HLT, Accessibility

Europeana Sub: The EU’s Digital Archive of Cultural Heritage Is Getting A Boost

DW Innovation has joined an international consortium of 11 media and tech organisations to make the virtual Europeana library more attractive for all kinds of users.

Launched for the first time in 2008, Europeana is a vast digital archive that is all about "shar[ing] cultural heritage for enjoyment, education and research." It currently offers free access to millions of works of art–provided by thousands of archives, libraries, and museums.

A new project, "Europeana Subtitled", is now looking to give the platform a major boost. It aims to:

  • provide more than 6000 pieces of high quality AV content connected to the topic "Broadcasting Europe" (which will highlight cultural, political, and social changes in Europe since 1930)

  • use sophisticated AI tools to produce English subtitles and closed captions for selected AV material (and thus make the archive more accessible)

  • publish tutorials, documentation and guidelines for cultural heritage professionals who are getting into HLT technology like automatic speech recognition (ASR) or machine translation (MT)

  • present the outcomes to cultural institutions and engage with teachers, educators, and various audiences

The consortium consists of Cinecittà Luce, DW, ERT, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, kites, Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid, RTVE, RVTSLO, Translated (the project's overall coordinator), TVR, and–of course–Europeana itself. DW's role is mostly that of a content provider and consultant.

"Europeana Subtitled" is a Europeana Generic Services Project, co-financed by the EU's Connecting Europe Facility. It was kicked off in June 2021 and will run until November 2022. For updates, follow this blog or DW Innovation on Twitter.

Alexander Plaum
Tim Koch