Judaica Europeana is a network of heritage institutions, which will bring Jewish culture to Europeana – a portal of Europe’s museums, archives and libraries. In 2010, Europeana will provide access to 10 million digital items with the help of targeted projects such as Judaica Europeana that are co-funded by the European Commission. Europeana’s target for 2015 is 15 million objects.
How does it work?
Judaica Europeana works with cultural institutions to digitize content which documents the Jewish contribution to European heritage. The dispersed, multilingual and multi-faceted Jewish collections will become accessible under the single digital roof of Europeana, whose sophisticated search engine will enable users to find, view and compare the treasures of Jewish culture.
The project will digitize a vast quantity of objects dispersed in many collections: documents, books, manuscripts, periodicals, audio recordings, pictures, photographs, videos, postcards and posters. This outstanding archive will be integrated in Europeana under the wide-ranging theme of cities. Why cities? It is widely acknowledged that Jews have been an urban people par excellence whose history is closely bound-up with the development of European cities.
Over the centuries, Jewish presence has led to the identification of Jews with specific streets, buildings and neighbourhoods across Europe. Jews were instrumental in the development of commerce. They were workers, doctors, lawyers, artists, musicians, writers and journalists as well as owners of newspapers and publishing houses. Communal life flourished through religious observance, education, mutual support, politics, theatre, music and publishing. This pre-World War II Jewish world was to a large extent destroyed in the Holocaust, but a vibrant Jewish life has been rebuilt in many European cities and across Europe there is a renewal of interest in Jewish culture.
Who wants to know?
The stakeholders and potential users of the Judaica Europeana archive are university teachers and students, schools, heritage professionals, family history researchers, tourists, cultural producers and the wider public – anyone interested in the history of European cities or Jewish culture.
Judaica Europeana will reach out to universities and schools to stimulate research and teaching. The partner institutions will showcase their collections by staging virtual exhibitions on many aspect of Jewish life: Jewish neighbourhoods, Yiddish press, Jewish schools, Jewish philanthropists, Yiddish theatre and other aspects of Jewish life.