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In the context of Europeana, an aggregator is an organisation that gathers material from individual organisations, standardises formats and metadata, channeling them into Europeana according to Europeana guidelines and procedures. Aggregators also support content providers with administration, operations and training. Types of aggregators can be: country aggregators (e.g. the Italian national aggregator Cultura Italia), project aggregator (e.g. Linked Heritage Project Aggregator), independent organisations (with no Ministry or other mandate). Even individuals are invited to collaborate to the project providing historical documentation (e.g. citizens wishing to contribute to Europeana special collections, i.e. World War One Family History). Europeana encourages the contribution of aggregators that fit the needs of different countries, domains and users.

Explore further the Linked Heritage learning objects: MINT Services and Why and how to contribute to Europeana.

See also: Content provider, Linked Heritage aggregation, MINT

Best practice network (BPN)

Best practice networks (BPN) promote the adoption of standards and specifications for making European digital libraries more accessible and usable by combining the "consensus building and awareness raising" function of a thematic network with the large-scale implementation in real-life context of one or more concrete specifications or standards by its members. Each BPN tries out, on a sufficient mass of content, one or more of the implementation approaches discussed in the network in order to draw conclusions on their validity and if necessary to adapt them. The Commission can organise, as appropriate, "clustering meetings" for different BPNs, inviting all relevant stakeholders (including representatives ofother relevant projects under EU programmes, of relevant European and international bodies etc.) in order to achieve broad consensus and create the conditions for the widest possible uptake of the recommendations of the BPNs. The final output of the BPN should therefore reflect both the results of the large scale implementations and the results and recommendations of the clustering activities.

Linked Heritage is a Best Practice Network (BPN).



In the aggregation landscape of Europeana, content is a physical or digital object that is part of Europe's cultural and/or scientific heritage.

See also: Data, Data Exchange Agreement (DEA), Digital object, Metadata

Content provider

In the context of the Europeana aggregation landscape, a content provider (or data provider) is any organisation that provides digital content accessible via Europeana making available metadata, a thumbnail and a link pointing to a digital object on the provider's Web site. Europeana only ingests and indexes the institution's metadata, while the digital objects remain by the original institution.

See: Europeana Professional: Providers' FAQs and Linked Heritage's Content aggregation: tools & guidelines.

Explore further the Linked Heritage learning objects: Why and how to contribute to Europeana and MINT Services.

See also: Aggregator, Cultural / Public heritage institution, Data Exchange Agreement (DEA), Mapping, Metadata, MINT, Preview, Private sector

Cultural / Public heritage institution

The expression cultural, or public, heritage institution comprises (mainly) public institution such as: museums, art galleries, libraries, state archives, audio-visual (film) archives, sound archives (music & other recorded sound), photo libraries and agencies, research centres and universities.

These organisations host physical cultural objects, and may digitise them to make them more widely accessible. They also host newer, born-digital cultural items. They then contribute metadata describing their digital collection (not the materials themselves) to Europeana, along with small thumbnail preview images. Some other types of preview can be supported, such as sound clips.

Work package 4 (WP4) Public Private Partnership (WP Leader: EDItEUR, United Kingdom) was entitled to investigate the potential for including commercial products in the Europeana Portal, adding the gift shop to European Union's GLAM Web sites, and to explore the state of the art in the management of metadata in the private sector (For further information, see: Linked Heritage: outline of the work packages).

Contributors can optionally join the voluntary Europeana Network of metadata providers and heritage / information technology experts.

Explore further the Linked Heritage learning objects: Public-Private Partnership with Europeana and Why and how to contribute to Europeana.

See also: Content provider, GLAMPrivate sector


The term data refers to electronically-stored information or recording, including but not limited to documents, databases, transcripts, and audio/visual recordings.

In the context of the Linked Heritage aggregation and Europeana, the term data is generally referred to as metadata.

See also: Content, Data Exchange Agreement (DEA), Data set, Metadata

Data Exchange Agreement (DEA)

The terms under which Europeana and its users can make use of previews and descriptive metadata are established by the Europeana Data Exchange Agreement (DEA). The DEA is the central component of the Europeana Licensing Framework. It structures the relationship between Europeana and its data providers. As of 1 July 2012, the DEA replaced all the existing agreements between Europeana and its data providers and aggregators.

The DEA sets out two simple principles:

1) For all descriptive metadata provided to Europeana, data providers grant Europeana the right to publish the metadata under the terms of the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. This means that all metadata provided to Europeana can be re-used by third parties without any restrictions.

2) Each digital object (and the associated preview) that is available via Europeana needs to carry a rights label that describes its copyright status. Data providers grant Europeana the right to publish previews provided to Europeana. Previews may not be re-used by third parties unless the rights label related to the object allows such re-use (See: Europeana Available Rights Statements).

Source: Europeana Professional - Data Exchange Agreement

Explore further the Linked Heritage learning objects: Why and how to contribute to Europeana and MINT Services. For a commercial perspective, see also: Public-Private Partnership with Europeana.

Data set

In the aggregation landscape of Europeana, data set (also written dataset) is a collection of structured data supplied by content providers to the European Portal, directly or by means of a content aggregator. Each data set must comprise metadata declined according to the Europeana metadata reference model (ESE / EDM).

In the context of the Linked Heritage project, data set may refer to a single collection of data as well as to a set of collections of data supplied by a single content provider.

Explore further the Linked Heritage learning object: MINT Services.


See: Data set

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