European Digital Treasures in the Green Paper on the Sustainable Management of Cultural Heritage

European Digital Treasures has been selected as a best practice for the Green Paper on the Sustainable Management of Cultural Heritage!

This Green Paper is being put forward as part of the programme by the Spanish presidency of the Council of the European Union, following in the footsteps of the Czech presidency in 2022, which published a report on the cultural dimension of sustainable development in European Union actions. This project is carried out by the Directorate General of Cultural Heritage and Fine Arts of the Ministry of Culture and Sports and is coordinated, through its Support Unit by the Sub-Directorate General of the Spanish Institute of Cultural Heritage and the Sub-Directorate General of Management and Coordination of Cultural Assets. It is drafted by a working group made up of representatives from different governments and varying institutions, organisations and associations with a consolidated track record in the defence, management and conservation of Spanish cultural heritage. The text was submitted for public consultation in June 2022 and, based on the contributions received and contact with various stakeholders, successive drafts were developed. Although the references to regulations and governmental competences refer directly to the particular situation in Spain, the concepts that make up the technical corpus of the book can be extrapolated to any other country, as they always underlie the common and universal idea of safeguarding and transmitting cultural heritage.

This paper intends to be a tool that facilitates the daily management of cultural assets and favours good practices in this field; a document that integrates all aspects of cultural heritage and reflects its diverse reality, challenges and problems of all types, focusing on heritage management as sustainable management and a paradigmatic example of the circular economy. Moreover, this paper can serve as an incentive and driver for a greater good, also attainable through the revaluation, care and dissemination of heritage: raising the social consideration of culture, making citizens as a whole understand the relevance that this has for the social, economic, aesthetic and ethical development of all of society.

Written by Spanish State Archives

You can find more info in the portal:

European Digital Treasures – LIBRO VERDE DEL PATRIMONIO | Ministerio de Cultura

Green Paper on the of Sustainable Management Cultural Heritage – LIBRO VERDE DEL PATRIMONIO | Ministerio de Cultura

Merchandising products: One experience  

In November 2019, the School of Design (ESD) of the Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave (IPCA) received an invitation from the General Directorate of Books, Archives and Libraries of Portugal (DGLAB) to collaborate on a project that would bring unprecedented challenges to a multidisciplinary team of designers and the opportunity to get to know and value documents that have described part of the History of Portugal.

ESD is an organic unit of the IPCA, a public institution of higher education founded in 1994, located in the northern region of Portugal. As part of its mission to contribute to the development of society through innovative training, cultural creation, applied research and investigation, the European Digital Treasures project presented itself as an opportunity to explore new methodologies and regional and international synergies.

The team responsible for the project included a graphic designer with a master’s degree in illustration and animation, an industrial designer, responsible technician of a product design laboratory and a project manager, a teacher and researcher in the areas of communication design, typography and publishing. These different skills allowed solutions that not only responded to the initial brief but also complemented it with communication outputs (such as packaging and promotion videos) that helped to explain, demonstrate and advertise the merchandising products designed.

Here is the catalogue of all the products created under the project.

The first stage of this journey involved a week-long artistic residency in Madrid, from 17 to 21 January 2020. During that week, the teams of designers from all the project partners met, worked and shared experiences. There were moments of contact with professionals in the areas of design, communication, management and distribution of products related to museums and cultural institutions. Workshops were developed in which work methodologies, future scenarios and prototypes were discussed. The contact with designers from other countries allowed not only for better awareness of the brief, considering that the heritage and cultural value of many archives were reflected upon, but also for the exchange of experiences and expertise in varied areas. These included graphic design, product design, jewellery and marketing. There were also some field visits to cultural institutions of worldwide reference, which allowed an observation of the spaces and organisation of the merchandising shops and direct contact with some products. Furthermore, these were moments that enriched the experience of the week, due to the opportunity created to visit some of the best art collections in the world. After this important moment, which leveraged the steps of previous research and problem definition, we moved on to the ideation and prototyping phases.

Development of a merchandising article.

From a selection of historical archives, seven prototypes of innovative merchandising products were developed: a botanical specimen jar with five artisanal soaps; two écharpes; two ceramic brooches, a ceramic cutting and serving board and a DIY mobile. Take a look at the videos.

All prototypes were thoroughly studied, tested and presented in multiple contexts, national and international. With an iterative, multidisciplinary and multicultural process we sought not only to contribute to greater recognition of our past treasures but also to open the door to future projects that help communicate the value and mission of the Portuguese Archives.

Ana Catarina Silva, Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave (IPCA).

DGLAB, the new virtual store

As an effective result of one of the activities within the scope of the Eurpean Digital Treasures Project – New Business Models for European Archives in the XXI Century-, the General Directorate for Books, Archives and Libraries inaugurated, on 22nd of September 2022, the DGLAB virtual store, developed based on a modern and functional e-commerce platform.

This project was presented by José Furtado, at the ICARUS convention in Paris, May 2022: “Face to Face to e-Commerce: the Migration Experience”.

You can find the presentation in the convention’s report (p. 7) and check the video on the ICARUS YouTube Channel, here, but now you can also visit the new virtual store at !

New virtual store.

All the initiatives promoted had the sole purpose of increasing our customers’ satisfaction with our services!

Written by General Directorate of Books, Archives and Libraries, Portugal.

EDT Workshop New Business & Conceptual Models: “Face to Face to e-Commerce: the Migration Experience”

From Face to Face to e-Commerce: The Migration Experience, brief describes the DGLAB (Portugal, General Directorate for the Books, Archives and Libraries) experience on the transition from its previous approach and position online to E-commerce strategy adaptation, faced as an opportunity for paradigm change. José Furtado, head of the Division of Information Systems, Statistics and Quality in the Directorate General of Books, Archives and Libraries, presented their ideas and findings at the European Digital Treasures workshop ‘New Business & Conceptual Models’, held on 23rd of May 2022 within the #28 ICARUS Convention.

José Furtado at the ICARUS convention in Paris, May 2022.

On the course 2020 to 2022, directly or indirectly COVID 19 pandemic deeply affected the business model conduced. Abrupt decline in sales as well as of the clients due to confinement were observed.  At the same time, there was an incremental growth of online requests to services: a 13% growth of on-line interactions were experienced between January and June comparatively to the last 6 months of 2019 that continuously kept increasing since then.

All the above led to a shift of paradigm in this business area in order to better disseminate the institutional image of the archives, by introducing a different strategy, both at the physical shop and online service.

Decisions were taken towards the professionalization of the DGLAB’s online shop presence by means of disruptive technology in such way that could force the services to be also disruptive on their own work in order to optimize resources and process; aggregate other revenue-generating DGLAB services on the same platform; increase efficiency in customer service both at the “front-office” as “back-office” level, through a more immediate control of “stocks”; reading of sales flow indicators and order requests; improved payment and introduce flexible calculation mechanisms on shipping functionalities; tax configuration per country; General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance at Customer support features; ability for customers to view their order history and status; Live-chat integration etc.

Along with the consolidation of the strategic actions in the technological and operational field, start the path towards the creation of synergies that help us more easily identify and meet the needs of the user/customer/citizen by creating synergies with other entities is of crucial importance.

Encouraging easier access to archives heritage targeting public from other fields of research like design of products; magnifying the role of archives as a rich and unexplored source of resources for cultural commercial market; incentivizing public-private cooperation; generating product diversity to meet a broad range of public; promoting internships in real work context focus towards web design, marketing or communication; promoting initiatives focused on creating opportunities for artistic production, fostering identity expression as a right of citizenship that the State should support, should be the way to change.

In that sense, the challenge for next years will be to face e-commerce platform as a laboratory of experiences and the archives as a source of inspiration.

Read about this self-copying service in detail in our report here (p. 5) & check out the video on our YouTube Channel here.

Let’s present our workshop speaker

José Furtado.

José Furtado works at DGLAB. Furtado’s activities towards archives extends for more than 30 years, both in Portugal and in Macau. He was involved at research activities, coordination of the training activities and quality services at DGLAB; promoted and developed studies for the quality of processes and assessments on the satisfaction of the clients of the DGARQ and internal collaborators, and implemented the performance indicators system. Participated in several working groups involved in the development of projects of high relevance, namely, the development of the platform for virtual consultation for archives (CRAV I) and application of projects to the Memory of the World (UNESCO) and European Heritage Label. From November 2012 until now he is the head of the Division of Information Systems, Statistics and Quality in the Directorate General of Books, Archives and Libraries, has a degree in History and has a postgraduate in Management of People and Knowledge and a post-graduation on advanced studies in Public Management, granted by the Institute of Administration, Lisbon.

Check out the recording of the presentation of José Furtado about “Face to Face to e-Commerce: the Migration Experience” here!

Additionally you can read the full report about the workshop here.
Read more about the workshop here.

Written by José Furtado & the European Digital Treasures Team.

EDT Workshop New Business & Conceptual Models: Introduction & first speech “Identification of potential for revenue generation”

Yvan Corbat, senior consultant at Grupo DEX and partner of the EDT project, led and moderated the European Digital Treasures workshop ‘New Business & Conceptual Models’, held on 23rd of May 2022 within the #28 ICARUS Convention. He gave a general overview of the aims of the EDT project before the other partners of the project gave their individual presentations about new business models for the archival field.

Within the workshop, Leonard Callus, National Archives of Malta, held a speech about “Identification of potential for revenue generation” and explained how the National Archives of Malta undertook great efforts to identify and analyse new business models to generate revenue. Read about it in detail in our report here (p. 7) & check out the video on our YouTube Channel here.

Let’s present our workshop speakers

YVAN CORBAT is senior consultant at Grupo DEX and URBACT and UIA (Urbact Innovative Actions) validated expert, with particular expertise on cultural management and international cooperation. He has over 25 years of professional experience in international programms and project management, with particular focus on the strategic and operational management of multilateral-funded projects to support local/regional development, and on the design, implementation and evaluation of EU Programmes.

Yvan Corbat.

He has worked as advisor of the Minister at the Spanish Ministry of Culture and Chief of Staff for the XXV Anniversary celebrations of the Prince of Asturias Awards, under the auspice of UNESCO. In September 2020, he has been selected as expert for the Capacity Building for European Capitals of Culture project and, since 2020, he is volunteering as Solar Impulse Expert for the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions.

Leonard Callus.

LEONARD CALLUS forms part of the National Archives of Malta’s management team and is responsible for records management, community relations and outreach initiatives.

Before joining the National Archives, he served in several managerial and policy-related capacities within the public administration.


All sessions of the workshop were recorded and will be presented here on our BLOG within the next weeks.
For now: Check out the recording of the introduction and the presentation of Leonard Callus about “Identification of potential for revenue generation” !

Additionally you can read the full report about the workshop HERE.

Read more about the workshop: HERE

Written by Tatjana Hölzl, International Centre for Archival Research.

‘Travelling booklet’ (Wanderbuch) of Jakab Modern, tool smith journeyman

European Digital Treasures project partner Hungary has opened its second exhibition titled ‘Exiles, Migratory Flows and Solidarity” on May 5th, 2022 at the beautiful Castle Garden in Budapest.  The exhibition explores the issues such as the cultural results of transnational migrations, on what ground solidarity stands when it comes to inclusion of the hopeless and how the host communities react after different migration flows. The exhibition looks at these issues from a historical perspective and presents a series of related events through 47 key documents.

© Várkert Bazár.

Besides the digital panels the exhibition includes a few original documents that are originally kept by the National Archives of Hungary. These documents are exhibited carefully supervised by conservators continuously. Regarding the summer heatwaves in Hungary the Hungarian conservators team has to be beware of critically high humidity levels. These documents because of their uniqueness are central of interest of school groups, travellers and historians from all around Europe.

In this blogpost we would like to introduce one of the original pieces exhibited at the Castle Garden. This archival document is the ‘Travelling booklet’ (Wanderbuch) of Jakab Modern, tool smith journeyman. Jakab Modern was the Magistrate of the Royal Free City of Pozsony (today: Bratislava, Slovakia), a famous tool smith master throughout Europe.

Reference Number: HU MNL OL P 975 II. 59. № 2. Kept by the National Archives of Hungary
© Zsuzsanna Lantos.

Undergirding the development of modern Europe between the 1780s and 1849 was an unprecedented economic transformation that embraced the first stages of the great Industrial Revolution and a still more general expansion of commercial activity.

From this ‘Wanderbuch’ we can walk down on history lane and learn that its owner, Jakab Modern has been wandering in German speaking regions for several years: Potsdam, Leipzig, Hamburg, Bremen, Hameln, Frankfurt, Mannheim, Ulm, München, Landshut, Regensburg, Linz were his destinations. According to this travelling document, after returning home, he also travelled through Switzerland and France. Among other cities he visited Zurich, Basel, Bern, Mühlhausen (a city in the north-west of Thuringia, Germany) and Paris. The booklet contains about 35 written folios.

Jakab after being employed by a master for several years, and producing a qualifying piece of work, the guild apprentice became a journeyman (German: Geselle, Hungarian: vándorlegény). He had his certifications from his master of the guild, which proved that he successfully completed his apprenticeship. It also meant that he is entitled to travel to other towns and countries, learning the art from other masters (these journeys lead sometimes to quite distant parts of Europe and became an unofficial way of communicating new methods and techniques). However, only a few journeymen made such long travels as the tool smith Jakab Modern did.

It would be wrong to think, however, that the Industrial Revolution eradicated artisanship entirely. The Wanderbuch (travelling booklet) of Jakab Modern is a testament to that. It records the journeys of a tool smith in Central Europe during the years 1823–1829. Just by browsing through it one can get a good impression of what Modern’s working life was like.

The exhibition can be visited until the 5th of August, 2022 at the wonderful location of the Castle Garden of Budapest, Hungary.

Written by:
Dorottya Szabó, Archivist of the National Archives of Hungary
Anna Palcsó, Public Education Officer of the National Archives of Hungary

Photograph: Zsuzsanna Lantos, National Archives of Hungary

Exhibition II: Opening in St. Pölten – Austria

On July 1st, 2022, the opening of the 2nd part of the exhibition series of the EU project “European Digital Treasures” took place at the Museum am Dom in St. Pölten. After the questioning of the “Becoming of Europe” in the first part, the second part is now dedicated to the complex of questions “migration flows – exile – solidarity” – Europe in turmoil.

Opening ceremony at the air-raid shelter of the diocese.

The air-raid shelter of the diocese was deliberately chosen as the venue for the event, in order to convey an authentic sense of what war, flight and persecution have always meant in concrete terms for the people concerned during the opening ceremony.

The interested audience of about 50 people was first introduced to the compilation by the museum director Barbara Taubinger in her welcoming speech, followed by ICARUS president Thomas Aigner, the representative of the province Florian Krumböck and the mayor of St. Pölten Matthias Stadler, who formulated their thoughts on the frighteningly topical subject. Finally, the exhibition was ceremoniously opened by Diocesan Bishop Alois Schwarz.

left to right: Matthias Stadler, Alois Schwarz, Barbara Taubinger, Thomas Aigner & Florian Krumböck after the opening ceremony.

The show will be on display for two months until the 28th of August and uses primary sources from nine major European archives to convey the various aspects of the topic. In addition to labour- and war-related migration, a third section is devoted to expulsion as a result of uprisings and state intolerance.

Written by Karl Heinz, International Centre for Archival Research.


“Plan of a machine to raise fresh water from the river to the Alcázar of Toledo and supply the city” is one of the Spanish contributions to the third transmedia exhibition of the Project European Digital Treasures, “European Discoveries – From the New World to New Technologies”, held by the General Archive of the Indies (Seville, Spain) from April 29th 2022 to July 29th 2022.

Water management has a long tradition in Spain. With long, hot, dry summers, and areas where water is scarce, an efficient and rational use of water has always been a serious issue for the various peoples that inhabited the Iberian Peninsula. As a result, complex irrigation schemes and sophisticated water management machines were installed in many parts of the Peninsula throughout the centuries.

This document shows the design of a machine to raise water from the river Tagus (Tajo in Spanish) to the Alcázar of Toledo to supply the city with fresh water. It was designed by Giovanni Turriano (circa 1505-1585), known in Spain as Juanelo Turriano, an engineer and technical advisor to King Charles I.

The drawing was made in 1561, but construction of the invention seems to have been delayed until around 1565. The first engine he built was a success; it was working at full capacity by 1568. Despite some legal disputes, Turriano was commissioned to build a second one, which went into operation in 1581. Both mechanisms, known as Artificio de Juanelo, were considered engineering wonders at the time, and efficiently solved most of Toledo’s water problems.

The machines were in operation until 1639. By then, lack of maintenance and thefts rendered them inoperative. They were disassembled and abandoned.

Having in mind this 16th century invention, the Spanish designer Ángel Merlo created this glass bottle: a merchandising product for domestic or sport use for bringing water or drink easily.

Glass bottle created by Spanish designer Ángel Merlo.

You can find more info about the archival document and the product here:

“Diseño de un ingenio para subir agua del rio Tajo al Alcázar de Toledo y proveer a la ciudad”
General Archive of Simancas

Check out a 3D recreation of the Artificio de Juanelo:

Written by Spanish State Archives

Opening of the exhibition “European Discoveries: From the New World to New Technologies” in Norway

The third of the three transmedia exhibitions included in the European Digital Treasures project, European Discoveries: From the New World to New Technologies, was successfully opened at the National Archives of Norway – Regional State Archives in Stavanger at the House of Archives on the 31st of May, 2022.

Exhibition Opening. © Ine Fintland.

The exhibition is open to the public until the beginning of September. It analyses the scientific and technological discoveries that have been vital engines for the material progress and wealth of Europe, through the documentary treasures kept by the European archives.

This exhibition tries to show that discoveries and inventions lie at the heart of Europe’s cultural heritage. Archives in Europe abound with documents and materials that witness the constant desire to explore and to discover, and these documents tell many different stories.
There are three pillars of this exhibition: Medicine, energy and industry, and transport and navigation. They are an attempt to provide a glimpse of the multifarious variety of stories, events and personalities involved in discoveries of many different types, during the long history of Europe. It is thus an exhibition not only about the discoveries themselves, but also about their archival memory, recording one of Europe’s most distinctive cultural traits.

In addition to the documents, the exhibition is completed with transmedia tools to bring its content closer through experimentation and play. Link to the catalogue– have a look!

Written by Ole Gausdal, director in charge of international relations
at the National Archives of Norway.

Opening of the exhibition ‘Exiles, Migratory Flows and Solidarity” in Malta

National Archives exhibition opening 17-05-22.

Yesterday, May 17th 2022, the second of a series of three exhibitions developed within the framework of the European Digital Treasures project was inaugurated in Malta.  On 17th of May, Minister Owen Bonnici opened the exhibition ‘Exiles, Migratory Flows and Solidarity’ at the head office of the National Archives of Malta in Rabat. 

The narratives displayed here combine different technological tools that allow us to get to know our past through multiple channels. We chose 47 documents from 22 archives from 9 countries to tell micro-stories that shaped Europe, hoping that the innovative products will allow visitors to experiment and play, to learn and share, as well as to feel moved by our common past.

Written by Leonard Callus, National Archives of Malta.