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Europeana Fashion @EVA/Minerva 2013

Fashion is an important part of the European Cultural Heritage, and it is increasingly recognised for its important research value to other academic disciplines, including arts, culture, sociology and communication. Since the beginning of the XX century some of the most important public and private cultural institutions and museums of applied arts in Europe have begun collecting and preserving garments, accessories, catalogues, fashion magazines and other documents and materials related to fashion.

This has resulted in a growing number of impressive and unique collections that Europeana Fashion will bring together online.

Despite the growing importance of fashion heritage, there is a lack of freely accessible fashion content and contextual information on-line.

That’s why the Europeana Fashion project has started a collaboration with the local Wikimedia Chapters around Europe -and not only- with the aim to bring new fashion related knowledge and content to Wikipedia, the World free encyclopaedia.

Since March 2013, the Europeana Fashion partners are organising a series of events in collaboration with Wikimedia, called edit-a-thons, in which volunteers from the Wikipedia support organisation and a crowd of students, bloggers, researchers, curators and fashionistas come together to edit and contribute new fashion related information to Wikipedia, using content made available by Europeana Fashion.

In his presentation, Marco Rendina will tell more about this collaboration and how it has started an online relationship that could expand our understanding of the fashion heritage and the online available knowledge of the fashion domain at large.

For more information on the project, please visit:

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Europeana Fashion @EVA/Minerva 2013

  1. 1. EUROPEANA FASHION disclosing European fashion heritage online Marco Rendina Fondazione Rinascimento Digitale Connected to #eurfashion #mrendina Co-funded by the European Support Commission within the ICT Policy Programme EVA/Minerva Xth Conference Jerusalem, November 13th, 2013
  2. 2. Challenges and open issues Many Fashion institutions, both public and private, reconsidered the role of their archives as an important resource. This led to new investments in conservation and digitalization of their heritage, but still some issues remains: !   Scattered access !   Lack of interoperability !   Rights issues !   Lack of exploitation strategies
  3. 3. Objectives and expected outcomes The main objective of the Europeana Fashion Best Practice Network is to build a thematic aggregator on fashion, putting emphasis on the quality, the variety and granularity of content that will be delivered to Europeana, and producing a significant increase of the fashion related content in it.
  4. 4. Aims and results of the project !  aggregate 700.000+ digital items of fashion content to Europeana !  improve interoperability in the fashion community !  create a specialised access point for fashion content !  develop case studies for the exploitation of fashion material !  build consensus and raise awareness on best practices
  5. 5. The composition of our project consortium The Europeana Fashion Best Practice Network will encompass 22 partners from 12 European countries, which represent the leading European institutions and collections in the fashion domain.
  6. 6. The composition of our project consortium
  7. 7. The composition of our project consortium
  8. 8. The consortium Public & Private Europeana Fashion will ingest content both from renowned public institutions and private archives. Institutions such as: •  Victoria and Albert Museum; •  Musée de la Mode et du Texile at les Arts Decoratifs •  MoMu •  Museo del Traje •  Mude The collections held by these institutions represent, both in quality and quantity, a strong percentage of the world’s heritage on fashion.
  9. 9. The consortium Public & Private Private archives as •  •  •  Rossimoda one of the world’s most complete shoe collection from the seventeenth century to creations for Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Emanuel Ungaro, Givenchy, Fendi, Christian Lacroix, Kenzo, and others Pucci and Missoni archives, documenting 60 years of history of two of the great fashion brands in all its aspects and creative evolution Pitti Immagine an archive documenting 60 years of fairs, cultural events and projects for fashion in collaboration with the most important players in contemporary creative research
  10. 10. The consortium Public & Private The actions of collecting, cataloguing, preserving and archiving the fashion object have two entirely different purposes: •  to preserve, study and exhibit [public] •  to use (and re-use) [private] memory and culture preserved in the archives.
  11. 11. Europeana Fashion Thesaurus The Europeana Fashion project aims to create a multilingual thesaurus in 10 languages, for fashion and fashionrelated concepts. The thesaurus will be developed: •  as an aid for data entry •  as a knowledge base (open to internal and external users) •  as a search enhancement tool The Europeana Fashion Thesaurus will be based on the Art and Architecture Thesaurus (AAT)
  12. 12. Europeana Fashion IPR guidelines Rights management underpins everything we wish to achieve for Europeana Fashion. That’s why we developed the IPR best practice guidelines: •  Key to achieving project objectives •  Clarity for content holders •  Clarity for end users
  13. 13. What do the Guidelines cover? →  Introduction →  Key rights issues and considerations →  Intellectual Property Rights: General Principles →  The Europeana Data Exchange Agreement →  How to seek permission from a rights holder →  Risk Management →  Appendices (Flowcharts and template letters) →  Further Resources / Glossary
  14. 14. Social Media !  Facebook brings most people to the website (>2400 friends) ! Our Twitter community is active and fashion-oriented (>700 followers) ! Tumblr and Pinterest followers are highly engaged (>700 followers) !  Museums and schools love reading our newsletter (>650 subscribers)
  15. 15. Press & Clustering Activities ! Coverage in major publications (New York Times/International Herald Tribune, Vogue) ! First International Conference (Florence April 2013) ! Second International Conference (London April 2014)
  16. 16. Tumblr Blog A collaboration between the Europeana Foundation and the Europeana Fashion project. Each month, this Tumblr will showcase a different theme curated by experts from the fashion and cultural heritage community.
  17. 17. Setting up the collaboration with Wikipedia !   We’ve set up a direct collaboration with Wikimedia Chapters in various European countries !   We are organising a number of so-called GLAM-WIKI events around Europe We plan to host at least 10 events in 8 countries starting from March 2013
  18. 18. What is an edit-a-thon An edit-a-thon is “a scheduled time where people edit Wikipedia together, whether offline, online, or a mix of both; typically focused on a specific topic, such as science or women's history” * *
  19. 19. Wiki loves FASHION For Wikimedia these events bring: •  more and diverse content to the encyclopedia; •  domain experts to contribute knowledge; •  and hopefully new editors (skilled Wikipedians)
  20. 20. FASHION loves back For Europeana Fashion, there are several good reasons to organise these events: •  they are meant as a mean of promotion for Europeana Fashion; •  they improve public knowledge about fashion history on Wikipedia; •  they offer context to the beautiful materials we bring online; •  they connect different communities and bring them together around a shared passion.
  21. 21. What we have done till now... Three edit-a-thons organised: 1.  Nordiska Museet, Stockholm, 22 March 2013. 2.  Centraal Museum Utrecht, 13 May 2013. 3.  ModeMuseum Antwerp, 23 September 2013
  22. 22. What we have done till now... Edit-a-thon Number of Participants Audience MoMu 20 GLAM, Education & Research Centraal Museum 40 GLAM, Education & Research, festival organizers and enthusiasts Nordiska Museet 47 Education & Research (students), bloggers, journalists
  23. 23. Europeana Fashion content on Wikimedia Commons
  24. 24. What’s next? Europeana Fashion Challenge 12 Nov - 12 December Stockholm, Tel Aviv, Padua
  25. 25. Edit-a-thons: The basic ingredients All you need to organise a successful edit-a-thon is: •  solid event-planning; •  a well-lit room with decent wi-fi; •  a good connection with the local Wikimedia chapter; •  any extended knowledge sources; •  food and a positive atmosphere
  26. 26. Edit-a-thons: The basic ingredients Event promotion and partnerships: •  Start event promotion well in advance; •  Advertise the event on all your channels; •  Cooperate with the local Wikimedia Chapter.
  27. 27. Edit-a-thons: The basic ingredients Things to remember when using fashion content: •  All content on Wikimedia Commons needs to be either in the public domain or available under a ‘free culture’ license; •  Discuss beforehand with the management of your organisation; •  Think big, start small.
  28. 28. Edit-a-thons: The basic ingredients Finances. The expenses you should consider: •  •  •  •  •  •  Catering for the day; Museum needs; Supplying reliable electricity outlets; Supplying a reliable WiFi connection; Transportation; Thank you gifts for speakers and Wikimedia volunteers.
  29. 29. Some challenges •  Time/money/manpower; •  required expertise; •  cultural differences (GLAM vs. Wikimedia community); •  multilingualism.
  30. 30. Thank you! Follow us @eurfashion Visit us at Contact me at