European Heritage Times is a digital newspaper containing personal stories about European heritage.
It had started in 2015 under the name Social Media Volunteers for Heritage as a joint initiative of European Heritage Volunteers and Europa Nostra. Europa Nostra’s contribution to the project from 2016 to 2018 was part of the Network Projects “Mainstreaming Heritage” and “Sharing Heritage – Sharing Values” which were supported under the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. European Heritage Volunteers contribution to the project was financed by own resources.
Since April 2019 the project is continued by European Heritage Volunteers as European Heritage Times.
Young writers from all over Europe, with various professional and educational backgrounds, and mostly aged between 23 and 35 years, report on heritage-linked themes from their home countries and other European locations where they have encountered different aspects of heritage.
The range of topics varies greatly and aims to illustrate the richness and diversity of European heritage. Apart from “standard” cultural heritage, Heritage Times explores natural heritage, industrial heritage and intangible heritage, too. Special focus is given to over-looked and endangered heritage sites, as well as to civil society’s engagement in heritage at local and regional levels.
The stories are published on the European Heritage Times website which is linked with various social media channels.
On the occasion of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, a printed version of Heritage Times was produced and distributed. Printed editions of Heritage Times are planned to be produced in a biannual rhythm.
The writers contribute to European Heritage Times writing on a voluntary basis as well as handling photo uploads, proof-reading, managing social media channels and various other background tasks. The management of the European Heritage Times project itself is also carried out voluntarily by representatives of European Heritage Volunteers.
Each year a group of ten to fifteen new volunteers join the team. With their application they commit to actively participate in European Heritage Times for at least one year. The selected volunteers are then invited to a one-week Introduction and Training Seminar that is organised and hosted by European Heritage Volunteers and takes place near Weimar, Germany.
Here, knowledge about different aspects of heritage, journalistic issues and European Heritage Times itself is shared. In addition to this, the seminar provides a space where the volunteers can exchange with each other about their backgrounds and motivation, get to know each other, and establish personal and professional relationships which enable them to actively participate in spreading the message about European heritage upon returning home.