Launch of the DCA project


(Press release of January 1 2011)

The European Commission and the DCA consortium, comprising 25 partners from 10 EU member states and the 2 associated countries Croatia and Iceland, have officially launched the project Digitising Contemporary Art (DCA). The project initiates a significant increase in the presence of contemporary art in Europeana, the single access point to Europe's cultural heritage. Over the course of 30 months, 21 museums and art institutions will digitise approximately 27,000 contemporary artworks and 2,000 contextual documents, making them available through the Europeana portal.

With the co-funding of the European Commission under the CIP-ICT PSP programme and the commitment of the 25 partners, the DCA project aims to create high-quality digital reproductions and assure the long-term preservation of and online access to such reproductions and their data. To support similar future digitisation projects, it will also publish guidelines and documentation on best practices regarding the digitisation of contemporary art.

By July 2013 the metadata on the digitised objects will be mapped, enriched, contextualised, and aggregated for ingestion into Europeana. The DCA project will also deliver digital thumbnail images of objects and links to high-quality reproductions to Europeana. The partner institution can then make this digital content available through their own websites and other channels as well. This will facilitate the public online access to (parts of) the contemporary art collections of partner institutions and foster augmented user experience. At the same time the digital reproductions and metadata will also contribute to the preservation of the artworks and contextual documents.

The DCA project intends to enhance the online visibility of contemporary art as an essential expression and an invaluable building block of European culture, and to stimulate the interest of the general public with a stronger presence of contemporary art in the Europeana portal.

The European Commission recognised the need for a coordinated and simple access to online repositories of European culture. Europeana enables people to explore the digital resources of Europe's museums, libraries, archives and audiovisual collections. It currently contains 14.6 million objects and since its launch in November 2008, millions of hits have been registered. These numbers reflect the widespread interest in online access to European culture heritage. For a portal such as Europeana, aiming to cover a broad range of European culture, it is imperative to include contemporary art. DCA will contribute to this.


Click here to download the full press release as PDF. Language: English


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