“Europeana.eu” is Europe's digital library, archive and museum portal. The European Commission funded its development as part of a digital libraries initiative to integrate access to Europe's distributed digitised cultural heritage resources.
The prototype of “Europeana.eu” was launched by the President of the European Commission in November 2008 to such large-scale public interest that the portal came to a standstill. Now back online with full functionality, it gives access to 4.5 million items from over 1 000 of Europe's major libraries, museums, galleries, archives and audio-visual collections.
The case study describes both the political and practical development of Europeana. It covers the user research and testing behind Europeana, and its metadata elements and surrogate model. It concludes with a description of the projects which will be contributing content and technology solutions to Europeana over the next two years, to bring it to fully operational service. The next version will be launched in summer 2010 with access to over 10 million digital items.