, The European Library is managing the Europeana Libraries project, which will aggregate over 5 million objects from 19 research libraries and make them available to Europeana. These research libraries will also become partners in The European Library.[3]

History and concept[edit]

The European Library of today has evolved from a number of earlier projects.

Its starting point was in 1997 when the GABRIEL (Gateway and Bridge to Europe’s National Libraries) project set out to establish a joint web portal of European national libraries. At a basic level, the portal provided information about each library’s collections and access to their online public access catalogues (OPACs).

GABRIEL was followed by the TEL (The European Library) project, which ran from 2001-2004 and created a framework for access to key national and deposit collections within Europe. The project was part-funded under the Fifth Framework Programme of the European Commission. The national libraries involved in the TEL project were those of Finland, Germany, Italy (Florence), Italy (Rome), Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Switzerland and United Kingdom.[5]

This led to the launch of portal on 17 March 2005.

Between 2005-2007, the TEL-ME-MOR project helped to incorporate 10 more national libraries from new European Union member states as full partners of The European Library. By the beginning of 2008, a further nine national libraries within the European Union and the European Free Trade Association had joined the service.

The European Library took a further step towards its enlargement with the EDLproject, during which national libraries continued to join The European Library. The project also focused on multilingualism, undertook the first steps towards a European Metadata Registry and created a roadmap for potential digitization efforts in the national libraries.

Year of Joining National Libaries
2005 Netherlands, Switzerland, UK, Finland, France,Germany, Portugal, Italy-Florence, Italy-Rome
2006 Malta, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Estonia, Poland, Slovakia, Austria, Serbia, Croatia, Denmark
2007 Belgium, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Russia-Moscow
2008 Albania, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Georgia, Moldova,Montenegro, Romania, Turkey, Russia Saint Petersburg, Ukraine
* San Marino, Vatican City (collections not searchable)

The European Library and Europeana[edit]

The European Library provided much of the organization and support required to launch Europeana – a European Commission initiative that makes millions of digital objects from libraries, museums and archives accessible to the public via the Europeana website.

When the European Parliament called for Europeana to be established, the Conference of European National Librarians (CENL), under the auspices of the National Library of the Netherlands and CENL's service The European Library, were asked to submit for a project under the eContentplus programme. Work began on a prototype in 2007 and Europeana was launched in November 2008.

Europeana now operates independently but The European Library continues to work closely with Europeana. The European Library is the aggregator of digital content from national libraries for Europeana and delivers digital content from national libraries on a monthly basis to Europeana.

As of January 2011, The European Library was the third biggest content provider to Europeana[6], with over 1.2 million items added to the Europeana database.

Some human and technical resources are also shared between Europeana and The European Library.

Virtual exhibitions[edit]

In addition to its search engine, The European Library pulls together themes from the collections of Europe's national libraries[7] and displays them in virtual exhibitions. These exhibitions unite geographically disparate objects in a single online space, offering Pan-European sources on the topic.

  • Reading Europe[8]: Almost 1,000 books selected by national libraries, with curatorial information and full-text versions in most cases.
  • A Roma Journey[9]: Texts, photographs, paintings and recordings of traditional songs showing the heritage of the Romani people in Europe.
  • Napoleonic Wars[10]: A selection of portraits, military maps, city plans, letters, books and other material from the Napoleonic Wars.
  • Treasures of Europe's National Libraries[11]: A collection of objects selected by Europe's national libraries as some of the most outstanding items in their collections.
  • National Library Buildings[12]: Images of the National Libraries that are partners of The European Library.

Financing and ownership[edit]

The European Library is financed by its owners, the Conference of European National Librarians (CENL). The portal is maintained by The European Library Office located in the premises of the Dutch Royal Library in The Hague. Its programme director is Jill Cousins.[13]

Partner libraries[edit]

The 48 National Libraries who participate in The European Library project are:

Research Libraries who are joining The European Library in 2011 as a result of the Europeana Libraries project include:


  1. ^ European Library Mission[1]
  2. ^ Singer, Natasha "Playing Catch-Up in a Digital Library Race." New York Times, January 8, 2011. Accessed January 17, 2011.
  3. ^ Chambers, Sally and Schallier, Wouter "Bringing Research Libraries into Europeana." Liber Quarterly Volume 20 Issue 1 (2010). Accessed January 18, 2011.
  4. ^ The European Library Vision and Mission. Accessed January 18, 2011.
  5. ^ Van Veen, Theo and Oldroyd, Bill. "Search and Retrieval in The European Library." D-Lib Magazine Volume 10 Number 2 (2004). Accessed January 18, 2011.
  6. ^ List of Europeana contributors. Accessed January 18, 2011.
  7. ^ Bjørner, Susanne. Thinking About Culture and Language. Searcher, June 1, 2009. Accessed January 18, 2011.
  8. ^ Reading Europe: European Culture Through The Book Accessed January 18, 2011.
  9. ^ A Roma Journey Accessed January 18, 2011.
  10. ^ Napoleonic Wars Accessed January 18, 2011.
  11. ^ Treasures of Europe's National Libraries Accessed January 18, 2011.
  12. ^ National Library Buildings Accessed January 18, 2011.
  13. ^ About Us Accessed January 18, 2011.

External links[edit]