Accessing Europeana Content with the WP-CHContext plugin

Posted on September 26, 2013 by

I was really thrilled when earlier today, I learned that the Poznań Supercomputing and Networking Center (Poznańskie Centrum Superkomputerowo-Sieciowe) had created a CHContext widget, as well as a WP-CHContext plugin. Both the widget or the plugin allow you to pull in related content from Europeana, DPLA, Polish Digital Libraries Federation, or your own custom data provide and display it on your website or WP blog. I decided to play around with the WP-CHContext plugin and pull in digital content in Europeana related to Teresa Carreño. You will find the records displayed from Europeana in the footer area of this blog, under the header, “Related Carreño Primary Sources.” 

Here’s a quick how-to, if you’re interested in installing and pulling in content using the WP-CHContext plugin:

Enabling the WP-CHContext plugin was pretty straightforward. You can find full details and information by visiting this Github page: https://github.com/psnc-dl/wp-chcontext/wiki/CHContext-WordPress-Plugin-Description. Once you have downloaded and activated the plugin in WordPress, you will need to configure it in the Widget section. Decide where on your blog you’d like the links and thumbnails (if enabled) to appear (i.e. sidebar, footer) and drag it over to that section. Open up the CHContext Widget and customize the fields (title, # of results, thumbnails, Query selector, Query Template, Data provider).

Once customized, this plugin will automatically pull in links and thumbnails (if enabled) of materials from the data provider selected based on your most recent post’s tags or predefined elements (Query selector/Query Template).

I chose Europeana (access to digital content from over 2,000 European libraries and cultural heritage institutions) as the data selector, because it has digital content related to my subject, Teresa Carreño. Some data selectors, such as Europeana, require that you set up an API key in order to access to the digital content.

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 8.46.28 PM

If you want to pull in content based on the tags from your most recent posts, you can leave the Query selector blank or empty. I wanted to predefine elements based on the metadata in the records in Europeana so that digitized content, which was originally created by or about Teresa Carreño (i.e. letter, concert program). Essentially, it creates a specific search, which applies filters to narrow down my results. If you’d like more info on using JQuery, visit w3schools’ JQuery Tutorial.

The filters which can be applied directly in the Europeana search interface as well as in the Query template of this plugin, include:

who: this refers to content by a specific person or creator
what: this can refer to a specific subject (person, place, thing) or words found in a title
where: this refers to the geo-coverage (i.e. Geneva)
when: this refers to a date (i.e. 1862) or a period (i.e. Renaissance)

So for example if you would like to pull in content by Goethe and you’d like to narrow in on the subject of drama, you’d create a search in the Query template like this:

who:’Goethe’ AND what:’drama’

You could add additional predefined elements, if you wanted to focus in on a specific period, such as the 1780s by adding when:178* which would search between 1780 to 1789:

who:’Goethe’ AND what:’drama’ AND when:’178*’

If you want to run a broader search, just enter your search terms into the Query Template without applying a filter. Keep in mind that the more elements you include in your Query Template, the more focused or selective your search will be, because you will only pull in content when there is metadata associated with the field you define.

For more details and tips on searching in Europeana, visit: http://www.europeana.eu/portal/usingeuropeana_search.html.

If you have any tips or feedback, feel free to leave a comment!

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Response to Accessing Europeana Content with the WP-CHContext plugin

  1. That’s super! It’s doing something a little strange with the styling now, though, where the title of the object is sitting right on top of the object image. I’m going to play around with this on our WP installation, so I’ll get some idea of whether this is a theme issue or what.

    • Thanks, Trip! Let me know if you figure out how to change the styling. There is a default option to only show the link without the thumbnail.