Europeana the EU Multimillion-Euro Digital Library Crashes on Launch and Hopes to be Back by Mid-December in a More Robust Version

Not everything is as easy as it looks. On November 20, 2008 the European Union Digital Libraries Initiative launched Europeana, a multimillion-euro digital library intended as a friendly and cooperative European competitor to things like Google Book Search.

As written by Leigh Phillips at EUobserver, here is the idea:

Websurfers can access some 2 million books, maps, recordings, photographs, archival documents, paintings and films from national libraries and cultural institutions of the EU’s 27 member states.

“Europeana is much more than a library, it is a veritable dynamo to inspire 21st century Europeans to emulate the creativity of innovative forbears like the drivers of the Renaissance,” said commission president Jose Manuel Barroso at the launch.

But the launch hit a serious snag, again as Leigh Phillips writes at EUobserver:

Going live on Thursday (20 November), the site was instantly overwhelmed by the 10 million visitors per hour it was receiving and crashed mid-morning, requiring a quick doubling of the number of servers supporting the library. It crashed again in the early evening.

When one now goes to the Europeana website, one is greeted with the following message – our scan of the current page there:
(CLICK HERE FOR THAT SUBSEQUENT LINK TO FURTHER INFORMATION)
__________


__________

Rome was not built in a day.

Update:
The New York Times Stephen Castle reports in
Europeana Goes Online and Is Then Overwhelmed

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