site.btaVarna Library Director: It Is a Pity that Bulgarian Museums Are Not Visible in Europeana
It is a pity that Bulgarian museums are not visible in the Europeana web portal, director of the Regional Library in Varna Radka Kalcheva said. The pan-European portal offers a multilingual online collection of millions of digitized objects from European galleries, museums, libraries, archives, and according to Kalcheva it is a problem that Bulgarian cultural institutions do not understand that presenting their collections and masterpieces will make them more visible and attract visitors.
"Today most of the tourists travel unorganised, they make their own programme, and when they have not seen on the internet that there is a museum in a Bulgarian town, they have no motive to go and see it," the library director said. She added that although there are many interesting artifacts in Bulgarian museums, they are not promoted and visitors are not aware of their existence.
The Varna library is the first partner of Europeana from Bulgaria, working with the portal since its creation in 2008 by a decision of the European Commission. Kalcheva stressed that as of this moment Varna library remains the only officially accredited data aggregator from Bulgaria to Europeana. According to the latest data the library provides 76% of the Bulgarian content in the pan-European portal. The rest is distributed among various institutions that have won European projects.
The library in Varna uploads mainly photos, currently also texts - old periodicals and books, Kalcheva added. She specified that now the European portal insists on more 3D and visual materials - films and audio recordings. The call to the aggregators from the EU member states is to emphasize on this type of content, which however can be provided by museums, not libraries, since the latter do not manage such artifacts or monuments and archaeological sites.
The Varna library has always sought assistance from museums in the country, the director added. According to her, there are already over 70-80 million records in Europeana. The portal has a very good interface in Bulgarian, everything is translated, there are tools when searching by keyword to come up with different data providers, Kalcheva explained, highlighting on the efforts of Europeana to be user-friendly. "Although we have been working with the portal for 15 years, the number of Bulgarian libraries and museums represented has not changed", Kalcheva concluded.