50s in Europe Kaleidoscope

A successful project joining heritage photography and new technologies, to discover the life in the 1950s as you’ve never seen it before. Co-financed by the European Union in the framework of CEF Connecting Europe Facility Programme (2018-2020).

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Project duration: 1 September 2018 – 29 February 2020

What it is about

The project leverages 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. Fifties in Europe Kaleidoscope wants to increase engagement with Europeana content, by heightening user interaction through crowdsourcing and co-curation of compelling photographs of the 1950s.

The best selection of photographic content conveyed into the BLUE SKIES, RED PANIC exhibition, also available in virtual form on Europeana. A set of curated photogalleries composed the supersuccessful Fifties Friday series.

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 implement an intelligent visual similarity search, proposed into a  web/mobile demonstrator application.

Back-end tools enabling users to manipulate and annotate photographic collections 50s-visual-smallwere integrated in the process, resulting in an update of the existing records with the crowdsourced annotations, materials and addenda. The data yielded served to support curation work and improve the functionality and serviceability of Europeana.

Fifties in Europe Kaleidoscope also created a community of users to raise awareness on Europeana, its content and its potential for creative reuse. Finally, the project partners created an educational portal including a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).

The tools, created and tested with the 1950s in Europe as an overarching theme, can also be relevant for other thematic frameworks. In particular, the outcomes of this project are 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.

Website: https://fifties.withculture.eu

Project’s Factsheet (October 2018): PDF, 455 Kb
Presentation (October 2018): PDF, 375 Kb
Kaleidoscope postcard (April 2019): PDF, 182 Kb

50s-visual-Stories from Kaleidoscope

Kick-off meeting in Leuven, 20-21 September 2018

Coordination meeting for the Europeana Generic Services projects 2018-2020

Concept workshop, Brussels 10-11 December 2018

Kaleidoscope at fotofringe London

Kaleidoscope and REACH agree on collaboration

Kaleidoscope presented at international conference in Cardiff

Plenary meeting in Budapest, 25th April

Partners meeting in Helsinki, 5th June 2019

Pisa exhibition, 6 September 2019

Second coordination meeting for the Europeana Generic Services projects, The Hague 3-4 October 2019

Workshop on family photography in Girona, October 2019

Crowdsourcing campaign: Athens event, October 2019

Crowdsourcing campain: we want your tags!

Interactive exhibition presented in Leuven

Blue Skies, Red Panic in Girona, exhibition 12 Nov – 19 Dec 2019

Rephotography: Coventry then & now

Annotating datasets: crowdsourcing event in Berlin, 3 December 2019

Antwerp edition of Blue Skies, Red Panic

New strategies for user engagement and digitised photographic heritage

Final conference in Berlin, 19-20 February 2020

Celebrating Fifties in Europe accomplishment! Stories from Berlin event

Impact and future exploitation for Kaleidoscope



  1. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) – Coordinator
  2. PHOTOCONSORTIUM – International Consortium for Photographic Heritage (Italy)
  3. Coventry University (United Kingdom)
  4. Ajuntament De Girona – Centre De Recerca i Difusió De La Imatge (Catalunia, Spain)
  5. National Technical University of Athens (Greece)
  6. Interuniversitair Micro-Electronica Centrum vzw – IMEC (Belgium)
  7. Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz – SPK (Germany)
  8. Koninklijk Instituut voor het Kunstpatrimonium – Institut royal du Patrimoine artistique (Belgium)
  9. Topham Partners – TOPFOTO (United Kingdom)
  10. National Széchényi Library of Hungary (Hungary)
Fifties in Europe Kaleidoscope is co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility Programme of the European Union, under GA n. INEA/CEF/ICT/A2017/1568496

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