history

Happy birthday to the world’s oldest national public museum!

255 years ago today, the British Museum opened its doors. It was the first ever national public museum. As a public museum, it was free to all and aimed to attract ‘all studious and curious persons’. Today, it’s stronger than ever, having just announced record visitor figures! Studious and curious persons study specimens at the […]

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From the Europeana Collections 1914-1918 reception

The memory of the First World War, its events and consequences, its victims and victors, remains very much alive today. It has become part of the individual and collective memory of Europe and of countries across the world – the stories of soldiers and their families continue to be told and published from generation to […]

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From St Nicholas to Santa Claus

He’s a man of many names – Saint Nicholas, Nikolaos of Myra, Nikolaos the Wonderworker, Nikolaos of Bari, Sinterklaas and of course, Santa Claus. As well as becoming the figure we associate with Christmas gift-giving, St Nicholas is also the patron saint of sailors (being known as ‘Lord of the Sea’ in Greece), merchants, archers, […]

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Double double, toil and trouble: witches and witchcraft

We’ve had Hallowe’en and now the nights are growing ever longer, it’s the perfect time for a spot of witchcraft, some would say. The images from Europeana below show both fictional witches, like the three that Macbeth meets on the heath in Shakespeare’s drama, and ‘real’ witches like Mother Shipton, a woman branded as a […]

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German war cemetery wins Wiki Loves photo contest

We are pleased to announce that this photo of the Cemetery of German soldiers in Tişiţa (a township in the city of Mărăşeşti, Vrancea County, Moldavia, Romania) is the winner of the Wiki Loves Monuments 2013 First World War category. ‘Cimitirul ostașilor germani’, Elena Loredana, CC BY-SA Wiki Loves Monuments is a worldwide volunteer-driven photography […]

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Who am I and why am I here?

November 21 is World Philosophy Day* so we’re taking a quick look at what philosophy is all about and introducing you to some of the great philosophers. Getting to grips with exactly what ‘philosophy’ means is about as tricky as some of the questions the discipline itself tries to answer. Philosophy, literally meaning ‘the love […]

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Freedom Monument celebrates Latvia’s independence

Guest blog by the National  Library of Latvia to celebrate Latvia’s Independence  Day on 18 November. People have always honoured their heroes – those who have wrought majestic accomplishments and been involved in great historical events – by building monuments to them. Monumental stones and words of gravitas ensure that powerful thoughts and uplifting accomplishments […]

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Four lives devoted to promoting peace

It’s the International Week of Science and Peace. Yesterday, we posted a blog about some of humankind’s top inventions to cover the ‘Science’ element. So today, we’re looking at ‘Peace’. It is thought that of 3,400 years of written history, there have only been 250 years in which no country has been documented as being […]

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