Enhancing access to 20th Century cultural heritage through Distributed Orphan Works clearance (EnDOW)

EnDOW is a 3-years collaborative project funded under Heritage Plus, a programme launched by agencies of 18 European countries and the European Commission as part of the Joint Programming Initiative in Cultural Heritage and Global Change. The project is a partnership of four leading European research centres:

The main goal of EnDOW is to facilitate the process of right clearance for European cultural institutions engaged in digitization of material contained in their collections. Specifically, EnDOW aims at designing, implementing and testing an efficient and cost-effective system for determining the “orphan work” status of library, archive and museum material, according to the requirements of the recently implemented European Directive on orphan works. The system will be based on crowd-sourcing certain phases of the process of diligent search of the rightholders, which is key requirement set by the Directive to benefit from the orphan works exception.

Key objectives of EnDOW are:

  • To analyse the legal requirement of “diligent search” across the orphan works legislation of a selected number of EU Member States;
  • 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.

Through analytical and empirical approaches to mass digitization, the project aims at fostering knowledge exchange between cultural heritage stakeholders, including small and medium size institutions. It ultimately aims at producing a high-value tool to maximise sustainable management of recent cultural heritage, and use and re-use of related cultural artefacts.

» For news and updates visit the EnDOW project website.


JPI on Cultural Heritage and global change          Arts & Humanities Research Council

One Response to “EnDOW”