Online heritage platform developed by Amplexor wins prestigious Europa Nostra Award

15 July 2017

Online heritage platform developed by Amplexor wins prestigious Europa Nostra Award

July 15, 2017

The online heritage platform Erfgoedplus, developed by Amplexor for the Province of Limburg, Belgium, has won the prestigious Europa Nostra Award in the category “Education, Training and Awareness-Raising”. The award is considered the highest honour in the cultural heritage field in Europe.

Each year, the European heritage organization Europa Nostra, based in The Hague and Brussels and partially funded by the EU, awards prizes in four different categories to organizations carrying out exceptional projects considered as outreaching examples of creativity, innovation, sustainable development and social participation in the heritage field throughout Europe. More than 200 projects from over 18 different countries competed for the prize on this year’s edition.

The cerimony was jointly presented by Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, and Plácido Domingo, the world-renowned opera singer and President of Europa Nostra. It took place on 15 May at St. Michael’s Church in Turku, Finland.

“This outstanding platform has considerably advanced the standards of heritage documentation in Belgium while increasing the public awareness of the values of cultural heritage. It achieves this by using open data and promotes the reuse of digital data through the link with Europeana, an important and easily accessible repository for Europe’s shared heritage. This is a great example of excellence in heritage documentation. This initiative provides an interesting and effective training model for other projects throughout Europe as it integrates community involvement, education and digitization”, stated the jury.

Erfgoedplus is a public platform for the crowd sourced collection and sharing of digital data, offering cultural heritage information on a wealth of objects and sites across the provinces of Limburg and Flemish Brabant. It is supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by professional museums, private collectors, archives, libraries, churches, local and national historical associations and local museums and documentation centers.

Serving as a useful tool for a diverse audience of tourism services, guides, teachers, professors, scholars, students and the public, Erfgoedplus is a legacy database, a heritage site and a digital heritage inventory.

The platform was launched in 2009 with 37,000 objects from 148 collections. Today, the online database boasts 139,000 objects from 520 collections, covering all professional museums in Limburg and Flemish Brabant, and over three quarters of all churches. There's an annual average growth of 15,000 objects. Since its launch, Erfgoedplus has contributed to:

  • More information about the wealth of local heritage
  • Raising awareness of cultural heritage
  • Popularization and broad application of international standards
  • Increased collaboration and exchange between collection managers
  • Improvement in content and enrichment of the heritage collections
  • Implementation of educational heritage projects.

One central database and one searchable and publicly available online platform to unify cultural heritage knowledge