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Multilingual challenges in Europeana
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Multilingual challenges in Europeana


Presentation at the H2020-CEF Infoday, 16 January 2014

Presentation at the H2020-CEF Infoday, 16 January 2014

Published in Technology
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  • Les Miserables: Victor Hugo’s handwritten manuscripts:
    BnF, public domain
    Matisse ‘53 in the form of a double helix’ Wellcome Library (CC-BY-NC-ND)
    ‘söprűtánc’ – Hungarian traditional dance
    Hungarian Academy of Sciences Institute for Musicology, public domain
    ‘Neurologico reggae’ Music album
    DISMARC – EuropeanaConnect Paid Access
    ‘Castle of Kavala’ 3D exploration of a Greek castle
    Cultural and Educational Technology Institute - Research Centre Athen CARARE CC-BY-NC-ND
  • All partners send us descriptions of their assets, which we aggregate in a single service
  • Germany 15.44%
    France 10.97%
    Netherlands 9.67%
    Sweden 9.44%
    Spain 9.98%
    UK 6.98%
    Norway 6.60%
    Italy 5.4%
    Ireland 4.04%
    Poland 4.02%
    Europe 3.95%
    Finland 2.95%
    Austria 2.05%
    Belgium 1.61%
    Hungary 1.26%
  • Users from everywhere
    Data from everywhere
    Tools from everywhere


  • 1. Antoine Isaac Information and networking days H2020 / Connecting Europe Facility, Jan 15-16, 2014
  • 2. Europe’s platform to access cultural heritage Currently 30M objects
  • 3. Built on descriptive metadata from a broad, heterogeneous network Audiovisual collections National Aggregators Regional Aggregators Archives Thematic collections Libraries Musées Lausannois Culture.frThe European Library APEX European Film Gateway Europeana Fashion 2,300 galleries, museums, archives and libraries
  • 4. Accessing items from 36 countries top 16 Portal interface in 31 languages Metadata in 33 languages
  • 5. Serving Europe’s citizens 5M visits on 7M Facebook impressions API use…
  • 6. Content (digital objects on the site of the provider) Metadata (descriptive object information) Public Domain Creative Commons Licenses Rights reserved Orphan work Facilitating re-use on the legal side CC
  • 7. Facilitating re-use on the language side? Our network needs automatic translation tools to address information needs all over Europe
  • 8. Gathering/linking existing multilingual data
  • 9. Related projects applying NLP tools E.g., The PATHS project has developed techniques to enrich English and Spanish collections 1)Identification of key entities 2)Detection of (typed) similarities between objects, using metadata 3)“Background links” to external resources such as Wikipedia 4)Classification of object against a hierarchy of topic Applying these techniques to other languages would require work 1)requires language-specific tools (PoS tagging, lemmatization) 2)is straightforward to apply to new languages 3)requires language-specific tools 4)depends on (3) and on translation of some topics
  • 10. Language challenges for Digital Libraries  Typical queries are very short Average < 2 terms  Identification of query language is not easy, even manually 39% of queries may belong to several languages  Plenty of named entities 60% of queries are for persons & places Not only is it hard for queries: the same issues apply to the descriptive metadata Studies by Humboldt University on Europeana and The European Library
  • 11. Language processing issues at the scale of Europe
  • 12. Thank you! Antoine Isaac @EuropeanaEU
  • 13. Europeana’s vision and mission  We believe in making cultural heritage openly accessible in a digital way, to promote the exchange of ideas and information  We want to be a catalyst for change in the world of cultural heritage