Skip to main content
Europeana Foundation: The Europeana Foundation is the governing body of the Europeana service. It promotes collaboration between museums archives audiovisual collections and libraries so that users can have integrated access to their content through Europeana and other services.
Supra-national authority
Contact information


Europeana gives people access to more than 45 million of digitised objects from Europe's museums, libraries, archives and audiovisual collections. Europeana acts as a single point of access to cultural objects (books, museum objects, paintings, films and archival records) that have been digitised throughout Europe. The information that can be found on Europeana comes from cultural and scientific institutions in Europe.

For heritage institutions, Europeana is an opportunity to increase visibility which will result in an increase of their web traffic, better user experience and new partnerships.


Europeana Data Model

To enhance the way Europeana harvests, manages and publishes metadata, Europeana has developed a new Semantic Web-inspired framework for its metadata: the Europeana Data Model. This community-developed model re-uses existing Semantic Web vocabularies (ontologies) such as Dublin Core, SKOS, OAI-ORE, adapting them to the Europeana context. EDM allows Europeana to represent different perspectives on a given cultural object. It also enables the representation of complex, especially hierarchically structured objects as in the archives or libraries domains. Finally, it allows Europeana to represent contextual information, in the form of entities (places, agents, time periods, concepts) explicitly represented in the data and connected to a cultural object. Europeana has documented several case studies that illustrate the challenges and benefits of applying EDM to cultural heritage collections.

The main documentation on EDM can be found at

The previous metadata format used by Europeana, the Europeana Semantic Elements (ESE) stays the core of the new EDM. EDM is then fully compatible with ESE.


Community re-use

EDM is now used by Europeana and several other cultural aggregators, such as the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) and the German Digital Library. More EDM case studies are available at 

Data dissemination

EDM data are published via the Europeana API but also as Linked Open Data via under a CC0 licence. This allows cultural heritage to be re-used by third parties in other applications not necessarily connected to cultural heritage. 


Linked Open Data - What is it? from Europeana on Vimeo.

The following RDF namespace abbreviations are currently used in

Future plans

The ongoing maintenance of EDM is an open process.  The Europeana Foundation does its best to keep the model well-documented and flexible. EDM is built for re-use and itself re-uses existing elements from welle stablished vocabularies as much as possible. In true linked data fashion, EDM ‘profiles’ can be developed without Europeana having to update the core model. Elements can be attached to the model without a corresponding implementation in Europeana's core platform. This flexible approach has made it easier to extend EDM to meet the data needs of specific domain aggregators. EDM is now used by Europeana and several other cultural aggregators, such as DPLA and DDB. 

To know more

Release date: 04/04/2012

edm 1.0

Detailed information

Last update
Release date


Only facilitators and authors can create content.
Non moderated