ORPHEUS (2002-2004)

Project official site

EC's portal


Promoter was Technical Coordinator.

Projects' Lifetime: from 2002 until 2004

Project profile


The ORPHEUS project aims at making available a range of services targeted to the educational institutions in Europe, enabling them to access the European photographic heritage through the electronic interface of the Internet as a mean of common cultural denominator among the European academies.

Issues being addressed
ORPHEUS is based on an innovative idea, especially as it concerns a service covering the critical and problematic digital content sector. Contents enable the digital products and services of the "new economy" to stand out and therefore they are significant for the added value of those digital services and products. A competitive and dynamic digital content sector in Europe is a main prerequisite for Europe's success in the new economy.
The service to be offered by ORPHEUS consists in making available through the web images from European photographic archives. More generally the educational sectors will benefit from the on line application as ORPHEUS will promote and increase the adoption of innovative Internet-based information and communication technologies by the universities and research centres with the aim of encouraging the promotion of an interactive and widely deployable tool across Europe.
The final users - namely students, teachers, professors, researchers - shall benefit from the service through the involvement of their universities, that will act as "intermediary" between them and the ORPHEUS service. The localisation of the textual part of the archives in several European languages (Italian, English, French, German and Spanish) will allow the trans-European deployment of the services: although the actual contents to be sold are pure images, in order to allow the final users to selectively retrieve them on the basis of their needs.

Goals of the project
Photographic archives actually address several segments of the business and cultural environment and of the visual-digital content industry.
Besides Alinari, several photographic archives owners and photography agencies already offer their stock on line: GettyOne (www.gettyone.com) and Corbis (www.corbis.com), just to mention the most famous ones, offer historical, contemporary and art images available to be purchased and downloaded on line. Their customers are both professionals and private users and their products are both on a rights-protected and royalty-free basis. However, these services and the other ones available on line are not real competitors of the ORPHEUS service, because their business is based above all on publishing sector professionals, advertising companies, photography agencies and corporates. Orpheus, instead, aims specifically at the high educational sector and in particular at the university environment.
The education sector is one of the most active and exploitable ones as the research activities need, for their own specificity, continuous updating, new sources for study, innovative tools. Researchers and students really need to have access to top quality networks which enable new approaches to collaborative learning and research.


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