Project facts

Duration: 2015-07-01 - 2018-06-30
Project coordinator: Bournemouth University
Project consortium: CREATe, University of Glasgow (UK); IViR, University of Amsterdam (Netherlands); ASK, Bocconi University, Milan (Italy)
Funding bodies: JPI CH; European Commission
Subject areas: Archives, Conservation, Heritage Management, Intangible Heritage, Libraries, Methods - Procedures, Objects, Sustainability, Tangible Heritage, Technologies - Scientific processes
Budget: 624.057.00€


The project has designed a cost-effective decentralized system that has enabled cultural institutions across Europe to source information from end-users and to determine the copyright status of works contained in their collections.

The project has allowed for enhanced access to 20th-century cultural heritage and has contributed to enabling the use and re-use of items that would have otherwise remained unexploited.

The objectives of the project were :

  • To analyze the legal requirement of « diligent search » across the orphan works legislation of the 15 countries members of Heritage Plus.
  • To investigate best practices of orphan works clearance across cultural heritage sectors (libraries, archives, and museums)
  • (Based on this knowledge) to design, implement and optimize an online platform for crowd-sourced diligent searching on works contained in the collections of European cultural institutions
  • To study the potential applications and challenges of the crowd-based search method for texts, images, films, works of visual art, and born-digital cultural heritage works.

The project has fostered knowledge exchange between cultural heritage stakeholders, including small and medium-sized institutions. It has produced a high-value tool to maximize sustainable management of recent cultural heritage and use and re-use of related cultural artifacts.

Impacts & Results

  • The project has provided « sustainable strategies for protecting and managing cultural heritage » and has thereby allowed for « use and re-use of all kind of cultural heritage.»
  • Sustainable strategies for protecting and managing cultural heritage have been provided by the innovative platform EnDOW.
  • The project has focused on the preservation of a substantial part of the cultural heritage, including literature, visual arts, and music and excluding landscaped and buildings.
  • The project was aimed at identifying solutions to substantially reduce cost and therefore making the preservation of the cited cultural artefact sustainable in the medium and long run.
  • The project has explored possible solutions to engineering an unprecedented user-friendly platform for crowd-sourced copyright clearance, with the ultimate aim of lowering to the minimum the costs of mass digitization of cultural heritage contained in the collections of European institutions.
  • The outcome of the research has been made available to non-academic stakeholders, in particular cultural institutions of every size, including NGOs and SMEs, and to the public at large.


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