Official Launch of the European Archive Foundation
Amsterdam, 28th of September 2006
The European Archive Foundation was officially launched during the opening of the Crossmedia Week in Amsterdam. Operating from Amsterdam and Paris, it is collecting and making freely accessible public domain collections and large web archives via its multilingual website (europarchive.org). Collections already comprise one of the largest online free classical music collections (more than 350 LPs) made in collaboration with the National TV and Radio Archive of the Netherlands, a snapshot of the Italian web domain, made in collaboration with the National Library of Italy and an archive of political websites of the 25 EU member states captured during the European constitutional debate.
"The European Archive is the only institute who tries to establish this public domain on a European level, not tied to nationalities, religion, cultural domains, governments, broadcasters or commercial partners" says Edwin van Huis, Director of Beeld en Geluid (The Netherlands).
The European Archive Foundation is partnering with the Internet Archive (archive.org), a non-profit foundation based in San Francisco hosting the largest public web archive including global snapshots of the surface web since 1996, to open the way for the establishment of a global Web archive based in Europe.
"The European Archive is bringing cultural materials, not available in other ways, to a broad public in an open and non-commercial way," said Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, "we look forward to sharing collections to ensure long term preservation and access to these unique holdings".
"The European Web Archive is of vital importance in preserving the history of the web for future generations" comments David Thomas, Director of technology of The National Archive (UK).
By offering free and unlimited hosting to curated public domain collections with the support of XS4ALL, the foundation intends to foster online access to a large portion of European cultural heritage and bring to the broadband network infrastructure a tremendous quantity of rich and legal content. "Working with the UK National Archive, Beeld en Geluid, the Italian National Library has been very exciting and we look forward to extending partnership with others institutions in Europe" says Julien Masanès, Director of The European Archive Foundation.
The European Archive is a digital library of cultural artifacts in digital form incorporated in 2004 as a non-profit foundation in Amsterdam. It acts as a technological partner for cultural institutions to foster free online access of European cultural heritage and develops an open Web archive.