The Judaica Europeana experience: seizing opportunities

By Lena Stanley-Clamp | Director, European Association for Jewish Culture
Coordinator | Judaica Europeana

Torn Poster London, by Dorothy Bohm, photograph on paper, 1990.

Torn Poster London, by Dorothy Bohm, photograph on paper, 1990, by courtesy of Ben Uri Museum, London.

For the past four years, the partners in the Judaica Europeana network have been working on linking Jewish heritage collections to Europeana’s huge database in order to make this content easily discoverable and enriched by the latest technology.
The Judaica Europeana project began in 2010 with a sizeable grant from the EU’s eContentPlus programme. This first stage of the project was completed two years later by digitizing and uploading to Europeana over 3 million digital objects. It was tempting to rest on our laurels. Without further funding, the project could have come to an end…. It didn’t!
We became convinced that we had to continue. Meanwhile, our network of collection holders grew to 30 institutions, with many more wishing to integrate their catalogues via Judaica Europeana. Successful networking in the Europeana ecosystem opened up new opportunities: we were invited to join the AthenaPlus and the Digital Manuscripts to Europeana (DM2E) projects, and Judaica Europeana continues to go from strength to strength.

AthenaPlus: a platform for access to expertise

AthenaPlus project meetings in Berlin and Bucharest.

AthenaPlus project meetings in Berlin and Bucharest.

AthenaPlus became for us a platform for extending access to Jewish collections. The Judaica Europeana partners, who will upload their catalogues to Europeana through AthenaPlus, include the Ben Uri Museum in London, the Jewish Museum in Prague, the Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary, Medem Library in Paris, the Steinheim Institute, Essen, Bibliotecca Rosenthaliana in Amsterdam and others. Our network’s metadata will contribute toward reaching the AthenaPlus target of 3.6 million records.
The highlights of these collections are featured in the latest Judaica Europeana newsletter: works of art, illuminated manuscripts, richly decorated marriage contracts, photographs and more. We report on conferences at which we have been publicizing our work and resources. Last, but most important: we introduce MOVIO, the open tool for staging online exhibitions, which has been developed by AthenaPlus. It’s freely available with online tutorials – do have a go and produce a virtual exhibition!

To have a look at the latest Judaica Europeana newsletter, please follow this link.

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