On 20 November 2008, the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and the Commissioner for Information Society and Media Viviane Reding launched Europeana, the European Digital Library, in Brussels. LIBER was represented at this event by Wouter Schallier, Executive Director.
Europeana (www.europeana.eu) currently contains more than 3 million digitised objects, including books, photos, maps, sound recordings, films and archival records from Europe’s libraries, archives, museums and audio-visual collections. The library should grow to 10 million items by 2010. Only 1% of the historic works, documents and cultural artefacts located across Europe have so far been digitised, which has led the EC to decide to spend €119m over the next two years to make cultural material more accessible online.
The Europeana project is directed by the European Digital Library Foundation, where LIBER is represented by its President, Hans Geleijnse.
LIBER is actively involved in the further expansion of Europeana and has submitted, through its Vice-President-Elect, Dr. Paul Ayris, together with 16 libraries, a proposal for the Europeana Travel project. In this project, important material connected with exploration, travel and tourism will be digitised and made available.