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Kaleidoscope - The 1950s in Europe


Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA)

Connecting Europe Facility (CEF)


EUR 676,535


Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) - Coordinator

PHOTOCONSORTIUM - International Consortium for Photographic Heritage (Italy) 

Ajuntament De Girona - Centre De Recerca i Difusió De La Imatge (Catalunia, Spain)

National Technical University of Athens (Greece)

Interuniversitair Micro-Electronica Centrum vzw - IMEC (Belgium)

Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz - SPK (Germany)

Koninklijk Instituut voor het Kunstpatrimonium - Institut royal du Patrimoine artistique (Belgium)

Topham Partners - TOPFOTO (United Kingdom)

National Széchényi Library of Hungary (Hungary)

Coventry project team

Centre for Dance Research: Neil Forbes, Sarah Whatley, Elaine O'Sullivan

Project objectives

The project aims at leveraging photographic content in Europeana depicting the 1950s in Europe, connecting today’s citizens with the post-war generation whose dreams of a better life led to the establishment of the European Union. Kaleidoscope wants to increase engagement with Europeana content, by heightening user interaction through crowdsourcing and co-curation. To support the discovery and reuse of photographic content in Europeana and allow for users to combine it with personal stories and photographs, the project will implement an intelligent visual similarity search, propose web/mobile demonstrator applications and provide augmented reality services.

Back-end tools enabling users to manipulate photographic collections will be integrated, which will eventually result in an update of the existing records with the crowdsourced annotations, materials and addenda. The data yielded will support curation work and improve the functionality and serviceability of Europeana. Kaleidoscope will also develop a community of users to raise awareness on Europeana, its content and its potential for creative reuse. Finally, the project partners will create an educational portal including a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). The tools, created and tested with the 1950s in Europe as an overarching theme, will also be relevant for other thematic frameworks.

In particular, the outcomes of this project will be used to enrich Europeana’s Thematic Collections on Photography and Migration with new stories, interesting photographic material, and other compelling resources for the users’ benefit and engagement.

More information about this project can be found on the Kaleidoscope and Photoconsortium websites, or when searching: #50sineuropekaleidoscope

Impact statement

The 1950s is a significant period, marking geopolitical changes in Europe and the start of many new cultural and social movements. The project will engage a wide range of publics and stakeholders, through the sourcing, sharing and identifying photographs in collections and enhancing engagement with Europeana. By contributing to Europeana, the aim is to enrich the collections and provide more resources for cultural institutions.

The project will extend into the education sector via the creation of a MOOC, having impact on curricula content and design in different educational sectors. Through a variety of public dissemination events, it will seek to influence curatorial practices and exhibition methods, encouraging greater participation by the public in how photographic material is collected, interpreted and shared.

Project news and events

20 - 21 September 2018

Kaleidoscope kick-off meeting in Leuven.

10-11 December 2018

Kaleidoscope concept workshop in Brussels.

21 March 2019

Kaleidoscope at Fotofringe in London.

25 April 2019

Kaleidoscope project meeting in Budapest.

7 July 2019

Kaleidoscope project presented at the Dance and Somatic Practices Conference, Centre for Dance Research, Coventry University. Academic paper by Dr Elaine O'Sullivan entitled 'Touching the Past: Digital Collections and Somatically Informed Engagement Practices.' 

5-6 September 2019

Kaleidoscope project meeting in Pisa and launch of project exhibition 'Blue Skies, Red Panic'

11 October 2019

Kaleidoscope Crowdsourcing workshop in Athens

24 October 2019

Kaleidoscope Memories workshop in Girona, including a presentation by Dr Elaine O'Sullivan entitled 'The Family Album as Archive/L'àlbum de Família Com a Arxiu.' Live translation from English to Catalan courtesy of David Iglésias Franch (CRDI).

3 December 2019

Kaleidoscope workshop, Rephotography: Coventry Then and Now

This event included presentations from invited speakers, digital tool-testing and a creative rephotography task. For more information about the Kaleidoscope project visit the project website.

Workers on a roof in Hungary.

3 December 2019

Kaleidoscope Focus group event in Berlin

21-22 February 2020

Kaleidoscope project final conference in Berlin. Watch this space for further information!

Get Involved

Fifties in Europe Kaleidoscope.

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