Lithuanian Cultural Heritage in Europeana

logo_europeana_250Digital library of European cultural heritage Europeana comprises of more than 15 million cultural objects provided by various European cultural institutions. Europeana was launched in 2008 with around 2 million objects whereas in 2010 it reached a substantial number of 10 million digital items. Europeana Strategic plan 2011–2015 sets a goal to acquire up to 30 million items by the end of 2015.

Europeana stores variously sized digital images of cultural heritage objects preserved at memory institutions of all types. Digital photographs, maps, paintings, museum objects and other images make up 64 percent of Europeana collection; 34 percent of the collection are digital texts with more than 1.2 million books that could be previewed on or downloaded from the internet; for now, video and audio material makes up only 2 percent of the collection.

Lithuanian museums submits their content to Europeana via ATHENA project the principal aim of which is to promote museums’ collections and which has already provided around 2 million digital items to Europeana (ATHENA is the biggest aggregator for Europeana). In 2009 Lithuanian Art Museum joined ATHENA project, in 2011 it was followed by M. K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum (Kaunas), Lithuanian Sea Museum (Klaipėda) and Šiauliai Aušros Museum (Šiauliai). For now, there are 535 items (digital images and descriptions) of Lithuanian folk art in Europeana.

Europeana has been recently provided with digital items from other Lithuanian museums and cultural institutions. For example, 5 700 exhibits from the collection of photographs and archives were submitted by Sėla Biržai Region Museum; the items depict Biržai town, its castle and related historical figures. Moreover, Lithuanian Theatre, Music and Cinema Museum supplemented Europeana collection with 2000 posters printed out in Polish and Russian – coming from the 19th century they reflect a significant historical period of Lithuanian Press Ban.

The European Digital Library contains early works of Lithuanian literature as well, for example Martynas Mažvydas’ Catechismus. Europeana’s virtual library “Reading Europe” comprises of 1000 most significant books in the course of history that national libraries of European countries have selected and provided. Among them one can find Mikalojus Daukša’s Catechismus and Simonas Daukantas’ The Ways of the Ancient Lithuanian Highlanders and Samogitians.

For those interested in traditional culture Europeana may be appealing for its folklore collection with 222 222 Lithuanian folk songs that the Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore provided via “Europeana Connect” project.

More about Lithuanian cultural heritage on Europeana >

More about today’s Europeana in 18 Nov 2010 Press Release from the European Commission and on Europeana portal.

Prepared by G. Stankevičiūtė according to Europeana information and newsletters 8 February, 2011