Thursday, 27th November 2008
Officially launched November 20, the Europeana Portal provides users with access to digitised books, films, paintings, newspapers, sounds and archives from Europe’s greatest collections. The digital content currently sums up to a total of two million items and aims at well over 6 million digital sounds, pictures, books, archival records and films by 2010. Users can access the portal via a multi-lingual interface. By now French, English and German are available languages and it is planned to enhance the number of languages further in the near future.
Unfortunately, the portal became a victim of its own popularity: reportedly, ten million hits an hour crashed the service. It is expected to relaunch by mid-December providing enhanced server capacity and robustness of the service. According to a press release of the Europeana management in The Hague the portal increased computer capacity to deal with 8 million hits per hour after a first temporary close down. But that wasn’t enough to handle the load, and so “a serious upgrade of computer capacity will be carried out in the coming days and then tested in order to cope with the massive interest from the public.”
The Europeana Portal was originally known as the European digital library network (EDLnet). This network is a partnership of 90 representatives of heritage and knowledge organisations and IT experts from across Europe, who are solving the technical and usability issues and developing the specifications for the prototype. The portal initiative belongs to the European Commissions's eContentplus Program which is part of the i2010 Policy.
Europeana Portal - http://europeana.eu
eContentplus Program - http://digbig.com/4xxhj
i2010 Policy - http://digbig.com/4xxhh
Press briefing of the Europeana Portal - http://digbig.com/4xxhn
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