ATHENA (2008-2011)

Project official site


Promoter had a commission from the Italian Ministry of Heritage and Culture(MiBAC) for technical support in the frame of project's coordination activities. Dr. Antonella Fresa was also responsible for peer review of project deliverables.

 Project's Lifetime: from 2008 until April 2011

Project profile

ATHENA was developed as a project to specifically tackle the gap in existing content provision to the European Digital Library (Europeana). An analysis of the situation showed that the target set for Europeana could best be met with targeted support for museums and audiovisual archives.

ATHENA brought together relevant stakeholders and content owners from museums and other cultural institutions all over Europe and evaluate and integrate specific tools, based on a common agreed set of standards and guidelines to create harmonised access to their content.

The project's objectives were:
• reinforce, support and encourage the participation of museums and other institutions coming from those sectors of cultural heritage not fully involved yet in Europeana;
• coordinate standards and activities of museums across Europe;
• identify digital content present in European museums;
• contribute to the integration of the different sectors of cultural heritage, in cooperation with other projects more directly focused on libraries and archives, with the overall objective to merge all these different contributions into Europeana;
• develop a plug-in to be integrated within Europeana, to facilitate the access to digital contents belonging to European museums.

The consortium included representatives of all the key stakeholder groups in the Europeana ecosystem (the Europeana foundation was involved as subcontractors), with a specific focus on the European museums. This included several ministries and responsible government agencies, many content providers and aggregators, several partners in related ecosystem projects (e.g. Europeana Connect, Europeana Local, Arrow, etc.) and a number of leading research institutes.
Twenty-two EU countries were represented, together with Israel and Russia as external contributors.

ATHENA produced a set of scalable tools, recommendations and guidelines, focusing on multilingualism and semantics, metadata and thesauri, data structures and IPR issues, to be used within museums for supporting internal digitisation activities and facilitating the integration of their digital content into Europeana.



Content providers

Technology providers




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