Reuse of digital cultural heritage through the eyes of ‘traditional’ publishing

As part two of our blogpost series on the London Local Pubs: Past and Present ebook, Enrico Turrin of FEP is giving us some insight into ebooks and the reuse of digital cultural heritage through the eyes of ‘traditional’ publishing.

Publishing & Europe’s food and drink heritage

As the Federation of European Publishers (FEP), we got involved in the Europeana Food and Drink project as representatives of the book publishing sector, in order to contribute with our knowledge and experience about book publishing and to act as a contact with publishers from all over Europe. After all, one of the expected outcomes of the project was the publication of a book and an ebook!

At the same time, we thought the project would yield results that were interesting for publishers: a large library of high quality digital objects from many museums, archives and other cultural institutions across Europe, related to a trendy and fascinating topic like our food and drink culture, and available for commercial reuse.

The publication of the book London Local Pubs: Past and Present was the first, very tangible result of the collaboration of several project partners, and a good one, at that. Available in both print and digital, the book embodies the spirit of Europeana Food and Drink: it focuses on a traditional aspect of the food and (especially) drink culture, with an eye to history and one to modern times, using a wealth of beautiful images from past and present.

Morris Dancers passing the Magpie & Stump; The Queen’s Head between 1930 and 1960
Book or eBook?

We think that these kinds of publications, on similar topics and with such interesting source materials, are very well suited for different formats, print and digital. On one hand, beautiful pictures make for nice illustrated books that figure well on your bookshelf or coffee table. On the other hand, the topic of food and drink is great for cookbooks and travel guides and many other publications that can be greatly enhanced by the features of digital books: easy to carry, enhanced, interactive, etc.

We are therefore promoting Europeana Food and Drink among our constituency, the book publishing sector, hoping to see this experience replicated many times. Besides regularly updating our members (28 national associations of book publishers from all over Europe), we have organised presentations about the project and its content base at the Frankfurt Book Fair with a dedicated area for the food and drink topic, called Gourmet Gallery and the London Book Fair just this week.

collage_London Book Fair
Enrico Turrin, FEP at London Book Fair, 12th April 2016

To make sure that the content made available through Europeana Food and Drink can express its full potential in terms of commercial reuse, we recommend that it is made easily searchable, and made available at very clear conditions.

By Enrico Turrin, Federation of European Publishers


The London Local Pubs: Past and Present ebook has been published by Halsgrove Publishing as part of the Europeana Food and Drink project, with assistance from the National Brewery Heritage Trust, Historypin, Federation of European Publishers, Fratelli Alinari, Topfoto and Keepthinking.