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Commissioner welcomes European Digital Library Foundation

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Viviane Reding, Europe's Information Society and Media Commissioner, has endorsed the work of the European Digital Library Foundation. ‘Europe's citizens should all be able to enjoy our rich cultural heritage. This Foundation is a significant step towards making that ambition come true,’ she said. ‘It shows the commitment of Europe's cultural institutions to work together to make their collections available and searchable by the public through a common and multilingual access point online.’

Members of the foundation include key European heritage and information associations. The European digital library is developing its prototype site for launch in November next year. It will give direct access to at least 2 million digitised books, photos, maps, sounds, films and archival records from Europe's libraries, archives, museums and audio-visual collections. The European digital library is hosted by the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, the national library of the Netherlands, and led by the Conference of European National Librarians.

The first of the site’s themes will be ‘the city’. The digital library project is gathering digitised content from European archives, museums, audio-visual collections and libraries. It will use maps, artefacts, photos, sound, film material, books, archival records and artworks to explore two millennia of connectivity between Europe’s cities.