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Europeana enables people to explore the digital resources of Europes museums, libraries, archives and audio-visual collections. It promotes discovery and networking opportunities in a multilingual space where users can engage, share in and be inspired by the rich diversity of Europes cultural and scientific heritage. On this blog you will find short updates on Europeana content, special events and things we are working on.
Updated: 1 hour 36 min ago

Music and Mechanics – the exhibition goes live!

Thu, 16/11/2017 - 09:27

The phonoliszt violina, by Hupfeld – Rönisch (from the Musée de la Musique Mécanique, CC BY-NC-SA)

We are delighted to announce the launch of the new exhibition, ‘Music and Mechanics’ on Europeana. This has been a fantastic opportunity, not just to look for the different types of musica automata that exist on Europeana, but also to think about the relationships between manually operated or acoustic instruments and the mechanical instruments.

Of course, frequency plays an important part in the exhibition: the faster a wheel goes round, the higher the pitch that’s produced. Or, the faster an insect beats its wings, the higher the sound it’s going to make. But there are many ways in which sounds can be generated for both manual and mechanical instruments – either by friction, or by percussion, or by plucking, or other methods.

How do machines reproduce the same smooth tone as that produced by the violinist’s arm? And how do musicians get to control mechanical instruments, thereby taking their performance skills in a new direction? The exhibition takes just a few examples of the different types of mechanically operated musical instruments, but there are many more on Europeana Music: there are barrel organs, which play short pieces of music, “programmed” onto rotating cylinders or barrels; there are pianolas, which will play longer pieces of music from perforations in paper rolls; and, there are synthesisers – such as the iconic moog synthesiser – which have had so much influence on the last decades of music production.

We hope that you enjoy the exhibition and, also, that it inspires you to explore more of the instruments, recordings, photographs and manuscripts that reside on Europeana Music.

Five stunning European theatres for #LoveTheatreDay

Wed, 15/11/2017 - 10:03

15 November is #LoveTheatreDay. So here are five stunning settings to put on your cultural must-visit list. What’s your favourite theatre? Tell us @europeanaeu with #lovetheatreday

The Seebühne

First up, The Seebühne. This is a floating stage that gets erected every year for the Bregenz Festival. It’s on Lake Constance in Austria and has 7,000 seats (on dry land). The festival started in 1946 with two barges – one for the set and one for the orchestra, who performed Mozart. The picture below is from 1960 – the first year that ballet became part of the festival. Check out this Google images search for more recent productions – the stages are simply breathtaking in size, ambition and beauty.

 

Seebühne der Bregenzer Festspiele / Bühnenbild – Wiener Blut | Anonym, Vorarlberger Landesbibliothek, CC BY

Palau de la Música Catalana

To Barcelona now and the Palau de la Música Catalana. In 1997, this Art Nouveau building became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Designed by Lluís Domènech i Montane, for a Catalan choral society, it was built between 1905 and 1908. Look at the intricacy and attention to detail (and the height!) applied to just a corridor – pictured below. Makes you want to go and see the rest, right?  If you’re not in Barcelona any time soon, explore the auditorium with a virtual tour.

 

Corredor del Palau de la Música de Barcelona | Salvany i Blanch, Josep, 1866-1929, Biblioteca De Catalunya, public domain

The Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall in London. Opened in 18971, the concert hall was designed to promote understanding and appreciation of the Arts and Sciences. To that end, an almost 250 metre long mosaic circles the building and depicts the advancement of the Arts and Sciences across the world. Explore the history of this building through its Time Machine!

 

Royal Albert Hall from [Modern London: the World’s Metropolis. An epitome of results, Business Men and Commercial Interests, Wealth and Growth, etc.] The British Library, public domain

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus

To Greece now, and almost the oldest theatre in our list. The Odeon of Herodes Atticus, or ‘The Herodeon’, in Athens. It was completed in 174 AD, but destroyed and left ruined less than 100 years later by the Heruli – an East Germanic tribe who attacked Greece from the Black Sea. Fast forward to a restoration project in the 1950s and the Athens Festival was born. In 2017, the festival saw 114 productions presented in venues across the city.

 

Odeion des Herodes Atticus, German Archaeological Institute, CC BY-SA

Hellbrunn Palace gardens

And finally to our last, and oldest, theatre. And probably one you’ve never heard of.  A theatre carved by nature out of rock. Despite the typo in the image title, I think this location can be tracked down to the gardens of Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg. There’s no information to be found nowadays about performances here. The park is now home to water gardens with trick fountains! But I was enchanted by the image and just had to include it in this list. 

 

Vue du théatre taillé dans le roc, près du jardins de la maison de plaisance d’Hellenbrunn (!) pris du dehors. | Carl Gustav Hempel, Austrian National Library, public domain

Les sons de l’Asie et de Madagascar à l’Exposition coloniale internationale de 1931

Fri, 10/11/2017 - 10:58

Chaque mois, Europeana Music est animée par un invité afin de mettre en valeur la grande variété de musique disponible surEuropeana.

En ce mois de novembre, la Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) vous présente quelques sons de l’Exposition coloniale internationale de 1931 et vous fait voyager à travers le temps et l’espace à la visite des musiques de Bali, d’Inde, du Laos, du Vietnam, du Cambodge et de Madagascar.

Ecoutez l’enregistrement “Sabat-sabing“, joué par les musiciens ci-dessous. Toutes les informations relatives à cet enregistrement sont disponibles sur Europeana Music. 

Laos: orchestre de théâtre laotien, page 16, Exposition coloniale internationale de Paris (1931) Photographe : Paul Pivot. Source : Bibliothèque nationale de France (CC-BY-SA)

Tenue à Paris de mai à novembre 1931, l’Exposition coloniale internationale avait pour but de présenter au public ce que l’on considérait alors comme les bienfaits politiques, économiques et sociaux de la colonisation.

En cette même année 1931, le Musée de la Parole et du Geste (héritier depuis 1928 des Archives de la Parole fondées en 1911) était la seule institution en France chargée de la production et de la conservation d’un patrimoine sonore.

L’idée naquit alors d’une Anthologie musicale pour « profiter » de la venue à Paris d’un grand nombre d’ « indigènes » et enregistrer les langues, parlers, chants… des colonies.

On sait que la mise en spectacle des colonies a été un des éléments fondamentaux de l’Exposition coloniale, destiné à « vendre » auprès du grand public les bienfaits des colonies et de la Grande France.

On assiste de plus au début des années 30 à une véritable ouverture aux musiques du monde.

Madagascar. Cinq joueurs de valihas, page 48, Exposition coloniale internationale de Paris (1931)]. Photographe : Paul Pivot. Source : Bibliothèque nationale de France (CC-BY-SA).

Le Musée de la parole s’inscrit donc dans une histoire en train de s’écrire et va enregistrer 176 disques 78 tours de l’oralité : chant – paroles – venue des colonies

Particularité de cette anthologie, elle témoigne d’un discours scientifique – le Musée de la Parole et du Geste est étroitement lié à l’Université de Paris – qui s’inscrit néanmoins :

  • à la fois dans un discours de propagande, celui de l’Exposition coloniale ;
  • et dans un discours commercial, la firme Pathé qui contribue largement à ces enregistrements entend bien en profiter pour commercialiser ces enregistrements.

Au final ce que donne à entendre cette anthologie c’est une sorte de topographie, peut-être des colonies, mais surtout de la représentation qu’on peut en avoir en Occident : quand on écoute les enregistrements, on a à faire à des types d’interprètes et à des types de répertoires très différenciés, qui témoignent du plus ou moins grand degré de considération qu’on a pour les groupes de population concernés.

Parmi les nombreux pays présents à cette Exposition, l’Asie était fortement représentée avec notamment Bali, l’Inde, le Laos, le Vietnam et le Cambodge. Deux remarques peuvent être faites sur leurs musiques :

  • d’une part, on est face à des musiques savantes, voire extrêmement savantes, interprétées par des troupes professionnelles ;
  • d’autre part, ce sont des musiques de représentation : musiques rituelles, musiques de cour, de cérémonie, de théâtre…

Le continent africain n’y est pas en reste. Madagascar nous permet de découvrir des musiques populaires, où dominent les chœurs et la valiha, l’instrument à cordes dominant des musiques traditionnelles de Madagascar, mais interprétées par les membres d’un orchestre Mpilalao tout à fait professionnel, qu’on retrouve sur beaucoup d’enregistrements commerciaux de l’époque de marques comme Pathé, Columbia, Gramophone…

Il faut souligner qu’avec 21 disques enregistrés, soit 42 faces, Madagascar représente le plus gros corpus enregistré à l’Exposition coloniale.

Nous vous invitons à découvrir ces témoignages d’un monde révolu.

The sounds of Asia and Madagascar at the 1931 French colonial Exhibition

Fri, 10/11/2017 - 10:57

Each month, we invite a guest to write about a musical subject and highlight some of the material on Europeana Music. For the month of November, the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF – National Library of France) presents some sounds of the 1931 French colonial exhibition and makes you travel through time and space with music from Bali, India, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Madagascar.

Listen to “Sabat-sabing“, played by the musicians below. You can also read more details about this recording on Europeana Music.

A Lao Theatre Orchestra, page 16 from Exposition coloniale internationale de Paris (1931) Photograph: Pivot, Paul. Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France (public domain)

When its gates opened for 6 months in May 1931, the Paris colonial Exhibition was intended to display what was then considered as the positive impact of colonisation, in the political, economic and social areas.

In 1931, the Musée de la Parole et du Geste (founded in 1928, following the 1911-founded Archives de la Parole) was the only institution in France collecting and preserving sound archives.

Five valiha players from Madagascar, page 48 from Exposition coloniale internationale de Paris (1931)]. Photograph: Paul Pivot. Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France (public domain).

The idea was born to record a sound anthology benefiting from the fact that a lot of people from the vast French colonies were in Paris for the occasion. The Anthology would gather tales, songs and music in various languages; taking advantage of the fact that staging the colonies to the public was the promoters’ idea for the Exhibition. However, the Anthology was more grounded in sound and language studies, reflecting also a new interest in world music in 1930s France.

The Musée de la Parole et du Geste recorded 176 78rpm records of songs, speeches and music during this Exhibition. As it was closely linked to the Paris University, it was a serious scientific undertaking. Still, there were two underlying motives not so clearly expressed:

  • the anthology could be seen as a voice for the Exhibition propaganda.
  • The Pathé record company (associated to the Musée de la Parole et du Geste) intended to release commercially those 176 78 rpm records.

In the end, this anthology gives a kind of topography, perhaps of the colonies, but especially of how the West were seeing them: when we listen to the recordings, we hear different types of performers and very different types of repertoires, which reflect the greater or lesser degree of consideration given to those populations.

Among the many countries present at this exhibition, Asia was strongly represented with Bali, India, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. Two remarks can be made about their music:

  • on the one hand, this is artistic music, played by professional groups of musicians.
  • on the other hand, this is stage music, intended for theatre, court rituals, religious rituals etc.

Africa was present too. Madagascar allows us to discover some popular music through choir music and valiha, a local zither made of bamboo. Here, it was performed by a professional and well-known orchestra – Mpilalao – that also made recordings for Pathé, Columbia, Gramophone, etc.

In all, there are 21 records with music from Madagascar, making it the best represented culture in the Anthology.

Let’s not wait anymore before we hear those recordings of a bygone world.

Small-screen smiles for World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

Fri, 27/10/2017 - 08:55

It’s UNESCO’s World Day for Audiovisual Heritage today, a day to highlight the importance of preserving both sound and video heritage material.

So, here are three picks from our biggest audiovisual partner, the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, that exemplify just that, and what’s more, will hopefully bring a smile to your face.

Camping at Saxenheim near Nunspeet still

First up, what’s better than camping with friends and family? Especially when that camping trip includes hairnets, campfires, pancakes, guitars, and pigs with wagging tails. (And really, someone should make an animated GIF out of the pigs for GIF IT UP 2017!)

There’s no sound on this Dutch video from 1925, but you can find your own soundtrack on the Europeana Music collections. What about watching the video while listening to this Tahitian satirical song? It was recorded only a decade after the Dutch camping trip, but is geographically about as far away from the Netherlands as you can get – Tahiti in French Polynesia. There’s no reason to put these two things together – other than they might both make you smile.

https://www.openbeelden.nl/files/07/64/764778.WEEKNUMMER243-HRE00015762.mp4

Camping at Saxenheim near Nunspeet, by Polygoon-Profilti (producer) / Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (curator), is licensed under Public Domain Mark.

If that didn’t make you smile, how about a lot of people (and I do mean a LOT of people) playing the accordion together? To me, the accordion is the characteristic sound of the fairground and that’s something that brings back happy childhood memories. The tune they’re playing is a march called ‘Wien bleibt Wien’.

https://www.openbeelden.nl/files/07/64/764640.WEEKNUMMER384-HRE00016D2A.mp4

Mietje, pietje, ma en pa alles speelt harmonica, by Polygoon-Profilti (producent) / Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid (beheerder), is licensed under Public Domain Mark.

But if that’s a bit too chaotic and you prefer something ordered and satisfying, then this final video is for you – how to make coloured pencils. Production line machinery, conveyor belts, neat ordered lines. And oh, the way they’re sharpened at the end – genius!

https://openbeelden.nl/files/74/74474.74461.BG_9804.mp4

The making of coloured pencils, by Polygoon-Profilti (producer) / Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (curator), is licensed under Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike.

What’s your favourite video from Europeana? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @europeanaeu

How to make a GIF from a series of photos

Mon, 23/10/2017 - 19:02

You have one more week left to participate in GIF IT UP. If you think it’s not enough time, read on and see how quickly you can create a GIF using a series of photos.

via GIPHY

Start with choosing content, there are a lot of photos representing different phases of movement available on Europeana. The photos from the studies of movement by Eadweard Muybridge will be perfect for this. All you need to do is to crop the image, for example using Pixlr Editor, save each frame and export to an online GIF editor, for example Ezgif.

You can also check the portraits of dancers from Norwegian Folk Museum and vintage photos from National Library of France. Fancy working with some unusual material? Take a look at the “Evolution of household articles” from Wellcome Library!

via GIPHY

And if you’d like to learn more about GIF-making, check out our other tutorials.

Playing with colours – make your first GIF IT UP entry

Tue, 17/10/2017 - 16:09

Today we’ll learn how to make an animated GIF by playing with colours. The best material for this kind of GIF will include things that blink or go on-off  such as lights, neon letters.

via GIPHY

You could also use images of flowers, geometric shapes, or take a monochromatic image and let only a small part of it change colour.  There are plenty of opportunities – so have some fun and experiment.

via GIPHY

To create this kind of GIF, you can use software like Photoshop, GIMP or the web-based Pixlr Editor.

  1. Find an openly licensed image on Europeana and download it. Open it in Pixlr Express. You will see it in the sidebar under layers. Duplicate it (right-click -> duplicate layer).

2.  On the duplicated layer, use the lasso tool from the left toolbar to trace around the fragment you want to change the colour of.

3. Go to ‘Adjustment in the upper menu’ – use Brightness & Contrast, Hue & Saturation, Color balance & Color vibrance to change the colours.

4. When you’re happy with the new colour, save the newly created image. Upload the original image and your new image to Ezgif. Make a GIF. Try different animation speeds and effects like ‘crossfade frames’ until you’re happy with the result. Download your GIF and submit for GIF IT UP. 

via GIPHY

It’s unlucky Friday the 13th – everybody, stay at home!

Fri, 13/10/2017 - 08:54

It happens about twice a year, and when it does, you’d better lock yourself in the house and wait until dawn. Or anything could happen to you. Better safe than sorry.  

Astrology chart: table to indicate lucky and unlucky periods, Wellcome Library, London CC BY


To help, you could consult this 19th century astrology chart designed to help you work out lucky and unlucky periods. It looks pretty complicated so it’ll probably take you all day to work out whether it’s safe to leave the house. By which point it won’t be Friday 13th any more. Result!

Whether you’re scared of it or not, it is true that there are more car accidents on Friday 13ths than other days. A study from 2002 in the UK showed the risk of transport accidents was increased by as much as 52%. While a 2001 study from Finland discovered a 63% increased risk of death in traffic accidents for women on Friday 13ths.

So, don’t get in the car today. Other things you probably shouldn’t do today, according to legend, include cut your hair, wear black, get married, be born, and go out at night, and if you do (because after all, it’s still Friday), for goodness sake, don’t sit 13 people at your table.

According to Nathaniel Lachenmeyer, in his book 13: The World’s Most Popular Superstition, the Friday 13th superstition is a relatively recent thing – it didn’t exist until the early 20th century. Yet now it is the most popular superstition in the world, replacing another 13-related superstition that if 13 people sat a table together, one would die within the year.

Unlucky Friday 13th combines a fear of the number 13 with a fear of Fridays. Both elements of this superstition were inspired by the New Testament. There were 13 at the table at the Last Supper (see picture below), and Jesus is thought to have been crucified on a Friday. So what’s even unluckier than a regular Friday 13th? A Good Friday 13th. Fortunately, this doesn’t happen much (next one is in 2063). The addition of the innkeeper in the foreground of this depiction of the Last Supper takes the total number in the picture to 14, but only 13 are seated at the table.

Last Supper from BL Add 39636, ff. 60-61, f. 60, British Library, public domain

Some people think a black cat crossing your path is lucky. Some say it’s unlucky. But what about a black cat crossing your path on a Friday 13th? That could prove fatal. Well, go to French Lick, Indiana, in the years 1939 and 1942 and you’d be safe – the town board decreed that all black cats must wear bells on Friday 13ths so that residents could avoid them. I’d certainly want to avoid the black cats pictured here howling at naked witches.

Big black cats howl as naked witches ascend into the night over the city. Colour photomechanical reproduction of a lithograph by T.A. Steinlen, Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images CC BY

 

In the late 19th century, an elite American group known as ‘The Thirteen Club’, who met routinely on the 13th of the month, sitting 13 at a table, eating 13 courses (see menu below), in order to face down the spectre of 13, tried to counter the fear of Fridays. At the time, Fridays were routinely used as the day of the week that executions took place in the US. The Thirteen Club asked judges to execute criminals on other days of the week, and those who did so became honoured guests at their dinners. In 1892, the New York Times reported that ‘Owing principally to the efforts of the Thirteen Club the execution day has been changed or varied in all States of the Union and thus has, to a great extent, brightened the day.’

So, whilst the Thirteen Club had some success in changing the perception of Fridays being unlucky – now probably one of our favourite days of the week – Friday 13th remains a spine-tingling superstition.

The “Thirteen Club” (anti-superstition club) dinner menu, 1899. Wiki Commons, public domain.

Source of information in this post: Nathaniel Lachenmeyer, 13: The World’s Most Popular Superstition, Profile Books, London, 2004.

 

Getting creative with stickers & effects – make your first GIF

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 17:36

Last week we showed how to make a GIF from a vintage video. Today, we will show you how to boost artworks with effects and stickers available on GIPHY.

Go to GIPHY’s GIF maker and upload a static image or a GIF (you can learn how to make one in this tutorial).

Once you’ve done it, get your creative juices flowing! You have plenty of awesome stickers to choose from, a few different captions styles. And if this is not enough – you can draw on your GIF as well. While the possibilities are infinite, below we’re sharing some ideas to get you started.

1. Googly eyes make everything funny

Try it on portraits for a guaranteed success! But if you’re in a mood for experiments, what about putting them on other things, for example, objects in a still life?

via GIPHY

2. Let it snow (or rain)

Everyone loves to illustrate their daily weather struggles and joys with a cool animation, so express these atmospheric conditions on your masterpiece!

via GIPHY

3. Time to celebrate

Think fireworks, balloons and confetti will look great on festive paintings. And look, we have a Pinterest board full of them!

via GIPHY

4. Add some (con)text

A subtle description or a funny pun – you choose! The imperfection of the content can be masked by all the cool animations available!

via GIPHY

Now you’re ready to create your GIF IT UP submission!

The Harry Orvomaa collection of Jewish recordings

Tue, 03/10/2017 - 10:30

Each month, Europeana Music invites a guest curator to talk about a musical subject and highlight some of the material on Europeana Music.

For the month of October, Pekka Gronow presents the Harry Orvomaa collection of Jewish recordings. Now retired, Pekka was one of the founders of the Finnish Institute for Recorded Sound and adjunct professor of ethnomusicology at the University of Helsinki.

Detail of the recording “Ich fuhr a Heim” sung by Herman Fenigstein, recorded in Warsaw, 1929 (Finnish Institute of Recorded Sound).

Harry Orvomaa (1927 – 1990) was one of the most successful Finnish record producers of the 1960s and 1970s. His passion for recorded music was fueled by an early interest in traditional jazz and, when he died, he left a large collection of historical 78rpm jazz records to Suomen äänitearkisto, the Finnish Institute for Recorded Sound.

As often happens with archives, the donation lay in storage for many years, until I started cataloguing it a few years ago. To my surprise I found out that the boxes also contained a considerable number of Jewish music on labels such as Syrena and Elesdisc. This was a field of music where my knowledge was very limited, especially as many of the labels had texts in Yiddish / Hebrew characters. Fortunately I was able to draw on the expertise of specialists in Jewish music, in particular Michael Aylward, whose website Der yidisher gramofon is a priceless source of information on early Jewish recordings.

Harry Orvomaa’s family belonged to the small Jewish community in Finland, and his ancestors had come from the Lomza region in Poland. The collection contained, among others, a number of recordings made in Warsaw in the 1920s and 1930s. It was decided to form a separate collection of Harry Orvomaa’s Jewish 78s, and we were even able to add some new donations and exchanges to the collection. Thanks to a grant from the Kone Foundation, the collection has now been digitised, and parts of it are accessible online on Europeana Music.

A considerable part of historical Jewish recordings consists of religious songs in Hebrew. A hundred years ago Jewish congregations in Europe and America competed for the best cantors, and famous cantors also became popular recording artists. The cantor Joseph Rosenblatt, who made hundreds of records, was even billed as “the Jewish Caruso”, and listening to his recorded voice makes one believe that he would also have been a big star in opera, if he had chosen that path.

Another large part of the collection presents music from the Yiddish stage in Eastern Europe.

Before the Holocaust, Warsaw, Vilnius, Lvov, Bucharest and many other Eastern European cities had theatres presenting plays, revues and musical shows in Yiddish. Artists from these theatres also made numerous recordings. They are extremely interesting for the history of European popular music, as many of the performers later on made the transition to the “mainstream” stage in German, English and other languages, and tunes from the Jewish theatre often got a new life with new lyrics. At that time, copyright was not as important as today.

As an example of the recordings in the Orvomaa collection I have chosen Ich fuhr a Heim (איך פאָר א הײם), I’m going home, recorded by Herman Fenigstein in Warsaw in 1929. Fenigstein made a number of recordings for the Syrena label.

Fenigstein was a member of the Jewish “literary-artistic troupe” Sambatiyon, founded in Vilnius in 1926. The group soon relocated to Warsaw, where they appeared until the end of 1929.

On the label of the recording made in 1929, Fenigstein is already billed as an artist from Kaminski’s Jewish Theatre. This probably refers to the well-known theatrical company organized by the actress Ida Kaminska.  I have not able to find more information on the artist.

In cataloguing the Orvomaa collection, I discovered that I had stumbled on one of the white spots on the map of discography. Most countries today have a national sound archive, and at least some discographies or literature on recorded history, but there does not seem to be any archive in Europe that systematically documents and collects Jewish recordings before the Holocaust. However, websites such as Europeana, which bring together documents from many sources, will hopefully one day create a virtual archive of all European recordings.

Pekka Gronow

Make a GIF from a vintage video

Mon, 02/10/2017 - 16:57

Always wanted to make an animated GIF, but didn’t know how? We have something for you! In the coming weeks, we will be showing some easy GIF-making techniques to help you create your GIF IT UP entry.

You will be eligible for a special prize for first-time GIF-makers. In this category, the jury will focus on content selection and originality of the idea rather than technical execution. So go for it!

In this first tutorial, you will learn how to make a GIF from a vintage video. We’ll use vintage cinema newsreels from Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid (Dutch Institute for Sound and Vision).

1. Choose your material

Go to our selection of openly licensed videos. There are a lot of them and they cover and variety of topics: local news, events and celebrations, famous people and locations.
Watch a few videos (if you experience issues you might need to click on ‘View at Netherlands Institute For Sound And Vision’ on the right side of the page to see them on the website of open images)

While watching videos, remember that you only need a few seconds long extract to create your GIF. Try something that will speak to your audience like expressing emotions or showing movement. You can also search for something unusual, funny or surprising to catch their attention. Curation is the most important element of this exercise, so do your best! Download the video and get ready for GIF-making.

2. Create your GIF

There are a lot of free tools available online. We present two that on top of creating a GIF from a video, offer some extra options which would help to make your GIF better.

Ezgif.com

Upload your video, choose start and end time and press ‘Convert to GIF’

Once your GIF is ready, you can optimize it to reduce the file size (GIF IT UP entries should be smaller than 2MB) and try different effects. When you’re happy with the result, press save.

 

GIPHY GIF Maker

To make a GIF using GIPHY Maker, you need a video maximum 20 seconds long. So before starting, you might need to cut it elsewhere, for example using online video cutter  tool. Upload your video, choose the starting point and duration with sliders.   

In the next step, you can add some  effects, stickers and captions. Once you’re done, you upload your GIF to GIPHY – it’s ready for sharing online. You can also download it from GIPHY.

  1. Participate in GIF IT UP

Go to bit.ly/GIFITUP2017, upload your GIF and fill all the requested information in. That’s it, your first #GIFITUP2017 submission is ready!

Feel like making another GIF? Come back next week for another simple tutorial!

GIF IT UP 2017

Thu, 28/09/2017 - 14:40

Yes, it’s already this time of year… Time for the fourth edition of GIF IT UP!

From 1 – 31 October, all GIF-­makers, cultural heritage enthusiasts and lovers of the internet are invited to create brand new GIFs by remixing copyright-free and openly licensed material from four international digital libraries.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE?

1. Find an inspiring piece of copyright-free / openly licensed material from Europeana Collections, DPLA, Trove, or DigitalNZ.
2. Create an awesome gif.
3. Submit it for a chance to win great prizes.

2016 GIF IT UP Grand Prize Winner, created by Jeff Gill and Kristen Carter 

But what if you have never made a GIF before? That’s even better! Now you will have a chance to try! Every Monday in October we will be publishing a short blog about different ways of creating GIFs, addressed specifically to first-time GIF-makers.

Additionally, if you are around, Europeana will be having a GIF-making workshop, providing tools and tutorials to help visitors create their first artworks, will be held at the Frankfurt Book Fair on 14-15 October in cooperation with the ARTS+.

And for those who cannot be there, last year DPLA run a couple of GIF-Making Workshops which are still available online – take a look!

JUDGES AND PRIZES

We are extremely happy to introduce you to this year’s GIF IT UP amazing jury: Ari Spool, Community Curator at GIPHY Arts, Zuzanna Stańska, founder of DailyArt, and Adam Green, the Editor-in-Chief of The Public Domain Review.

Creative GIF-makers can expect great prizes:

Grand prize winner will receive an Electric Object – a digital photo frame especially for GIFs, sponsored by GIPHY
3 runners-up will receive online gift cards, compliments of Europeana.
First-time GIF-maker category winner will receive an online gift card and a goody bag, compliments of Europeana.
People’s choice award winner will receive a Giphoscope.

All eligible entries will be showcased on the GIPHY channel dedicated to the competition and promoted on social media with the hashtag #GIFITUP2017. Even if you are not participating, go and vote on the competition website for your favourite GIF.

Results will be announced in November on the GIF IT UP website and related social media.

To find out more about the 2017 competition, including submission rules, visit http://bit.ly/GIFITUP2017.

Need some inspiration? Take a look at our available open collections.

OPEN COLLECTIONS

Public Domain
Historical fashion drawings and prints, sewing and embroidery patterns
Manuscript illustrations from codices on swordsmanship and natural history 
Japanese woodblock prints
 
Illuminated manuscripts from the British Library

Swedish Military history in black and white photographs
Vintage French Posters
Old Maps from National Library of Technology, Czech Republic
Historical carriages
Sketches and drawings of Henri Toulouse-Lautrec
Swedish Air Force Museum collection
Bookplates from National Library of Romania
Vintage ethnographic photographs from Lithuania
Photographs illustrating WWI at the eastern and south eastern front
Collection of stereoscopic glass plates of the early 20th century Italy
Folk photographs by Hélène Edlund
Wilhelm Wallander’s illustrations of 19th-century clothing
Black-and-white pictures by Swedish photographer John Hertzberg
Paintings by Dutch and Flemish masters from the Golden Age (Mauritshuis collection)

CC BY
Photographic studies of motion by Eadweard Muybridge
Swedish Air Force Museum collection
Seals and stamps (emblems) from Lithuanian Art Museums
Fashion plates of illustrations by George Barbier
Early photographs of Japan
Early 20th-century gymnastics

CC BY-SA
Sketches from National Library of Wales
Vintage circus posters, photographs, and postcards
Botanical drawings by Georg Schweinfurth
Illustrations from Swedish Museum of Lithography
Photographs of London pubs from the early 20th century up to the late 1960s
Textiles from the National Museum, Sweden

CC0
Vintage Czech objects (clocks, cutlery, vases, posters and books)
Old maps from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Library
Collection of artworks from Statens Museum for Kunst

Mixed rights statements
Europeana280 (European artworks available for reuse)

Winners of Picture This! Competition

Fri, 22/09/2017 - 16:02

In the beginning of July, we have invited you to show us how the places featured on the vintage postcards from our Picture This! exhibition look nowadays.

You flooded us with amazing photos throughout the summer! We have received over 400 entries – huge thanks to all the participants who sent us their best photographs of beautiful cities, landscapes and regions across south-eastern Europe. We had some great submissions, and it was difficult to select the winning shot, but here it goes.

The winner of Europeana’s Picture This! Competition is….

Dejan Kreculj!‏ Congratulations! The judges were impressed with the combination of a contemporary photo of The House of the National Assembly of Serbia and a postcard from National Library of Serbia.

The House of the National Assembly of Serbia, Belgrade by Dejan Kreculj

The runners-up are:

And the public’s favourite award goes to Vasilis Stathopoulos‏.

Congratulations to all the winners! We will contact you shortly.

You can see the gallery of all the entries at the competition page, as well as below.

The Mauritshuis arrives in Europeana

Thu, 21/09/2017 - 07:13

Today we welcome the wonderful collections of the Mauritshuis into Europeana, published in high-resolution and released freely into the public domain for the first time.

Portrait of a Woman from Southern Germany, 1520-25. Formerly attributed to Hans Holbein the Younger. Mauritshuis. Public Domain

The Mauritshuis is famous for its unique collection of paintings by Dutch and Flemish masters from the Golden Age. Housed in a unique 17th-century palace in The Hague, the Mauritshuis contains works by Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, Jan Steen, Frans Hals, Hans Holbein the Younger and many other artists.

You can now view and download high-resolution images of Mauritshuis artworks in Europeana. Every digitised painting has been released free of copyright restrictions into the public domain, enriching our shared cultural heritage. The digital images contain a remarkable amount of detail and allow us to examine every part of the painted surface. Here are some examples:

Portrait of a Woman from Southern Germany (detail), 1520-25. Formerly attributed to Hans Holbein the Younger. Mauritshuis. Public Domain

The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp (detail), 1632. Rembrandt van Rijn. Mauritshuis. Public Domain

Vase with Flowers (detail), Rachel Ruysch, 1700. Mauritshuis. Public Domain.

To celebrate the moment, we’ve created a gallery featuring our favourite masterpieces from the Mauritshuis. Explore the entire collection in Europeana and learn more about its history on the Mauritshuis website.

Exploring Europeana in Czech, Irish, Slovak and Slovenian

Wed, 06/09/2017 - 13:14

Europeana Collections can now be navigated in 4 more languages: Czech, Irish, Slovak and Slovenian.

These new languages now means that Europeana Collections can be navigated in 27 languages – each of the 24 official languages of the EU as well as Catalan, Norwegian and Russian.

To mark this, we’ve taken a look at some snapshots of collections to be found in each of the new languages from Czech Republic, Ireland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Czech

Northeast Economic and Industrial Exhibition in Hořice Alphonse Mucha, ESbírky, CC BY

Among the objects found on Europeana Collections in Czech are Art Nouveau posters by Alfonse Mucha such as the one above, portrait photography from Prague and a large collection of texts and documents from the National Library of the Czech Republic

Irish

Irish Larch, Irish Shipping Ltd, Sjöhistoriska Museet, CC BY-SA

While only a small number of items in the Irish language are to be found on Europeana Collections, there are large collections of traditional Irish music from the Irish Traditional Music Archive and Comhaltas Traditional Music Archive.

Going back further in time, this collection of Ogham stones from the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies show an Early Medieval alphabet used to write the early Irish language.

Slovak

Mednansky Family Tree, Bratislava painter, Slovak National Gallery, CC BY

 

Collections in Slovak include more than 2,000 artworks in a wide range of styles from the acclaimed collections of the Slovak National Gallery.

Also in Slovak are archive photography relating to World War One from the Slovak National Library, as well as botanical specimens from the Institute of Botany of Slovak Academy of Sciences.

Slovenian

Ta zemlja nosi naš pečat, naš znoj in našo kri, National and University Library of Slovenia, Public Domain

 

Collections in Slovenian include maps, postcards, photographs and documents relating to travel and tourism in Slovenia. Slovene Ethnographic Museum have shared sketches and drawings of a wide variety of museum objects relating to everyday life in Slovenia, while the Slovenian Museum of Natural History have provided photographs of live insects and other animals.

Art Up Your Tab now available for Firefox

Wed, 16/08/2017 - 14:25

In April, we announced that Art Up Your Tab was available as an extension for the Chrome internet browser. Now, we’re pleased to say it’s also available for Firefox users.

The plug-in displays a full-screen painting or photograph from a frequently refreshed pool of carefully selected images from Europeana for each newly opened tab or window. The aim is that seeing inspiring and unexpected artworks will make you put your busy life on hold for a brief moment and spark your imagination.

Vos, by Jean Bernard. RijksmuseumPublic domain.

If you like what you see, you can instantly download and use the high-resolution images. Information about the artwork and conditions for use are displayed with each image.

There’s a very neat touch in the latest selection for the new Firefox plug-in – a set of artworks relating to fire and foxes.

De vuurzee gezien vanuit de wijk Hisamatsu; Hisamatsucho yori miru shukka, Kobayashi Kiyochika, RijksmuseumPublic domain.

Get Art Up Your Tab for your browser now

Install the Firefox extension

Install the Chrome extension

If you love Art Up Your Tab as much as we do, support us on Product Hunt – a website that features new apps – and help more people discover it.

Art Up Your Tab is made possible with support from the Network Digital Heritage.