Skip to main content
You are here
Facebook icon
Pinterest icon
Twitter icon

OpenUp! – Opening up the European natural history heritage for Europeana - COMPLETED

OpenUp! is an EC-funded project which aims to unite over one million natural history multimedia objects within Europeana, Europe’s digital library for cultural and natural history heritage.


OpenUp! is a 3-year-project involving 23 partners from 11 European countries which began in March 2011. The participating institutions will provide over one million multimedia objects from the natural history domain to Europeana.

Europeana ( is a cross-domain portal to Europe’s cultural and scientific heritage and is funded by the European Commission and the member states. Europeana provides links to over fifteen million multimedia digital items, including images, texts, sounds and video.

Using established technical infrastructures OpenUp! will create a single access point to distributed multimedia content in the natural history domain for Europeana. The project will facilitate a massive effort in data cleaning and validation and will ensure sustained and open item-level access to the multimedia items. Provision of multilingual metadata vocabularies and thesauri will enable enhanced cross-linking between Europeana content.

Kew will be a major content supplier within the OpenUp! network, with over 200,000 herbarium specimen images available for inclusion. Kew is contributing to the development of a data quality toolkit for all content providers through the development of a botanical names web service, which will enable validation of plant names against the International Plant Names Index (IPNI) as well as feedback on name status through a check against the Plant List (TPL). In addition, Kew is providing leadership in the documentation and development of a consistent IPR and copyright strategy in order to advise content provision by consortium members and future content providers.

Project duration: March 2011 – February 2014

Project partners and collaborators

United Kingdom

Natural History Museum, London (NHM)

Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh (RBGE)


Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna

Angewandte Informationstechnik Forschungsgesellschaft mbH (AIT)

Land Oberösterreich


Royal Museum for Central Africa

Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

Nationale Plantentuin van België

Czech Republic

Národní Muzeum, Prague


University of Copenhagen


University of Tartu Natural History Museum


Finnish Museum of Natural History (University of Helsinki)


Museum national d’histoire naturelle (MNHN)


Freie Universität Berlin/Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem

Museum für Naturkunde Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions und Biodiversitätsforschung an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig


Stichting Expertisecentrum Voor Taxonomische Identificaties (ETI)

Stichting Nederlands Centrum voor Biodiversiteit Naturalis


Botanický ústav Slovenskej akadémie vied


Species 2000

Society for the Management of Electronic Biodiversity Data

Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)

Project funders


European Commission: Information and Communication Technologies Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP) and Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP)