The “closing” of The European Library
The participants in the 2015 annual general meeting of the representatives of the Conference of European National Librarians (CENL) reached a decision to discontinue services provided by The European Library (TEL), a web portal making freely and widely available data on heritage held by Europe’s national and research libraries, as well as the basis for what subsequently became Europeana, a pan-European digital library, museum and archive.
Data aggregation services provided by The European Library will be suspended on 31 December 2016 and new data and content will no longer be published on the TEL Portal. However, all content, data and resources previously added to TEL, such as bibliographical and digital data sets, the TEL Linked Open Data set and TEL digital exhibitions will remain accessible. TEL Historic Newspaper Browser, resulting from Europeana Newspapers, a digitisation project that the National and University Library in Zagreb is also taking part in, will be accessible as part of Europeana Newspapers Portal.
The European Library (TEL) was launched by CENL in 2004 with the purpose of bringing together the collections and catalogues of Europe’s national, and subsequently also research libraries, i.e. creating a comprehensive union catalogue of the entire European cultural heritage, as well as enabling the discovering and capturing of over 200 million resources and providing access to the digitised materials of its member libraries. The European Library currently offers access to some 24 million pages of full-text content, including 600,000 books and electronic theses, 10 million digital objects and a vast amount of articles, patents, reports and other printed resources, along with images, maps, videos and other objects. Until this day, TEL, as Europeana’s major data aggregator, delivered more than 11 million data from European national libraries.
All European libraries, which have so far used TEL aggregation services, will from now on deliver their data directly to Europeana.
The National and University Library in Zagreb (NSK) joined TEL soon after its launch and has through its services so far delivered to Europeana approximately 30,000 records on digital resources from the following NSK collections: NSK Digital Collections, Croatian Web Archive, Croatian Historic Newspapers and Croatian National Digital Dissertations Repository. In 2016, NSK collaborated with TEL as a coordinator on Collections of the South and East Europe in Europeana (CSEEE), a project aimed at the inclusion in Europeana, by way of TEL, of digital resources from the collections of national libraries that are members of CENL, but whose countries are not members of the European Union.