What's it all about?
APEx – the Archives Portal Europe network of excellence – is the framework for European archives to collaborate for wider and enhanced accessibility of their content on the web. It continues the work of the APEnet project (2009–2012) in which 19 European national archives and Europeana established and released the Archives Portal Europe. With the continued expansion and enhancement of the Archives Portal Europe – in terms of participating countries and institutions, plus available content and services – APEx will contribute to the development of a coherent digital infrastructure which opens up the portal to our common cultural heritage of archives, equally accessible for citizens, researchers, businesses and governments alike. Funded and supported by the European Commission within the framework of the Information and Technology Policy Support Programme (ICT-PSP), APEx runs from March 2012 until February 2015.
Where we are headed
Prior to the APEx project, its prequel – the APEnet project – already established essential objectives which APEx systematically amplifies and progresses. Pivotal to all the efforts invested in APEx is the delivery of high-quality archival content to the Archives Portal Europe, followed by the equally important mission to transfer all digitised and digital material to Europeana.
… and here’s how we go about it:
- Expand the network of contributing archival institutions throughout Europe
- Improve substantially the interoperability with Europeana
- Stabilise the Archives Portal Europe infrastructure and hosting and improve its throughput capacity
- Make available more standards and guidelines as well as tools and support to the content providers to facilitate content delivery
- Develop dissemination and training programmes to encourage and advance aggregation at national levels and thereby raise awareness for Europe's rich collections of archival material
- Power innovation in usability and Web 2.0 functionality to ensure up-to-date content delivery
- Sustain all efforts mentioned above
On its quest, the Archives Portal Europe will continuously take on board additional European archival institutions while APEx will provide all means necessary to assist aggregation at national levels.
Furthermore, APEx will cooperate actively with Europeana on the interoperability of metadata formats and rights management of archival material.
Finally, APEx's ultimate goal is to provide easy access via the Archives Portal Europe to as much archival content of as many European institutions as possible and equally, to channel all digitised and digital archival material to Europeana.