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Application programming interface (API)

Application programming interface (API) is a set of rules and specifications, embedded in source code, which software programs can use to communicate with each other.

In the context of Europeana, Europeana API are application programming interfaces for the purpose of searching and retrieving the metadata offered by Europeana on The Europeana API allows to build applications, websites and mashups that include a customised view of Europeana content.


ATHENA: access to cultural heritage networks across Europe (2008-2011) - presented as a Best Practice Network within the eContentplus Programme - takes its origins from the existing MINERVA network.

The final aim of ATHENA is to bring together relevant stakeholders and content owners from all over Europe, evaluate and integrate standards and specific tools, based on a common agreed set of standards and guidelines, to create harmonised access to their content and for facilitating the inclusion of new digital content into Europeana, so conveying to the user the original and multifaceted experience of all the European cultural heritage.

ATHENA is a sister project of Linked Heritage (see also: APEnet, ARROW, AthenaPlus).

Explore further: Athenawiki.

See also: Best practice network (BPN)

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).

CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication

The person who associated a work with the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication has dedicated the work to the public domain by waiving all of his or her rights to the work worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law. You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.

According to Europeana Data Exchange Agreement, 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.

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

See also: Data Exchange Agreement (DEA)



Classifications are originally specific to library science and mainly used for cataloguing: a classification is a system of coding and organizing the knowledge. Classifications don't allow assigning an object to several classes while thesauri allow assigning several terms to one object. The term classification can be interchangeable with the term taxonomy (See: Athenawiki - Definitions).

Explore further the Linked Heritage learning object: Terminology.

See also: Controlled vocabulary, Information retrieval, Terminology, Thesaurus



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

Controlled vocabulary

A controlled vocabulary is an established list of standardised terminology for use in indexing and retrieval of information. The list must be conceived as a structured list of descriptors explicitly enumerated. Each descriptor is a preferred term with an unambiguous and non-redundant definition, controlled by and available from a controlled vocabulary registration authority. Descriptors in a controlled vocabulary can have hierarchical, equivalent or associative relations. A controlled vocabulary is managed by an authority, which can be a thesaurus manager or a centralized organization responsible for managing the vocabulary. Controlled vocabularies allow a standardized way of indexing collections in a local database or online catalogue. It is also a powerful tool for web search queries and for sharing data on the web. Glossaries, thesauri, classification systems/taxonomies and subject headings, ontologies, are types of controlled vocabularies. They are also referred to as authority lists.

Explore further the Linked Heritage learning object: Terminology.

See also: Information retrieval, Terminology

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