Europeana- Europe’s largest digital library is an internet portal that provide access to millions of digital and digitized books, paintings, films, museum objects and archival records that have been digitized throughout Europe. It is so far the largest digital library in Europe.

One of the logos of the Europeana Digital Library.

One of the logos of the Europeana Digital Library.

This project began in 2005 as a conversation among national leaders in European countries about building an integrated library to share European culture with the world. The result of this conversation was the creation of European Digital Library Network (EDLnet), launched in 2008 with the Beta version. It started with 4.5 million cross-discipline, cross-domain digital items from over 1,000 contributing organizations all across Europe, including national libraries, galleries and museum collections, and so on. Europeana came out to replace EULnet in February 2009. This collection hit 10 million digital objects in 2010. Up till today, more than 2,000 institutions across Europe have contributed to Europeana, some of the best known ones include Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the British Library and the Louvre. There are also plenty of regional and local collections, including archives and museums from members of the European Union contributing to this collection. Some interesting items in this collection include digitized Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer, the works of Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s music pieces.

With such an impressive collection, Europeana tries to make active use of its digital objects and share them with the world. To achieve this goal, they work hard on customizing their website. Their browsing and search functions are also well designed. They set up different organizing groups for browsing: fields, titles, creators, subjects, dates/ periods, places for browsing. When users search a term, the search box will show up other relevant and more specific search terms as a drop-down list to choose from.
Serving as an online portal, Europeana does not have the full content available on their website. However, on every item’s record page, a link guides users to the host library. Users can follow the link to the host library to use the materials. Europeana contributing libraries have open download link to their digital materials. On an item’s record page, there are links to share on social networks, or sent to email. There is also a Wikipedia link so that users can read more about it on Wiki. Also, the record can also be translated into 40 major languages around the world.

    Interior de les Àligues, posteriorment seu de la Universitat de Girona. (Public domain image accessed through the Europeana Digital Library.)

Interior de les Àligues, posteriorment seu de la Universitat de Girona. (Public domain image accessed through the Europeana Digital Library.)

Another neat feature of Europeana is that curates digital exhibitions on various themes. They bring up items related to the theme and attach them with detailed information. This collection is still growing: check the new content page for their recent additions. They are also experimenting with new projects, such as 3D ICONS ( digitizing archaeological monuments and buildings in 3D), ATHENA (aggregating museum content and promotes standards for museum digitization and metadata), Europeana Regia (digitizing royal manuscripts from Medieval and Renaissance Europe), and many more.


Collaborative for Cultural Heritage Management and Policy (CHAMP) @ Illinois

Today’s blog post will introduce you to the Collaborative for Cultural Heritage Management and Policy (CHAMP), an interdisciplinary research center at the University of Illinois focused on studying cultural heritage and museum practices around the world within the context of globalization.

This University Center is headed by Dr. Helaine Silverman – an esteemed professor in the Department of Anthropology with appointments in other University departments, including Art History and Landscape Architecture. CHAMP is comprised of faculty and graduate students at the University of Illinois, visiting scholars, distinguished lecturers, and others who share the center’s major concerns, such as stakeholders’ competing claims to heritage and history, heritage conservation and preservation, and memory work. In keeping with its interdisciplinary nature, individuals involved with the center come from an eclectic array of disciplines, including American Indian Studies, Anthropology, Global Studies, Landscape Architecture, Library and Information Science, and Political Science.

In pursuit of critical dialogue and research, CHAMP sponsors and hosts a number of conferences, film series, guest lectures, and other scholarly events on campus that promote discussions on cultural policies and practices of the past and present. Visit the CHAMP web site for a complete list of Spring 2014 upcoming events, including a much anticipated colloquium entitled The Controversial Dead. This program will be held May 1st , 2014 at Burrill Hall and will focus on how societies across the globe remember and treat their deceased. Featured lectures and discussions will engage questions such as who owns the past and “whose heritage do the dead constitute.” [i]

One of the center’s primary goals is to train students in heritage and museum theory: graduate students in Masters and Doctoral programs at the University of Illinois can become involved with CHAMP by pursuing the Heritage Studies minor and/or Museum Studies minor. The CHAMP website asserts its commitment to training “a new generation of heritage scholars, heritage managers and museum professionals capable of dealing with complex realities and of articulating progressive policies to local and national governments and other agencies,” [ii] including the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The minors provided through CHAMP may be of special interest to students of archiving, library science, heritage management, or museology.

Machu Picchu on the eastern Andes mountains. A historic site added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1983. Picture by Charles J Sharp via Wikimedia Commons.

Shortly after beginning graduate school, I was inspired to couple my own Masters curriculum in Library and Information Science and African Studies with a Museum Studies minor. I was interested in engaging the politics of representing identities as told by ‘often one-sided’ narratives in museum installations and dioramas — especially those displaying artifacts and objects with contested histories. While pursuing the Museum Studies minor, my research interests were mainly concerned with the importance of South African museums’ connection and contribution to global conversations on identity formation, marginalized narratives, and indigenous or traditional knowledge production. The District Six Museum in Cape Town, South Africa was often a research topic of mine since it stands out as a prime example of symbolic restitution and the transformation of South Africa’s heritage sector after the first democratic elections. Today, this small-scale community museum acts to restore a sense of belonging to more than 150,000 South African citizens who were systematically displaced from various areas in Cape Town during a painful legacy of apartheid.

A map on the ground floor of the District Six Museum in Cape Town; visitors who are former residents of District Six are invited to draw place markers on the map to remember their homes and other important localities. Picture re-posted via Wikimedia Commons and is in the public domain.

The Museum Studies minor, consisting of an additional 16 hours of coursework from an approved list of graduate-level classes and a culminating capstone project, greatly enriched my program in African Studies and Library Science because much of the intangible and tangible heritage in continental Africa, such as artworks, performances and traditions, cannot be easily encapsulated in archives and library collections. I highly recommend this program if you are interested in complimenting your graduate degree with culturally enriching courses, practicums and projects.

Check out CHAMP’s latest projects, publications and updates by visiting the Center’s online newsletter. For online and print research resources on history, heritage, identity, globalization, and other interrelated topics from around the world be sure to visit the International and Area Studies Library or contact one of our area specialists.

[i] CHAMP (Collaborative for Cultural Heritage Management and Policy). “The Controversial Dead: A Colloquium.” (Accessed March 16, 2014).

[ii] CHAMP (Collaborative for Cultural Heritage Management and Policy). “The Significance of CHAMP in the Contemporary Globalizing World.” (Accessed March 16, 2014).

An Evening of Carnatic Violin Music

Mark your calendars folks, for “An Evening of Carnatic Violin Music.” This event will take place on April 1st, at 5 P.M. in the International and Area Studies Library (IASL). The library will be hosting violinists Dr. M. Lalitha and M. Nandini who will be accompanied by mrindangam player Padmanabha Puthige.

Violin esignage

First things first, what exactly is Carnatic violin music? Carnatic music is mostly associated with South India, usually performed by an ensemble of performers. In this style of music the violin renders the melodic form and the mridangam renders the rhythmic form to the performance. Violinists Dr. M. Lalitha and M. Nandini come from a long line of musicians. Kalaimamani Dr. M. Lalitha and Kalaimamani M. Nandini are the fourth generation of musicians in their family. Music critic Sabbudu has said, “Music runs in their blood, they must have played music even when they were in their mother’s womb.”

Having been called the “Queens of Violin,” they are also known as the “Violin Sisters.” They have “enthralled the audiences with their spell binding music and have been highly acclaimed throughout the world.”  Dr. M Lalitha and M. Nandini are the only female duo in Asia to perform World music, South Indian Classical, Fusion and Western Classical music. Lalitha and Nandini have been recipients of the prestigious Fulbright Fellowship from the United States, and the Charles Wallace Fellowship from the United Kingdom in performing arts.

If the fabulous music isn’t enough, there will also be a reception with free Indian snacks from Aroma Curry House. We think this is going to be a popular event and seating is limited so we recommend arriving a little bit early to secure a good spot.

For more information about the event check out the Facebook invite! The Music and Performing Arts Library has also put together a subject guide to introduce you to this musical style, available here. The subject guide even includes a video of the “Queens of Violin” performing in India, so you can have a taste of what’s to come. We hope to see you on April 1st!

The International Center for Photography and Photography Resources at Illinois

Located in the center of Midtown Manhattan in New York City, the International Center for Photography (ICP) has served as a photography museum, school, and research center since it opened in 1974. During its 40 years in operation, the ICP expanded its collections, exhibits, and educational programs, making it an excellent resource for international users interested in photography.

About the ICP Collection

ICP’s permanent collection of photography comprised of more than 100,000 photographs in a variety of formats. The collection includes vintage photographs, as well as negatives, contact sheets, slides, and cased images and spans the history of the photographic medium, from daguerreotypes to gelatin silver and digital chromogenic prints. The Center’s strongest collection is American and European documentary photography from the 1930s through the 1960s. ICP also owns comprehensive archives of the works of Robert Capa, Cornell Capa, Gerda Taro, Chim (David Seymour), Roman Vishniac, and Weegee (Arthur Fellig), as well as works by members of the Photo League and photographers of the Farm Security Administration. It also has substantial holdings of work by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Robert Frank, Andre Kertesz, Lisette Model, Gordon Parks, Aaron Siskind, James VanDerZee, and Garry Winogrand. In addition, ICP’s collection also includes a distinctive survey of vernacular photography, including photographic albums, commercial photography, and real photo postcards. Finally, the ICP also has an extensive collection of significant photographic magazines such as Vu, Regards, Picture Post, Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung, Arbeiter Illustrierte Zeitung, and Life. Their recent collection building efforts are made to purchase important works by Eugéne Atget, Bill Brandt, Marco Breuer, Harry Callahan, Chim (David Seymour), Nan Goldin, André Kertész, Gustav Klutsis, Vik Muniz, Suzanne Opton, Terry Richardson, Peter Sekaer, Christer Strömholm, Maurice Tabard, and Pinar Yolacan. [1]

Because of the large number of works in the collection, not all are currently cataloged and available online. All cataloged items are available in eMuseum, which is ICP’s open database for users to search and browse the collection.They are working on cataloging more items and have them available through eMuseum. When clicking in an item catalog, high quality image of the item is available with a brief record of Artist, Subject, Dimensions, Medium, and Credit Line. Some items also list copyright information. [2]

Item Record

Item Record

ICP Museum Education

ICP makes full use of this rich collection to facilitate multiple education programs, including guided and self-guided tours, interpretative materials, and events for educators. Guided tour are designed for visitors at different age ranges: Grades K–6, Grades 7–12, New York City Public Schools, K–12, College Students & Seniors: Adults. Self-guided groups can explore the museum exhibitions at their own pace. The museum designs guides for teachers from elementary school, middle school and high school to prepare their knowledge about exhibitions before taking their students to the center. ICP also has family guides for families to learn more the past, current, and future exhibitions. These documents are prepared in PDF format. These resources help build patrons’ visual literacy and critical thinking skills, and introduce them to professional photography techniques. They also have classes for continuing education, international students, teen students, and online students. [3]

ICP School Open House

UIUC Library Photography Resources

UIUC library also has rich photography related resources. We are holding more than four thousand photography related books and journals in our catalog. We also a large number of items in our digital image archives. [4] [5] All affiliated users and community members can use them in the library or check them out. We also actively work with Interlibrary loan system to share our collections with other libraries.

U of I catalog items for photography

U of I catalog items for photography

U of I archive materials: photography

U of I archive materials: photography

Contact the library to get more information about using this collection:

1408 W. Gregory Dr. | Urbana, IL 61801




1. International Center for Photography website:

2. International Center for Photography Research Center:

3. International Center for Photography School:

4. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign photography collection:[]=topicStr:%22Photography%22

5. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign digital image archives: