The keystone of EU funding for digital libraries is Europeana – the portal and metadata store of Europe’s cultural heritage.

There is also one of the aggregators for Europeana, The European Library. The Europeana Library harvests content from libraries around the continent; Apex does the same for archives.

But we also have a myriad of projects – e.g. Europeana Fashion, Europeana Inside, Digitised Manuscripts to Europeana – that share the Europeana name. (A very useful list of all projects is on the Europeana Pro website)

Occasionally, such projects are run by the Europeana staff in the office in The Hague, Netherlands. And these projects do some fundamental work in moving the Europeana service forward.

More often, however, the projects are led by other cultural institutions, with the Europeana staff only have a minimal role. So the fashion project is led by the Fondazione Rinascimento Digitale  from Italy; Europeana Inside by the Collections Trust in the UK; the digitised manuscripts projects by Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

On the one hand this is can be confusing. Different staff, different sizes and different aims methods for project with similar names.

But the cross naming is part of an attempt to demonstrate that the projects are part of a larger eco-system. EU funding for relevant projects comes with requests to use Europeana branding and comply with the Europeana Licencing Framework.

This latter is particularly important. Any project creating content needs to ensure its licencing allows for the metadata to flow between institutions, the Europeana metadata store and the various users.

Enforcing this branding is slightly unwieldy, hence the overlapping names. But it also demonstrates that the various projects are working as part of a common vision about how European digital cultural heritage should be made available.