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MIMO began life as a consortium of some of Europe’s most important musical instruments museums which came together for a project that aimed to create a single online access point to their collections. The MIMO Project, which was funded through the European Commission’s eContentplus programme, ran from September 2009 until August 2011 and successfully achieved its objectives.

Over the two year period, the MIMO partners, via the Europeana website, made the following content publicly available: 

  • almost 45,000 instruments with more than 70,000 images and metadata, thus making available 40% of Europe’s and 16% of the world’s heritage of historic and non-European musical  instruments in public possession
  • 1,800 digital audio files
  • 300 video clips.

In addition, the partners worked on multilingual content such as dictionaries for controlled vocabularies for musical instruments databases to ensure a consistency in different languages (Dutch, English, French, German, Italian and Swedish), associating non-specialists vocabulary with synonyms, terms and classification systems used by professionals, enabling a more specific research.

Other key outcomes of the project included the development of documentation which sets out standards for photographing musical instruments - now publicly available so that other museums can make use of these to digitise their own collections – and detailed guidelines on how to set up a repository to enable the harvesting of digital content.

What Happens Next?

  .Contributors to  
Django Reinhardt's Guitar, Cité de la musique, Paris
Alto Saxophone, Cité de la musique, Paris
Pigeon Pipe, Ethnological Museum, Berlin
Violino Harp, Musical Instrument Museum, Brussels
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