In order to allow the Archives Portal Europe to present the content of the various participants in a uniform format to users, the Direction des Archives de France has developed a software tool which can convert every EAD implementation as used by the various APEnet participants into the common APEnet EAD format.
Software development for interoperability with Europeana
On the basis of this 'local' EAD to APEnet EAD conversion tool, the Nationaal Archief – which is responsible for the interoperability between the Archives Portal Europe and Europeana – has developed a second software tool that converts the total context information of digital archival objects from the APEnet EAD format to the current Dublin Core-based Europeana metadata model ESE (Europeana Semantic Elements). This enables information from the Archives Portal Europe to be supplied directly to the Europeana portal.
Contribution to the further development of Europeana
Since the Europeana project will be using a new, richer and more semantic web-oriented data model (EDM) for its future portal releases, the Nationaal Archief will have to adapt its software tool in due course. This is offset by the fact that this new model will probably do better justice to the (hierarchical) context information of digital archive objects in future Europeana portal releases than the present one-dimensional approach.
The Nationaal Archief APEnet team has made a significant contribution to this development within the Europeana project, while experimenting with supplying Nationaal Archief content to the current Europeana portal, as part of the development of the EAD-ESE conversion tool.
Collaboration in further development
In the further development of the EAD-ESE conversion tool to an EAD-EDM conversion tool, the Nationaal Archief APEnet team will be collaborating closely with the Europeana Connect project and in particular with the participants in this project from the Humboldt University in Berlin and the VU University in Amsterdam.