Natural history collections, botanical gardens and museums around the world house a wealth of data on specimens and natural history objects. Much of this content has been digitised in the past and the use of metadata standards is essential for sharing, exchanging and publishing data. Metadata standards enable data aggregation portals such as GBIF or Europeana to create shared spaces that enable cross-collection queries and the provision of data to a global community.

Contributing Metadata to Europeana

If you wish to make your data searchable in the Europeana portal, you must provide Europeana with freely usable descriptive metadata that also contains links to the digital objects on your local servers. Europeana only stores and links the description data and thumbnails; the digital images, videos etc. remain on your server, and then become searchable and retrievable via the Europeana portal. Please make sure that your multimedia servers are well accessible and secured!

Europeana uses its own exchange format, the Europeana Data Model (EDM), for the common search in the portal. The task of Europeana aggregators, such as OpenUp!, is to prepare your source data in the EDM exchange format in a way that is suitable for Europeana and also to make regular improvements and adjustments. Therefore, you only need to provide OpenUp! with your data in the domain-specific metadata format, we take care of the transformation and enrichment of the data and organise the inclusion in the Europeana portal.

Natural History Metadata

The below list indicates some of the most important international standards for descriptive data used in the field of natural history.
If you click on the name of the standard, a page opens with information about what you need to consider when using this metadata standard with Europeana.

BiodiversityDarwin Core
BiodiversityABCD (Access to Biological Collection Data)
MuseumLIDO (Lightweight Information Describing Objects)
LibraryMARC21 (MAchine-Readable Cataloging)
LibraryMODS (Metadata Object Description Schema)
Digital ObjectDublin Core
Digital ObjectEDM (Europeana Data Model)

Use of Vocabularies

Europeana actively promotes the usage of vocabularies for semantic enrichment and de-references some of the most widely used vocabularies in the cultural heritage domain. Find here more information on vocabularies used with Europeana.

Metadata Quality in Europeana

The findability of data is closely related to the richness and depth of the data description. Click on the image below to learn more about Europeana’s specifications in this regard.