Culture and online are two words rarely used together, but recently the European Parliament voted through a directive that allows anyone to access ‘orphan works’ – cultural works for which no copyright owner can be located. In addition to this, the digital portal Europeana has offered to freely reuse the metadata associated with its 20 million digitized cultural objects.

Gigaom brought this information to our attention in their article, “Why Europe is opening up its cultural history online.” Considering the vast amount of museums, galleries, and archives available in Europe, the addition to digitized content could be beyond large and is certainly valuable to historians, art lovers, and the like. There are so many benefits to going digital besides the obvious access and findability. Putting this cultural treasure of information online preserves it for the long term.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.