Euro culture going digital

EU will co-fund massive library

Euro-MPs have confirmed a €250 million ($344.6 million) plan for a European digital library that will include movies and television programs in its massive archive.

The project, which will be co-funded from the European Union's budget, will include 6 million cultural works and be available to anyone with an Internet connection. The EU also will co-fund with the private sector the creation of a Europewide network of digitization centers to boost the initiative.

The European Parliament's Culture Committee said the library should make access to Europe's cultural heritage much easier.

The library will be a single, direct and multilingual access point to the European cultural heritage, covering all categories of cultural material. Two million films, programs, books, photographs, manuscripts and other cultural works will be accessible by 2008, with that figure jumping to 6 million by 2010. One of the first challenges will be to digitize content stored in traditional formats, such as photographic negatives, films on reels and music on vinyl records or tape.