Europeana and PHOTOCONSORTIUM are launching Europeana Photography, an online collection bringing together and sharing a vast archive of historical images. Featuring early photography from some of Europe’s finest historical collections, Europeana Photography is the latest thematic collection to be published on Europeana Collections, joining Europeana Art, Europeana Music and Europeana Fashion.
Europeana Photography presents images from the first 100 years of photography, sourced from photographic archives, agencies and museum collections across Europe. Photography enthusiasts, students and academics are invited to explore over 2 million historical images from more than 50 institutions across 34 countries, including photographs by pioneers like Julia Margaret Cameron, Eadweard Muybridge and Louis Daguerre.
Europeana Photography will be supported by compelling blog posts, themed galleries and online exhibitions. The opening exhibition, Industrial Photography in the Machine Age, is part of a series, The Pleasure of Plenty, which focuses on opulent and visually rich vintage photography. Future exhibitions on specific themes will be released regularly, telling enticing stories with stunning images, allowing people to explore distant eras and locations, and better appreciate the value of their European, national and local cultural heritage.
Making heritage photography collections available on Europeana encourages both the general public and professionals to discover the images and to use them in their own projects as a fifth of the photos are openly licensed. It is also an opportunity for archives from across Europe to promote their collections on an international platform.
Among the public and private archives whose collections are included in Europeana Photography are: the world’s oldest photographic agency, Fratelli Alinari (Italy), TopFoto (UK), Parisienne de Photographie (France), Ajuntament de Girona/CRDI and GenCat, (Catalunya Spain), United Archives, (Germany), KU Leuven and KIK-IRPA (Belgium); Polfoto and Arbejdermuseet (Denmark), the National Board of Antiquities (Finland), the Israel Museum (Israel), and NALIS (Bulgaria).
Fred Truyen, President of PHOTOCONSORTIUM, says: ‘Curating Europeana Photography is an important step for us and our members. We believe telling the stories behind the images of our European past will greatly improve the visibility of our collections, while enhancing the user experience of Europeana.’.
Douglas McCarthy, Europeana Collections Manager, says: ‘We are thrilled to be working with PHOTOCONSORTIUM and their impressive network of contributors. Thanks to their expertise, we can now tell Europe’s history in images, with more than 2 million historical photographs made available to audiences anywhere.’.
In collaboration with the Europeana Foundation, the project is led by PHOTOCONSORTIUM, the International Consortium for Photographic Heritage, a non-profit association committed to the promotion and enhancement of the culture of photography and photographic heritage, and providing expertise on digitisation, digital archives and metadata standards.
The public launch of Europeana Photography took place on 20 May at Pisa’s Museo della Grafica, on the occasion of the European Night of Museums. The event included a live demo of Europeana Photography, virtual and physical photographic exhibitions, and presentations about the potential of digitised vintage photography and of Europeana resources for the education sector.