Stories connect people. We think cultural heritage does too.

Digital Storytelling Festival is an online event by Europeana and The Heritage Lab, non-profits in Europe and India bringing culture to people digitally.

There are millions of openly licensed digitised objects from cultural institutions across the world. Turning them into stories is an opportunity to reach the audiences even when the institutions’ buildings are closed, to create engaging experiences and to remain relevant.

Throughout May, we’re inviting curators, communication and social media professionals, museum educators, students and everyone interested in creating engaging digital stories to:

  • discover tools and techniques to create digital stories


The first edition of the Digital Storytelling Festival encouraged people to create digital stories from openly licensed cultural heritage collections. Join the Festival’s Closing Online Event on Wednesday July 21st

12:15 PM — 1:30 PM BST | 1:15 PM — 2:30 PM CEST

4:45 PM — 6 PM IST | 8:45 PM — 10 PM AGST

During this interactive online sessions, we will:

  • announce the contest winners

Register here


You can now vote for your favourite entries. Use the “Applause” button under each story to vote for it. The story with the most ‘claps’ will receive the People’s Choice Award. The voting deadline is July 18th.

Explore the submissions and vote here.


Digital cultural heritage collections are a great way to preserve and promote folk tales, music and traditional ways of living. Take a look at this selection of open collections exploring folklore from across Europe.

1. Recordings, images and documents from Irish Traditional Music Archive on Europeana

A cover of a music notation booklet with the text: Ireland must be heaven, for my mother came from there, an illustration depicting a road and a small photo of a woman in the left lower corner
A cover of a music notation booklet with the text: Ireland must be heaven, for my mother came from there, an illustration depicting a road and a small photo of a woman in the left lower corner
Ireland must be heaven, for my mother came from there
1 score (4 p.) : ill., music in staff notation, Irish Traditional Music Archive, public domain

2. Folk costume photographs by Gösta Florman from Stiefelsen Nordska Museet on Europeana


GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) is the second most popular image format used on the Internet, after JPEG. While GIFs have been around for about 30 years, they became very popular in the 2010s, with the rise of social media — especially Tumblr. The Oxford English Dictionary even named GIF as Word of the Year in 2012.

As they’re easy to use and universally supported, GIFs are everywhere. They’re also perfect for telling digital stories, here’s why:

1. GIFs catch attention

Even a subtle animation brings images to life

Henriette Roued-Cunliffe, Source material: Flowers on the Windowsill| Carl Larsson | Nationalmuseum, Sweden via Europeana, public…


Digitised cultural heritage collections can play an important role in protecting and promoting diversity and inclusion. Explore this selection of material from across the world featuring the cultural heritage of various communities:

1. The collection of National Museum of African American History and Culture via Smithsonian

Cardboard placard with an off-white background and red and white lettering. Overall text reads “We demand an end to police brutality now!” In the upper portion of the placard is a large red swath of color with white text within that reads “WE/ DEMAND.” Below is red lettering in a font that mimics handwritten text that reads “AN END/ TO/ POLICE/ BRUTALITY/ NOW!” All the text is centered down the middle.
Cardboard placard with an off-white background and red and white lettering. Overall text reads “We demand an end to police brutality now!” In the upper portion of the placard is a large red swath of color with white text within that reads “WE/ DEMAND.” Below is red lettering in a font that mimics handwritten text that reads “AN END/ TO/ POLICE/ BRUTALITY/ NOW!” All the text is centered down the middle.
Placard from March on Washington “WE DEMAND AN END TO POLICE BRUTALITY NOW”, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Samuel Y. Edgerton, CC0

2. Objects from the Immigration Museum of the State of São Paulo


Are you looking to create digital stories using openly licensed cultural heritage content from around the world? If you’re unsure about how to start, don’t worry — the internet has got your back!

Following are a list of easily accessible tools that will help you create videos, graphics, social media posts, interactive images, GIFs, and a lot more. Explore, get inspired and learn:

  1. Graphics:

a) Canva

b) Easel.ly


Everyday objects and images depicting daily life — inspiring open collections can tell a lot about the way people lived in the past. They also help bring memories and ideas to life. Explore this selection of objects from cultural heritage across the world:

1. Everyday objects from the collection of Museo del Objeto del Objeto

A red tape dispenser with the brand name Dennison on it and a text“Transparent Mending Tape” no 2
A red tape dispenser with the brand name Dennison on it and a text“Transparent Mending Tape” no 2
Mending Tape from the second half of the 20th century, Museo del Objeto del Objeto, CC BY

2. Vintage toys from the collection of Deventer Musea on Europeana


While digital storytelling can take many different forms, the best examples engage people on a personal and emotional level. Watch our video and take a look at the infographic to learn about best practices — in less than 10 minutes!

Would you like to learn more and explore the examples? Read our article here. Ready to create your own story for our creative competition? Find out how it works, discover step-by-step tutorials and inspiring content and submit your entry. Don’t forget to share your thoughts using hashtag #DigiStoryFest on social media.


Women’s contributions are often overlooked by mainstream history. Explore this selection of women’s history cultural heritage collections from across the world. Use them to create your own stories and help close the gap.

1. Images of African American Women Changemakers from the Library of Congress

A photo of Black women marching with signs for equal rights, integrated schools, decent housing, and an end to bias.
A photo of Black women marching with signs for equal rights, integrated schools, decent housing, and an end to bias.
Civil rights march on Washington, D.C, Leffler, Warren K., Library of Congress, No known restrictions

2. Artworks by Scandinavian women artists from the collection of Nationalmuseum, Sweden on Europeana

Europeana

Europe's culture - collected for you. Explore tens of millions of items from a range of Europe’s leading galleries, libraries, archives and museums.

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