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The prototype set up during the first EuropeanaNet project integrated content from willing institutions through a rather informal contribution. The network of contributing institutions is now being organised, with contractual agreement, licensing framework, scheduling of updates for continuous contribution. The organisation is building on aggregators as Europeana cannot manage directly the thousands of institutions which are providing content. Aggregators can be at the national or domain level. They are also projects of the Europeana group of projects out of which 10 are currently providing content to Europeana. All those projects are working on data models for their own domain, harmonisation of practices, some are working on vocabularies or classifications using SKOS. For instance the MIMO project will set up a simple classification of music instruments. All the projects are also setting up OAI PMH data servers that Europeana will harvest. The content contribution is going both ways along the hierarchy of institutions as the semantic enrichment and the user generated content could be given back to the interested contributing institutions.
Europeana is a central access point to distributed digital repositories and services to users and part of a virtual circle of cultural heritage sites as well as open to the global web. The objective is to facilitate a smooth intuitive navigation across the services wherever the user came into the circle from a specialised service or a generalist one. Some of the partners are dark portals just aggregating content for Europeana. Others are true portals offering services to users on the Web. The Europeana network had an important discussion about the branding and the statistics very similar to what was presented in the IFLA session on statistics about the usage of Digital Collections http://www.ifla.org/files/hq/papers/ifla75/92-navarrete-en.pdf . In users survey the users only remember and record the entry point in the network of services. One of the responses to the questions raised in the organisation of such a circle of services is the implementation of APIs. ( Application Programming Interface)