Improvements to the Europeana Semantic Elements - ESE v3.4


In the last two years the work of data ingestion has been focused on quantity - increasing the number of digital objects in Europeana. Now that we have almost 18 million items and have well exceeded our target, we are taking the opportunity to focus on improving the quality of the data.  Users are telling us they want more precise search results.  New technical developments can help with this but some improvements can only be made closer to source by the data providers or aggregators.

Changes have been made to the ESE Specification to support the improvement in data quality.  The changes are in the areas of:

  • Use and occurrence of metadata elements.
  • More mandatory elements have been introduced.
  • Consistency and standardization of data values.
  • Improvements to the use of country and language data.

All the improvements are based on data provided in ESE.  Since ESE will be a subset of EDM these improvements will also have a positive effect for future developments of Europeana.

The following table summarises the main changes in the ESE specification.


Changed to Mandatory. Clarification of use of this element and dc:rights


Changed to Mandatory.


Changed to Mandatory for objects with type TEXT, strongly recommended for other types where appropriate.

dc:title and dc:description

Mandatory to provide one of these two

dc:subject, dc:type, dc:coverage; dcterms:spatial

Mandatory to provide one of these four


removed, now redundant


revision of note to reflect current practice


revision of note to reflect current practice.

For a transitional period ESE3.3 will continue to be accepted.  The existing Content Checker will not be affected by this development and the Content Checker V2.0 will allow providers to choose which schema to use.