The Archives Portal Europe provides access to information on archival material from different European countries as well as information on archival institutions throughout the continent.
The main goal of the Archives Portal Europe is to meet users' expectations by providing seamless access to various archival resources held throughout Europe. To achieve this, the project team developed common European profiles of the international XML schemas EAD (Encoded Archival Description), EAC-CPF (Encoded Archival Context - Corporate Bodies, Persons, Families), EAG (Encoded Archival Guide) and METS (Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard) that will act as pivotal formats additionally enabling the Archives Portal Europe to deliver standardised data to Europeana.
The principle is simple: each partner will convert his/her data into this common format before integrating them in the portal, using the specific tool downloadable here or the online tool available in the portal's backend. The realisation of this conversion and validation tool is based on the existing data provided by the partners, which is already structured in "local" versions of the formats mentioned or drawn from databases etc compliant with ISAD(G), the General International Standard Archival Description, ISAAR-CPF (International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families) to describe the records creators and ISDIAH (International Standard for Describing Institutions with Archival Holdings) to describe the archival institutions themselves are also taken into account. The tool thus relies on international standards and has developed standards usable by all.
The central and common data management and presentation of archival contents within the Archives Portal Europe are prepared via (de)centralised data processing. The participating institutions can decide themselves if they would like to use the tools for data preparation (ie conversion to and validation against the commonly used data formats) locally as desktop applications or as part of the central portal application, the dashboard.
The project not only aims to build the Archives Portal Europe, but also cooperates with Europeana, to make archival material searchable and findable within its cross-domain approach of presenting cultural heritage objects from libraries, archives, museums, and audio-visual collections online. Therefore the tool has been extended to also transform finding aids in the EAD format as it has been defined for the use within the Archives Portal Europe into records on digitised archival units in the Europeana Data Model (EDM).