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Digital Agenda for Europe: Digital Libraries Initiative

In ancient times, the library of Alexandria was said to contain up to 70% of all human knowledge. The challenge for the digital age is to do even better than that – and make the result last longer.

Europe’s cultural and scientific riches at a click of a mouse 

In ancient times, the library of Alexandria was said to contain up to 70% of all human knowledge. The challenge for the digital age is to do even better than that – and make the result last longer.
 
The EU’s digital libraries initiative sets out to make all Europe’s cultural resources and scientific records – books, journals, films, maps, photographs, music, etc. – accessible to all, and preserve them for future generations.
 
Europeana think culture

The initiative focuses on two areas:

  • cultural heritage – creating electronic versions of the materials in Europe’s libraries, archives and museums, making them available online, for work, study or leisure, and preserving them for future generations; 
  • scientific information – making research findings more widely available online and keeping them available over time. 
A further key goal is to set up and develop Europeana – a single access point for consulting digital copies of the materials held by libraries, museums and archives. In “analogue times”, if you wanted to research a subject – Rembrandt, for instance – you had to travel all over Europe to find material. But with the European digital library, you will be able to access all of it online – his works, books and documentary, films about him, drawings, photographs etc. – regardless of where the originals are held. 
 
The digital libraries initiative is part of the Commission’s Digital Agenda for Europe.
 

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