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December 16, 2010 / jmeuropeana

Some very nice objects in Europeana

Recently we held an internal competition at the Europeana Office, asking which objects were considered the best Europeana has to offer.
In selecting them, we applied the following criteria:

  • quality of descriptive metadata – can I see from the description what the object is about, what it is, who made it, where it is etc.
  • availability and quality of a thumbnail
  • quality of the digital object, e.g. size of image file, length of a video etc.
  • how interesting is the object, is there a story behind it, does it raise new and iteresting questions, does it engage people

Below are some excellent examples:
In place 3: The birds of Europe, a large collection of high resolution digital images, drawings of the birds of Europe:
[Illustrations de The Birds of Europe, t. I, Raptores] / John Gould, Elizabeth Gould, Edward Lear, ill.

In place 2: The fate of the Ortolan – a hilarious video on the fate of the unfortunate Ortolan – a song bird that was (is?) heavily hunted and considered a delicacy in France. Unfortunately there is no thumbnail, but the footage is so funny that we forgave them…
The fate of the Ortolan

And the winner is: A leesplankje (reading board?) from the Dutch East-Indies. These were used, also back in Holland, in teaching children to read and write. The quality of this particular one is not even that high: it is hand-drawn, colours have faded etc. But if you read the story behind it, and know that this was made in one of the internment camps for European settlers during the Japanese occupation of the Dutch East-Indies… The combination of the object, the cultural and historical implication etc. made this the winner in our little competition.

Please if you have other highlights you would like to share, write a comment or send me an e-mail at jan dot molendijk at kb dot nl.

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