Judaica Europeana works with libraries, archives and museums to provide integrated access to digital collections, which document the Jewish presence and heritage in Europe.
The project was launched in 2010 in the framework of the European Union’s digitization programme eContentplus as one of the building blocks for its flagship project Europeana, the most important digital platform for Europe’s heritage. Judaica Europeana began with 10 partner institutions from the heritage sector. The principal aims were to digitize the partners’ collections, standardize their cataloguing records (metadata) and upload them to Europeana. Europeana currently provides access online to over 29 million items from 2,200 heritage institutions in 36 countries. This digital content can be searched from this portal using the 'Search Europeana Collections' link on the menu.
In the first stage of the project, Judaica Europeana partners have digitized and uploaded to Europeana 3.7 million items from their collections – see news release of 4 May 2012 and Report. This content continues to grow as new partners add their digital collections.
The second stage of the project began in 2012, after the partners formed the Judaica Europeana network of institutions with the shared objective of providing an integrated access to Jewish heritage collections. The network is led by the European Association for Jewish Culture, the Frankfurt University Library and the National Library of Israel. The network numbers at present 30 associated institutions in Europe, Israel and the United States, which include some of the world’s most important collections of Jewish culture – see list on the Home page
Objectives, challenges and opportunities
The key objectives of Judaica Europeana are to:
- identify relevant digital content which documents Jewish life in Europe
- assist collection holders in the ingestion and uploading process to Europeana
- raise awareness of the partners’ digital collections
The network participates in two new EU- backed projects which contribute digital content and new technology to Europeana. The Digitised Manuscripts to Europeana (DM2E) has developed an innovative suite of research tools for humanities scholarship, which Judaica Eurpeana is actively promoting among the Jewish studies community. The AthenaPlus project will bring more digital content to Europeana and new tools for digital storytelling. The two projects provide ingestion platforms for Judaica Europeana and the new partners’ collections.
Judaica Europeana is leading the pioneering effort to publish vocabularies and encyclopaedias that relate to Jewish history and culture in formats that make it available as LOD (linked open data). This process will allow enrichment of the metadata of the partners’ collections and will provide context for objects that otherwise may lack any substantial significance for the user. The publication of such LOD resources could revolutionize research and study of Jewish heritage. This initiative was made possible by the collaboration with information scientists at the University of Mannheim, who are partners in the DM2E project. See Judaica Link
The resources offered by Judaica Europeana are targeted primarily at humanities scholars, university teachers and students. The collections offer also vast resources to virtual exhibitions and museum curators, family history researchers, secondary education, artistic creativity and other related areas.
Judaica Europeana is promoting the use of the digitized resources through e-newsletters distributed to the academic community and the cultural sector (accessible here). The partners make presentations and give papers at conferences, organize seminars and Digital Humanities workshops. Judaica Europeana sessions have been held at the congresses of the World Association for Jewish Studies and of the European Association for Jewish Studies.
Academic Advisory Group network
- Chair Professor Antony Polonsky, Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University
- Professor Michael Brenner, Jewish Studies and Culture, University of Munich
- Professor Nicholas de Lange, Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University of Cambridge
- Dr Anna Foa, Department of History, La Sapienza University, Rome
- Professor Gershon Hundert, Jewish Studies, Mc Gill University, Montreal
- Dr François Guesnet, Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University College London
- Professor Rudolf Klein, Architectural historian, Saint Stephen’s University, Budapest
- Dr Gadi Luzatto Voghera, Department of Historical Studies, Università Ca' Foscari di Venezia and Boston University Padova Program
- Professor Michael L Miller, History Department, Central European University, Budapest
- Dr Laura Quercioli Mincer, Modern Languages and Culture, University of Genoa
- Simon Tanner, Director, Centre for Computing in the Humanities, Kings College London
- Professor Giuseppe Veltri, Jewish Studies, Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg
- Professor Marcin Wodzinski, Centre for the Culture and Languages of the Jews, University of Wroclaw
- Dr Gerben Zaagsma, Lichtenberg-Kolleg, The Göttingen Institute of Advanced Studies
The Judaica Europeana team
- Chair Dr Rachel Heuberger, Frankfurt University Library
- Deputy Chair Pier Giacomo Sola, Amitie, Centre for Research and Advanced Training, Bologna
- Coordinator Lena Stanley-Clamp, European Association for Jewish Culture
- Scientific Manager Dov Winer, European Association for Jewish Culture
- Technical Coordinator Esther Guggenheim, National Library of Israel, Jerusalem
Judaica Europeana is funded by the European Association for Jewish Culture and the Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv) Europe with the technical support from the National Library of Israel.