From 31 December 2016 ‘The European Library’ services will no longer be available and this portal will be frozen with no subsequent updates. 

For further information please visit this press release on the CENL (Conference of European National Librarians) website at or contact CENL by emailing

The European Library (TEL) was launched by the Conference of European National Librarians (CENL) in 2004 as the union catalogue of European national libraries and has since become a web portal and open data hub for national library data in Europe. Its success led to the Commission asking CENL to set up what became Europeana.  The European Library has disseminated library data in a variety of ways to promote its wider use. TEL has been the biggest provider to Europeana, a digital platform for cultural heritage funded by the European Commission, bringing in more than 11 million records from European libraries. Access to this data will continue through Europeana.

The decision to no longer contribute to the collective subscription model for TEL was made by CENL at its Annual General Meeting in Bern in 2015, and a review of alternative service models followed. The review recommended that TEL services should be concluded by the end of 2016.

Individual national libraries’ needs have become increasingly diverse since TEL was launched by CENL in 2004 and the subscription model for data aggregation offered by TEL no longer offered the best option for all national library members.

CENL and Europeana have worked closely together to preserve TEL’s assets in advance of its closure.

TEL aggregation services for libraries will be stopped and the TEL portal, which gives access to both bibliographical and digital data sets, the TEL Linked Open Data set, and TEL digital exhibitions, will be frozen on 31 December 2016, with no subsequent updates. This allows the TEL Newspapers collection to continue to be accessible and serve as a starting point for the launch of the Europeana Newspapers channel in due course.  Europeana will also continue to provide aggregation services to individual libraries with no alternative aggregation routes to Europeana.

The closure of TEL frees up CENL resources to establish a new form of collaboration and mutual support between pan-European national library members. CENL will create a new set of collaborative and networking opportunities across Europe in line with its strategic priorities to 2018: improving the stewardship and management of collections by sharing information, identifying best practice and supporting members; improving the visibility and impact of services; developing member libraries’ skills and professional capabilities; improving the sustainability of Europe’s national libraries as organisations through effective advocacy, partnership and collaboration with other organisations; strengthening CENL as an organisation to enable it to do more to support its members.


Europeana Cloud

Start: 1st February 2013
End: 31st January 2016
Full Project Cost:  €4,749,582 (EU contribution €3,799,641)

Europeana Cloud is a Best Practice Network, coordinated by the The European Library, designed to establish a cloud-based system for Europeana and its aggregators.  Lasting from 2013 to 2015, Europeana Cloud will provide new content, new metadata, a new linked storage system, new tools and services for researchers and a new platform - Europeana Research. Content providers and aggregators across the European information landscape urgently need a cheaper, more sustainable infrastructure that is capable of storing both metadata and content.

For the latest news see the website blog at

Europeana Newspapers

Start: 1st February 2012
End: 31st January 2015
Full Project Cost: €5,156,200 (EU contribution €4,124,973)
Funding for The European Library: €367,117

23 partners are working together on the Europeana Newspapers project to aggregate over 30 million pages of digitised newspapers from across Europe, which relates to over 4m separate newspaper issues. The European Library's role is to act as the aggregator for the project, harvesting the digitised newspapers and providing a central mechanism to search over them. Details about the digitised newspapers will be visible in the Europeana portal

Find out more about the project at website blog at

You can also search the historic newspapers interface at

LERU Law Portal 

Start: March 2014
End: September 2014
Full Project Cost: €2,000 per participating institution, plus one-off charge of €10,000

The European Library was commissioned by LERU (League of European Research Universities) Law Deans to build the LERU Law Portal, showcasing the open access publications at the participating LERU institutions (12 of LERU’s 21 members in total). This would harvest first the relevant metadata from the Open Access repository at each member, and then, where feasible, also create a full-text index of the relevant material. This data would be used to create the show case portal.


Start: 1st February 2012
End: 31st January  2016
Full Project Cost: €8,839,851 (EU contribution €6,500,500)
The European Library Funding: €201,767

CENDARI provides and facilitates access to existing archives and resources in Europe for the study of medieval and modern European history (specifically the First World War period). It also develops appropriate digital tools for researchers in these fields. The European Library is assisting with the development of the content strategy, the appropriate metadata schema and the long-term sustainability of the service.

CENDARI stands for Collaborative European Digital Archive Infrastructure.

Arrow Plus

Start: 1st April 2011
End: 31st September 2013
Full Project Cost: €5,625,000 (EU contribution €4,500,000)
The European Library funding: €378,296 (out of €472,870 full costs)

Building on the previous Arrow project, Arrow Plus continues the creation of an infrastructure for assisting in tracing rights holders (authors, publishers etc) of books and helping determine whether it is an orphan work, in or out of copyright or if it is still commercially available. The European Library's role is to provide technical expertise in building the system and also provide its aggregated bibliographic dataset of European books.

Arrow Plus aims to bring new 12 new countries into the Arrow infrastructure.

Europeana Libraries 

Start: 1st January 2011
End: 31st December 2012
Full Project Cost: €3,868,459 (EU contribution €3,094,765)
The European Library funding: €709,544

Europeana Libraries was a key EU-funded project for The European Library. It involved 19 research libraries who allowed their metadata, and in some cases content, to be aggregated by The European Library and made available via multiple sources, such as Europeana. The outputs from the project included a redesigned portal for The European Library and a business plan to guide The European Library in 2013-2015.


Start: 1st February 2011
End: 31st January 2014
Full Project Cost: €321,000
The European Library funding: €24,000

ENUMERATE is creating a reliable baseline of statistical data about digitisation, digital preservation and online access to cultural heritage in Europe. The European Library is one of the expert partners providing advice on the progress of the project.


Start: 1st January 2012
End: 31st December 2013
Full Project Cost: €247,251
The European Library funding: €69,049

Diggicore will use The European Library's dataset of full-text articles as a base from which to identify patterns in the behaviour of research communities. It will attempt to detect trends in research disciplines, gaining new insights into the citation behaviour of researchers and discovering features that distinguish papers with high impact. Funded under the international Digging into Data Challenge, Diggicore involves The European Library and the UK's Open University.


The CACAO project provided an infrastructure to enable cross-language functionality in digital libraries and library catalogues. The European Library aggregated the bibliographic and digital collections of Europe’s national libraries via a single multilingual interface. The involvement of The European Library in the CACAO project assisted in the development of the CACAO Application Profile and facilitated the development of The European Library Application Profile for Objects to better allow cross-language searching.



ARROW (Accessible Registries of Rights Information and Orphan Works) was the initial project to create a single framework to manage rights information.

Arrow Plus began the creation of an infrastructure for assisting in tracing rights holders (authors, publishers etc) of books. This system was able to determine whether a book was an orphan work, in copyright or still commercially available. The European Library's role was to provide technical expertise in building the system and access to its aggregated bibliographic dataset of European books.


FUMAGABA (2008-2009) aimed to integrate the collections of the national libraries of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine, Moldova, Albania, Georgia, Armenia, Bosnia Herzegovian and Azerbaijan. FUMAGABA partners were members of CENL and became Full Participants with the financial support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.



The EDLproject was a Targeted Project funded by the European Commission under the eContentplus Programme and coordinated by the German National Library.

The project, started in September 2006, worked towards the integration of the bibliographic catalogues and digital collections of the National Libraries of Belgium, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Norway, Spain and Sweden, into The European Library.

EDLproject also addressed the enhancement of multilingual capabilities of The European Library portal, took first steps towards collaboration between The European Library and other non-library cultural initiatives, and expanded the marketing and communication activities of The European Library service.



TELplus was a project funded by the European Commission under the eContentplus Programme and jointly coordinated by the National Library of Estonia and Eremo srl.

TELplus was a targeted project that ran for two years; it aimed to OCR more than 20 million pages of content in many languages, to make library data OAI compliant and therefore harvestable, to address usability issues through improved presentation of search results and to make improvements in semantic interoperability including multilingual search and retrieval.

Additionally, the national libraries of Bulgaria and Romania joined The European Library as part of TELplus.



Tel-Me-Mor was a project funded by the European Commission under the Sixth Framework Programme of the Information Society Technologies (IST) Programme.

The project lasted from 1 February 2005 to 31 January 2007 and had two main objectives:

  • to support the 10 national libraries from the New Member States, which are partners in the project, in becoming full members of The European Library;
  • to stimulate and facilitate the participation of organisations from the New Member States of the European Union in projects funded within the IST area.


TEL Project

The objective of the TEL Project was to set up a co-operative framework that would lead to a system for access to the major national and deposit collections (mainly digital, but not precluding paper) in European national libraries. The European Library investigated how to make a mixture of traditional and electronic formats available in a coherent manner to both local and remote users.

The TEL Project contributed to the cultural and scientific knowledge infrastructure within Europe by developing co-operative and concerted approaches to technical and business issues associated with distributed access to large-scale content. It laid down the policy and develop the technical groundwork for a sustainable pan-European digital library based on distributed digital collections and on the operational digital library developments in the participating libraries and agencies.



Gabriel - GAteway and BRIdge to Europe's National Libraries - was the joint web portal of all European National Libraries. In total there were 43 national libraries in 41 countries (Italy and Russia have two). The website was available in English, German and French.

Besides practical information about the national libraries (access and opening hours, functions, history etc.) Gabriel provided information about for instance the collections, the online public access catalogues (OPACs) and specialised web services of each library. Furthermore Gabriel offered a central search engine with which the websites of all National Libraries could be searched simultaneously.

Gabriel was stopped as a separate web service in 2005. Its contents were incorporated into The European Library database.

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