European Digital Treasures: Management of centennial archives in the 21st century

The Need:

European archives are fundamental primary sources for discovering and reinforcing shared European culture and history. For decades, these archives have invested significant efforts into collecting, preserving and digitising records and manuscripts, and offer the public free access to these cultural and historic “digital treasures”. The stories and histories hidden within these digital treasures are essential to our understanding of our shared culture and origins and in shaping our collective memory and consciousness. It is apparent, however, that these records and manuscripts are often undervalued and appear to be of little interest to an uninitiated or unspecialised audience.

This project shines a light on the work of European archives and the importance of their collections. It also, importantly, recognises and proceeds from the need for European archives to engage with new non-specialist audiences through more innovative means.

The Solution:

The project sets out to:
• Develop new business models for European archives in the 21st century with the aim to unlock the profitability and economic sustainability of cultural and historic “digital treasures”.

• Amplify the visibility of national archives in the public underlining the importance of protecting European heritage.

• Reach out to new audiences, developing and promoting digital products and iniatives that unlock the hidden treasures of joint heritage kept in archives.

• Support transnational mobility of managers, historians, experts, graphical and industrial designers as well as archivists to activate cross-sectoral opportunities.

The Department of Technology Enhanced Learning play a special role in the project and have responsibility for activities and work packages relating to the creation of a number of transmedia exhibitions, incorporating digital catalogues, interactive displays and mini-games, a mobile app, and an immersive educational role-playing game.

To learn more about the project and its current status, please see

Other Project Partners

• Ministerio de Cultura y Deporte, Subdirección General de los Archivos Estatales (

• Direcao-Geral Do Livro, Dos Arquivos E Das Bibliotecas (

• International Centre for Archival Research (ICARUS) (

• Kulturdepartement – National Archives - Ministry of Culture (

• National Archives of Hungary (

• National Archives of Malta (

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