Europe’s sound heritage at your fingertips
The Europeana Sounds project has come to an end, but rest assured, you can still enjoy the treasures of Europe’s sound heritage.
Europeana Sounds aggregated more than 600,000 audio items and developed a thematic portal to highlight music from the sound archives of our partners: Europeana Music. The purpose of Europeana Music is to gather all kinds of music items: you can look at the original handwritten manuscripts of a piece of music while listening to different interpretations of it and reading a biography of the composer.
Prior to the project, tens of thousands of audio items dating back to the invention of the first sound recorders were waiting to be discovered in numerous museums, archives and libraries throughout Europe. 24 partners decided to take up the challenge to gather those sound collections, to enrich and aggregate them in order to fit on one online platform, europeana.eu, to improve the domain constraints, to innovate with user-friendly tools, and last but not least, to communicate about the project and its outcomes.
The Europeana Sounds team has set the bar high, and significant achievements were reached between 2014 and 2017. Here is an overview of the results:
- More than 600,000 audio items as well as more than 300,000 audio-related items, such as photographs, sheet music and video, have been aggregated on Europeana. This content reflects not only myriad musical styles but also thousands of language and dialect examples, oral histories, soundscapes and environmental recordings. This content was aggregated using the open source tool MINT (Metadata Interoperability Platform) in order to match the EDM (Europeana Data Model).
- Europeana Music: Europeana Sounds developed the very first thematic collections on Europeana, to display music collections. This brand new user-friendly portal was built with the idea of optimising the content display, in order to be attractive, interactive and easy to understand for the user. Europeana Music is where you can find all the musical treasures gathered during the three years of Europeana Sounds.
- Europeana Sounds Policy Recommendations: A dedicated team focused on identifying and researching how to overcome barriers to online access for audio and audio-related material. This resulted in the publication of a set of Policy Recommendations, which introduces different ways to get much better online access to our audio heritage.
- Successful crowdsourcing campaigns: Willing to engage with external users, in order to help improve or add relevant context and information, Europeana Sounds organised several crowdsourcing campaigns. Users can now identify the musical instruments of our recordings: on the WITH platform, or directly on the item page on Europeana with the Pundit browser extension. Also, Historypin hosted several audio collections on its platform in order to add geolocation to the recordings.
- Europeana Radio: the latest user application of Europeana Sounds was launched in January 2017, giving people the chance to listen to a selection of 200,000 music recordings on a “random” mode. On a crowdsourcing basis, users can also add musical genres to the recordings while listening to it, hence contributing to more fine-grained navigation for users of Europeana Music. To follow the progress of the crowdsourcing, users gathered on Twitter with the hashtag #TagDayThursday.
- IASA Task Force: A Task Force has been created within the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA) which will continue the work initiated in the project. It will expand the already existing Europeana Sounds community and will build on its network: by pursuing the effort in the aggregation of new audio heritage, by sourcing new data providers who wish to contribute their own audio collections to Europeana; but also by raising awareness about the preservation of audio heritage, aggregation, advocacy and licensing advice.
Europeana Sounds is proud to provide its audiences with rich and resourceful collections, to bring knowledge on sound heritage and to promote European culture. To catch up on the valuable work we have produced, feel free to browse through this website (find the blogs written by our partners under the rubric “News“).
- – Deliverables and Milestones produced by Europeana Sounds
- – Europeana blog
- – Europeana Music
- – Europeana Pro
- – Europeana Radio
- – IASA Task Force
Europeana Sounds was supported by the European Commission’s ICT Policy Support Programme as part of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme.