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AthenaPlus: access to cultural heritage networks

AthenaPlus is a new project, which provides access to cultural heritage networks for Europeana. It is a best practice network co-funded by the European Union’s Competitiveness and Innovation Programme, which encourages a better use of information and communication technologies and helps to develop the information society.

Launched in March 2013 at the National Library in Rome, AthenaPlus will build on the expertise of the previous ATHENA project – which developed LIDO and the ATHENA Ingestion Server and Mapping Tool (MINT) – widely used across the Europeana ecosystem of projects. AthenaPlus will further advance the infrastructure and tools developed to support museums and other cultural institutions in their work of making available digital content through Europeana.

The Edge by David Breuer-Weil
The Edge by David Breuer-Weil (born in London, 1965), oil on canvas, 2007, © Breuer-Weil, courtesy of Ben Uri, The London Jewish Museum of Art.

The consortium is composed of 40 partners from 21 EU Member States. This large network is led by ICCU (Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo Unico delle biblioteche italiane e per le informazioni bibliografiche) in Rome. The Judaica Europeana network will be involved through the European Association for Jewish Culture, which participates in this project as coordinator of Jewish content.

The Seamstress by Ellen KuhnThe Seamstress by Ellen Kuhn (born in Munich, 1937), photolithograph on paper, 1981, courtesy of Ben Uri, The London Jewish Museum of Art.

The Jewish digital content to be harvested by AthenaPlus for Europeana will be provided by Ben Uri – The London Jewish Museum of Art, Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana (Amsterdam), Hungarian Jewish Archives (Budapest), Medem Library – Paris Yiddish Centre, the Steinheim Institute (Essen). Other digital collections of Jewish interest will be invited to join.

Megillah 18 century parchment
Megillah, 18th century, ink on parchment, framed with multicolour patterns of flowers and birds. At the cropped end of the parchment a woman’s head with an oriental head-covering is portrayed. The megillah was acquired by Ernest Munkácsi in the 1930s and donated to the Hungarian Jewish Archives by Mária Munkácsi in 2012.

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The main objectives of AthenaPlus are to:

Contribute over 3.6 millions metadata records to Europeana, from both the public and private sectors, focusing mainly on museum's content and including other cultural stakeholders (ministries and government agencies, libraries, archives, research and expertise centres).

Improve search, retrieval and re-use of Europeana’s content, multilingual terminology management, SKOS export and the publication tool/API for content providers;

Experiment with enriched metadata for their re-use by tourists, schools and scholars. This will be achieved by means of tools that support the development of virtual exhibitions, tourism and educational applications, to be integrated into Europeana repositories and the repositories of national aggregators or individual content providers.

Project contact:

Big Bouquet by Breughel
The Great Bouquet by Jan Breughel (1568 - 1625), oil on oak panel, c.1606-7. One of the most famous flower paintings, shows an encyclopaedic range of species: 130 different flowers are represented © Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
Editor: Lena Stanley-Clamp, European Association for Jewish Culture, London
with contributions from National Library of Israel, Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana, AthenaPlus project, JDC Archives |
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co-funded by the
European Commission
eContentPlus programme