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Timeline of digitisation and online accessibility of cultural heritage

On this page, the timeline of the policy on digitisation and online accessibility of cultural heritage is outlined, from 2005 onwards.










  • 10 May 2012 - At its meeting, the Education, Youth and Culture (EYC) Council adopted conclusions on the digitisation and online accessibility of cultural material and digital preservation on the basis of the Commission's Recommendation of 27 October 2011.
    In its conclusions, the Council invites the Member States to:
    • Consolidate their strategies and targets for the digitisation of cultural material;
    • Consolidate the organisation of and provision of funding for digitisation, promoting public-private partnerships
    • Improve the framework conditions for the online accessibility and use of cultural material;
    • Contribute to the further development of Europeana, the Europeana Digital Library and
    • To ensure long-term digital preservation.

    In the Annex to its conclusions, the Council sets out a number of priority actions as well as an indicative timetable for work by the Member States in the years 2012-2015 in order to achieve these objectives.



  • 10 May 2010 -The Council adopted Conclusions outlining the next step for Europeana - the European digital library. Member States agreed to continue and strengthen their support for Europeana and the digitisation projects carried out by their cultural institutions, in order to increase the number of objects from libraries, museums, archives and audiovisual collections accessible through the Europeana service. See the press releases
  • 5 May 2010 - The European Parliament adopted a Resolution on "Europeana - Next Steps" joining the Commission in asking EU Member States to step up their efforts to make their cultural heritage available through the European Digital Library.


  • 28 August 2009 – The Commission adopted the Communication "Europeana - next steps" ; The accompanying Staff Working Document EN; looks ahead to the next phase of development of Europeana and its direction for the future.



  • 22-23 November 2007 - The Council invites the Member States and the Commission to work together at European level on the accessibility and preservation of scientific information.
  • 8 November 2007- Creation of the European Digital Library Foundation which formalises the agreement of European archives, museums, audiovisual archives and libraries to work together and to provide a common access point to Europe's cultural heritage online.
  • 27 September 2007 - The European Parliament (EP) adopts a resolution on 'i2010: towards a European digital library'.
  • 14 February 2007 - The Commission adopts a Communication on scientific information in the digital age.



  • 30 September 2005 - The Commission adopts a Communication "i2010: Digital Libraries" which outlines the vision underlying the digital libraries initiative and deals with Europe’s cultural heritage.
  • 7 July 2005 - José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, replies to the letter from 6 Heads of State and Government and welcomes the digital libraries initiative.
  • 28 April 2005 - Six Heads of State and Government advocate the creation of a virtual European library, aiming to make Europe’s cultural and scientific record accessible for all. See the letter to the Presidency of the Council of the European Union and to the European Commission.