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Balkaneana Project

Brief History of the Project

Europeana, the pan-European digital library, enables people to explore the digital resources of Europe's museums, libraries, archives and audio-visual collections. Unfortunately, the references available today to Europeana for the cross border area of Greece and Albania are very limited and this can be proved by a simple use of search terms like Konitsa, Ioannina, Epirus, Gjirokaster, Korca, etc. Despite numerous projects that has been implemented in Epirus, the majority of the digital collections are not connected to Europeana and to the world. Albania, from the other side, is not yet participating actively to Europeana and European initiatives for digitalization of its valuable heritage.

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Background of the project (problems/target groups/challenges to be addressed)

Europeana (europeana.eu) is the most visible representation of European cultural heritage online. After four years of innovative work since the portal was launched at the end of 2008, Europeana now gives access to a European treasury of 28 million books, pictures, films, maps, archival records, museum objects and sound recordings from over 2,200 of Europe’s memory institutions.

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About the project

The cross border regions of the Prefecture of Epirus and the District of Gjirokastra have a rich cultural heritage partially recorded in books, artifacts and folk songs. However, there is a lack of digitized material and an impeding need to provide modern access to this wealth of cultural content as well as to be in synch with similar activities in Europe. The municipality of Gjirokastra and the public library of Konitsa have identified this need and with the cooperation of the University of Ioannina propose to build Balkaneana.

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Objectives of the project

The Balkaneana project aims at introducing novel digital library and data warehouse technologies for developing a usable and efficient representation of the content of the public Library of Konitsa, the municipal library of Gjirokastra that will be fully compliant to the Europeana standards. 

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