Publication requirements

Basic minimum requirements to join and Europeana

Any organization that has digitized and documented cultural content on an online platform can provide its collections to as long as their content meets some basic specifications.

More specifically:

  • The harvesting of metadata will be done through the OAI-PMH protocol, which is a very popular metadata delivery protocol now supported virtually by all repositories and digital libraries.
  • Metadata should be made available via OAI-PMH as XML, preferably in one of the following formats: ESE standard proposed by the Europeana library or the EDM standard, which is the evolution of ESE.
  • From the Dublin Core fields (basic Metadata Element Set or DCMI Metadata Terms Set), you should at least have the value of the core fields: title (dc:title), item type (dc:type), thematic category and subject (dc:subject), description (dc:description, dc:tableOfContents or dcterms:abstract), date and temporal information (dc:date, dcterms:created or dcterms:temporal), spatial information (dcterms:spatial), and creator or contributor (dc:creator or dc:contributor). For the values of these fields, the language must be defined (attribute xml:lang).
  • In addition, two (2) URLs should be provided within the ESE or EDM metadata: the web page of the item (in ese:isShownAt / edm:isShownAt or alternatively in dc:identifier), and the thumbnail/preview image field ese:object / edm:object). It is recommended that you also provide the web address of the original digital file (in ese:isShownBy / edm:isShownBy) in order to be able to directly link to your digital file URL.
  • In ESE or EDM metadata, a license for the use of digital content should be specified in ese:rights (or edm:rights) field: either one of the creative commons licenses ( or "In Copyright (InC)"(
  • For metadata, SearchCulture, like Europeana, requires that they are published under CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication.
  • In ESE or EDM metadata, in ese:type (or edm:type) field, the Europeana type should be entered (TEXT, IMAGE, AUDIO, VIDEO, 3D), according to the type of the basic digital file.
  • For items with Europeana type TEXT, the language field (dc:language) is mandatory

If the OAI-PMH of your repository does not support ESE or EDM, it is also possible to use the default type OAI-DC of the OAI-PMH protocol or one of the Qualified DC (QDC), HEAL, MODS, or DC-DS-XML, subject to agreement and subject to certain conditions being met (thumbnail availability or sourcing them from the record pages, also licensing digital content clearly).

If you do not know if your collection meets the required technical specifications, please contact us on

New interoperability and content quality specifications for publishing on-line digital cultural content

EKT has recently published a new version of specifications to be followed by digitization projects.

This specifications document constitutes up-to-date guidelines that will help beneficiaries of new digitization projects to produce and publish interoperable, qualitative and re-usable digital cultural content.