Consistent with the i2010 digital library initiative, this thematic network will build consensus to create the European Digital Library. It will find solutions to the interoperability of the cultural content held by European museums, archives, audio-visual archives and libraries in the context of The European Digital Library.

As no solution can be imposed from above and progress can only be made by consent, the network aims to establish trust between the institutions for future sustainability of a joint portal at the same time as finding common technical solutions to interoperability issues.

The results of the network will be a prototype demonstrating cross domain access to the objects and information held in the museums, libraries, archives and audio-visual archives of Europe. There will also be a series of recommendations for future research to continue to ensure access to the digital heritage of Europe.

A specific objective of the network is therefore to clear the ground to be able to propose one or more separately funded practical implementations of the European Digital Library. The network will work in harmony with the EDL Foundation and the EU Strategy Group for coordinating libraries, archives, audio-visual archives and museums cooperation for the European Digital Library.

The network remains open for the lifetime of the project to all relevant cultural heritage institutions.

The EDLnet is being coordinated by the National Library of the Netherlands and an EDLnet office will be set up in the National Library of the Netherlands to coordinate efforts and implement input from the various workgroups.