Survey Report on Digitisation in European Cultural Heritage Institutions 2014



Executive summary ; 1 Introduction ; 2 Response to the survey ; 3 Digitisation activity ; 4 The Collection ; 5 Digital access ; 6 Digital preservation ; 7 Digitisation expenditure


This is the second report on the state of digitisation in Europe's cultural heritage institutions published by the ENUMERATE Thematic Network. The report is based on nearly 1400 ‘core’ survey responses, from 29 European countries (143 Dutch respondents). The survey, carried out in november and December 2013, asked questions about the state of digitisation activity, access to digital collections, the digital preservation strategy and the expenditure of digitisation.


A selection of the highlights of the findings:

  • 87% of the respondents claim to have a digital collection (2012: 83%).
  • 36% of the responding institutions have a written digitisation strategy (2012: 34%).
  • 17% of the Cultural Heritage-collections that need to be, are currently digitized; 52% still needs to be digitised.
  • Assuming that 17% of the collections was digitized in the last ten years, then it will take – with comparable budgets, at least another 30 years to fulfil the digitisation plans of the institutions.
  • More institutions measure the use of digital collections (2014: 51%; 2012: 42%).
  • 48% does not have a solution yet for long term preservation based on international standards for digital preservation.
  • Estimating the costs of digitization, it appears that incidental costs are qualified higher (53%) than structural costs (47%). 

The ENUMERATE Core Survey 1 was implemented in 2012. This second survey ends the three year research period of ENUMERATE. The raw data are available via the ENUMERATE Data Platform. The work will be continued by Europeana Professional.


Another rich source of information on digital cultural heritage institutions in Europe, relevant for audiovisual archivists and policy makers in AV-archives to compare these statistical data on digitization, digital preservation and online access with their own.

Hanneke Smulders