You might think Google offers it all through its Book Search and more. But it might prove to be paltry next to Europeana, a new site that brings together artwork, books, manuscripts, objects, maps and films from libraries, museums and galleries across the continent.
Certainly a lot of people would agree. When the EU launched the prototype of the site yesterday it achieved 10 million hits in an hour, enough to crash the servers, which couldn’t cope with the demand, the Guardian reports.
The site is multimedia, also offering films and audio pieces (one contribution from the British Library is a recording of every British dialect). Around 1,000 European institutions have contributed.
Jill Cousins, Europeana’s executive director, said:
"It is unique. A search engine cannot do what we can. For example, a search for Mozart brings together letters he wrote to his father, musical scores, and film and sound recordings of his music."
"Part of the reason our site exists is because Google Book Search kicked off a debate about the presence of European cultural heritage on the web. That allowed us to mobilize."
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