Wednesday, August 13, 2008

European Digital Library: Reality this Fall?

Coming this fall, European books, music, paintings, photographs, and films could be available in digital form according to this article from eGov monitor. This innovative concept could mark a new era of digitized classics available for everyone to view. The European Union Commission has a lofty goal of “making available digital versions of works from cultural institutions all over Europe.” As EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media, Viviane Reding, remarked regarding the benefits:

"The European Digital Library [Europeana] will be a quick and easy way for people to access European books and art – whether in their home country or abroad. It will, for example, enable a Czech student to browse the British library without going to London, or an Irish art lover to get close to the Mona Lisa without queuing at the Louvre,"

In order to help member states digitize their works the Commission has pledged approximately € 69, and Europe’s Competitiveness and Innovation Programme has said they will donate around € 50 million. Both organizations are still asking for donations of funds, however, since a project of this magnitude is estimated to have an actual cost of around € 225.

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