European Union Re-Launches Online Library

The European Union’s huge online library known as “Europeana”, which crashed soon after its launch, has reopened today.

Tailored to serve as a huge repository of information, the website comprises of more than two million books, music, maps, archive documents, recordings, films and paintings that are stored in around 1,000 institutions across Europe.

The website existed only a day after its launch on 20 November, as the heavy traffic of 10 million users per hour resulted in its crash; however, a spokesperson of the project asserted that the website is now back online, and all the related issues have been addressed effectively.

Martin Selmayr, a spokesperson to EU, has claimed that the website’s capability has been “quadrupled” to address the demand, but the home page of the website clearly warns its users that “the user experience may not be optimal in this test phase”.

A large number of prominent museums, including Paris’s Louvre Museum and the British Museum, have contributed to EU’s ambitious library project.

Upholding its edge over the other information providing websites, Jill Cousins, Europeana’s director said in a statement, “If you go onto Google, you don't always know what you're getting ... Here you do. The institutions have been here for hundreds of years and they know what they're talking about and that's what you're getting out of it.”

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Our Comments

The EU's digital library shows that there is a huge demand for knowledge and information. This project which brought together a significant amount of institutions could effectively become a major global repository of European culture, capable of counter-balancing the American hegemony on the web.

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