Opening up Historiana

In “Opening up Historiana” EuroClio will involve more people and organisations in the development and use of Historiana. It will be possible for third parties to publish and promote resources on Historiana and to develop eLearning Tools for the Activity Builder. The project will stimulate the re-use of the Europeana Collections because the improvements made to Historiana will make it more attractive for cultural heritage institute to offer access to their collections via Europeana. In addition the project will result in actionable recommendation that will help those organisations that provide content to the Europeana Collections help educators discover, and use source for use in education.

Project Aims

The Opening Up Historiana project aimed to

  • Improve the user experience of educators who create e-learning resources on Historiana;
  • Expand the functionalities of the Historiana eLearning Environment;
  • Create three new eLearning tools on Historiana eLearning Environment;
  • Open up Historiana to web developers and developers of educational resources;
  • Re-use sources from Europeana Collections for the benefit of educators and their students.


The consortium has developed the following outputs:

Documentation for webdevelopers

We have developed, which is a page with information for web developers who are interested or contributing to Historiana. The idea is that any webedeveloper with sufficient knowledge and experience in working with JavaScript can used this site to create eLearning tools that can be added to the Historiana eLearning Environment. The documentation is produced by Webtic.



Three eLearning tools

Three new tools enhanced the interactive and creative element in the eActivity Builder, the place in Historiana where teachers can create digital lessons. Namely, the new functionalities are the following:

  • The “compare” block is designed for students to compare and contrast visual sources. Students should select parts of the sources and make annotations as part of their eLearning Activity. They can assign different colours for each annotation. Examples of use are: Selecting what changed over time using visual sources from different historical eras, selecting differences between artwork depicting the same scene using different styles, and selecting how official war photographers are distorting the reality through their work.


  • The “highlight” block is designed for students to analyse texts. Students should select texts and highlight them in a colour. They can add texts to their highlights. Examples of use are: Highlighting the arguments that historians are using in favour or against a certain historical interpretation, highlighting those parts of a textual source from which students can make useful inferences and explain what those inferences are, and highlighting those parts of a textual source that would not make it through a censor and explain why this would be the case.


  • The “discovery” block is designed for students to think about the connections between sources. They start by seeing one or some sources and can only see the next source after they click on it. All sources are connected through labels that explain what the connections are. Examples of use are: Discovering the factors that caused a historical event or development, and discovering how an idea has spread and transformed over time.

You can follow our procedure in visualizing and designing the eLearning tools through the sketches we created at the start of the Opening Up Historiana project. Please find here an early version of the Highlight tool, the Compare tool, and the Discovery tool.

Partner pages on Historiana

Project partners have their own page on the Historiana eLearning Environment. This enables them to have a dedicated space on Historiana in which they can publish their own eLearning activities in the language of their choice. The purpose of the development of partner pages is to make it possible for developers of educational resources, besides EuroClio, to create, publish and promote eLearning Activities. All project partners (Muzej Slavonije, Ústav pro studium totalitních režimů and Stockholmskällan) worked with the history educators from their network, to create exemplar educational resources on the Historiana eLearning Environment that will be used in their own educational setting, and in their main language of instruction. You can visit the partner pages in, while you can find our early designs on Partner pages here, where you can see a sketch for a profile page, for ways to access the pages, and for the presentation of sources.

Recommendations for Europeana

This research identified what can be done to help history educators find more sources to use in the design of (online) resources. The recommendations provided insights on how creators of resources for the teaching and learning of history are searching for sources online. To do so, we first conducted a field research on needs assessment. Based on our findings, we compiled a list of recommendations addressed to Europeana and their content providers,  in which we gave them inputs on how to better link with history educators and how to collect content in a way that it would be more adaptable and driven to education.

Post-project business case

The purpose of the post-project business case is to make sure that the outputs developed in the framework of the project will be sustainable in the future. The business case has been created after a set of interviews to commercial publishers of educational resources, teacher training institutes, cultural heritage institutes, history and citizenship educators, and students. These interviews contributed to the planning of future Historiana products to develop, and to the mapping of the needs of all these actors and of the obstacles they encounter when approaching digital learning. The business case maps Historiana’ s current and future users, infrastructures, finances, and Offering, and will help us map potential fundraising opportunities for Historiana.

Please find the Post-Project Business Case here.

Duration: 15 months. from 1 October 2018 - 30 June 2020

Project Managers: Steven Stegers and Judith Geerling



The Opening Up Historiana project is co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility of the European Union

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