Archives Portal Europe - Data Preparation Tool Manual


1. Introduction

The Data Preparation Tool (DPT) is meant to help you prepare your data locally, off-line, to be compliant with the minimum requirements needed to publish data in the portal: one apeEAG file describing your institution, and apeEAD files describing your archives.

The DPT offers the same range of functionalities as the Dashboard, with some differences though. Basically, it offers more possibilities than the Dashboard. This tool is altogether a validation tool, a conversion tool, an edition and a creation tool. These different actions can be combined, processed in batch etc. Different options give the possibility to check one’s data on different points, before or after conversion.

- Validation tool:

Against existing schemas: this allows you to check whether your data are compliant to the EAD schema for instance.

After a conversion: this is a mandatory step to obtain correct apeEAD, EAG 2012 or apeEAC-CPF files that can afterwards be uploaded and published in the Portal.

- Conversion tool:

You can convert from a lot of formats to a lot of others. You can even import your own style sheet to convert your data: from EAD 2002 to apeEAD, from apeEAD to EDM etc. You can also create your own date conversion table to get normalised dates (for instance from 20th century to 1901/2000).

- Edition tool:

Once the conversion is done, you can edit your file and check that everything went smoothly; on top of that, the tool provides you a report on the points that can be improved (data quality check) within the tool: normalise the dates, add titles and the type of digital objects.

- Creation tool:

The tool offers you the possibility to create from scratch different types of files: holdings guides based on your finding aids, EAG2012 files, EAC-CPF files and EDM files from your apeEAD files. Please note that the tool is able to work with XML only. Other data cannot be processed by the tool and have to undergo additional actions before being ready to be used in the DPT. The tool is available via manual download on the project website (currently: The interface is translated so far in English, French, German, Dutch, Greek and Hungarian.

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2. Installation and launch of the tool

The tool is distributed as a ZIP archive file,, X.Y.Z being the version number. The last version is downloadable over here.

Requirements in order to use the standalone tool:

  • have Java 6 installed on your computer, or a more recent Java version. You can verify which version is installed on your computer by launching the console (Windows) or terminal (UNIX) and typing: java -version.

Please do the following once you have the ZIP archive:

  • Uncompress the ZIP archive using 7-zip, winzip or any program able to uncompress ZIP archives.
  • You will have a folder containing 2 folders (lib and xls) and 5 files.
  • Depending on your Operating System (OS):
    • Using Windows: double-click on the launch.bat file,
    • Using UNIX: using your terminal launch the file (i.e. type: – make sure that the file has at least the execution right: chmod +x,
    • Using OS X: double-click on the APE_data_preparation_tool-jar-with-dependencies.jar file.

      In Windows double-clicking the APE_datapreparation_tool_jar-with-dependencies.jar file can also be used as an alternative to double-clicking the launch.bat file.

  • On the first launch of the tool, a dialogue box will ask first for your country code (2-letter country code, in capital characters, compliant to iso3166), then an identifier for your archives: please enter your registered ISIL identifier (if you have one, else you will still need to enter a valid iso15511 code). Note that you can change those anytime you want in the options. Be aware that the dialogue box might stay in the background so that you could not see it at first.

The ISO standard 15511 consists of up to 14 characters, usually starting with a two-letter country code (or a one-three- of four-letter organisational code), followed by a hyphen, followed by an alphanumeric code for the single institution. The latter can contain the digits 0 to 9, the characters A to Z and the characters -, / or \.

  • The program should now be running (see figure 1), if that’s not the case, please refer to the troubleshooting section of this manual.
  • The folder now contains 4 folders (apeoptions, lib, output and xsl) and 6 files.

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3. Overview of the main page

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Figure 1: "home page" of the DPT, summary tab activated by default

In this main page, you see five menus at the top: File, Options, Actions, Windows and About.

The rest of the screen below is divided in two parts:

  • On the left side one empty list named "XML and EAD files" with 1 action button at the bottom: Create holdings guide. This button is placed just below the indication "Choose your file".
  • The right side contains five tabs at the top: Summary, Validation, Conversion, Europeana conversion and Edition.

Just above these five tabs, you can see the label "File name: ". It is meant to display the name of the file that is currently selected (only if one file selected, not several).

The summary tab has:

  • five action buttons: Convert, Validate, Convert and validate selected, Convert to EDM, Save message report
  • two radio button lists:
    • Stylesheets for choosing the stylesheet needed: default-apeEAD.xsl, default-apeEAC-CPF.xsl
    • Schemas for choosing the schema to be used: apeEAD, EAD 2002, apeEAC-CPF, EAC-CPF, EAG 2012, apeMETS, apeMETS Rights, apeMETS Xlink, plus the EAD2002 DTD.

The other tabs stay empty until a file is processed. They then display the according information.

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4. The menus

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There are five menus in the Data Preparation Tool.


4.1 File menu

You have four items in the File menu:

- Select file or directory (shortcut: Ctrl+O or Cmd+O):

This is where you can open your files or directory to be able to process them in the tool. You have the possibility to select one or several files, or one directory. If you select a directory, it will import all the files located in this directory; however, subdirectories will not be included. Once you have done your selection, the files appear in the "XML and EAD" list on the left side of the window and are ready to be processed.
Please note that you can process hundreds or even thousands of files together. Once you get files in the list, selecting one or several files will activate either the buttons on the right, or the one on the bottom (see figure 2).

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Figure 2: Activating the buttons by selecting one or more file

- Close selected file(s) (shortcut: Ctrl+D or Cmd+D):

Suppress the file(s) from the list.

- Save selected APE file(s) (shortcut: Ctrl+S or Cmd+S):

Once a file has been converted and/or validated, it has to be saved. The newly created files will be saved in the output directory by default but the options allow you to indicate another place. The name of the file changes when it is saved. If the file has been validated, its saved name will be apeEAD_{original_name}.xml, if not it becomes NOT_apeEAD_{original_name}.xml. Of course, this does not affect your original files.

 - Save report for selected file(s) (shortcut: Ctrl+R or Cmd+R):

All reports on the files processed in the tool (and selected in the list) are saved in one file, placed by default in the output directory of the tool, even if the files did not pass the validation or conversion steps.

- Quit:

Closes the program.

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4.2. Options menu

You have twelve items in the Options menu. They are meant to set up and keep your own parameters in the DPT, allowing you to apply specific rules during the processing of your files.

- Country code:

Here you can change the 2-letter country code, the one you had to enter at the first launch of the tool.

- Repository code:

Here you can change the identifier for your archives, the one you had to enter at the first launch of the tool. It’s useful when you manage more than one institution.

- Digital object type / Rights:

This option allows you to add specific indication on the type and on the rights, mandatory for Europeana and strongly recommended for the Archives portal Europe. Be aware of the fact that these indications will then be applied by default to all files processed in the DPT until you change or suppress them.

The digital object type indicates whether the digitised archives are Text, Image, Sound, Video or 3D. If you don’t use this option, the default value will be Unspecified. This option is used within the Archives Portal Europe for refining the search results. Those values are reported inside your apeEAD XML files after you convert them. The chosen type will then be available inside your apeEAD XML file within each DAO element as attribute @xlink:role. In case, your local data already contain this information, you also have to specify that this shall be used if found.

Note: Converting the file and then choosing a type will NOT change the type inside the newly created file. A new conversion is needed.

The Rights information allows you to add default rights statement for the digital objects as well as for the finding aids themselves thanks to a dropdown list (containing the main licenses or indication of rights such as public domain mark or the different creative commons), that can be completed by a description and the name of the rights holder.

- General options for EDM conversion:

You can specify by default the source of the identifiers as well as the base URL for the landing pages other than the digital objects.

- List of date conversion rules:

This option lists in a dialogue box the rules that will be applied during the conversion on the date element of your files in order to transform text dates into normalised dates. In the left column, you indicate the values read (to be found in the original files), in the right column, you indicate the values converted (to be found in the converted files). For instance you can indicate that 18th Century will be converted in 1701-1800, circa 1877 in 1877, or in 1876-1878 etc. These conversion rules can be saved to be re-used later on. You can modify them as often as needed. Please note that this is an extra possibility, to complete the normalisation of dates already done during the conversion by the tool (See annex 2 for the full list of conversion rules). These added rules have priority on the default rules.

- Use own stylesheet:

This option allows you to use your own style sheet (XSLT) in order to do your conversions instead of the default one. This option opens a dialogue box where you can select a style sheet and copy it in the xsl folder of the tool. The stylesheet then appears in the list of the summary tab and can be chosen to convert your files.

- Use own schema:

This option allows you to use your own schema (this must a valid XSD file). This option opens a dialogue box where you can select a schema and copy it in the xsl directory of the tool. The schema then appears in the list of schemas of the summary tab.

- Choose default stylesheet:

Either default-apeEAD.xsl, or default-apeEAC-CPF.xsl; by default the style sheet selected for newly imported files is the default-apeEAD style sheet, you can use this option if you wish to use another default style sheet on a regular base.

- Choose default schema:

lists the different possibilities offered by the tool to validate the files EAD 2002, apeEAD, apeEAC-CPF, EAC-CPF, EAG 2012, apeMETS, apeMETS Rights, apeMETS  Xlink, EAD2002 DTD. By default the system sets the data type to apeEAD files, you can change this by using this option.

- Checks when loading files:

This option allows the tool to check if the files that you are uploading are valid XML files. This is only an option because it might take time if you have to upload numerous files. Before displaying the file in the list, the tool parses the file and rejects the non XML files. For each file, a pop-up window warns you and allows you do copy the error message.

- Default folder for saved files:

The default folder where the tool saves the files as well as the report on the XML quality is the output folder of the tool (one of the six folders mentioned above in the chapter 2: Installation and launch of the tool). This option allows you to change the default folder.

- Languages:

The tool is available in six languages: Dutch, English, French, German, Greek and Hungarian. The tool will open in the language of your operating system if it is Dutch, French, German, Greek or Hungarian and if not found will roll back to English.

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4.3. Actions menu

You have four items in the Actions menu:

  • Validate (shortcut: Ctrl+N or Cmd+N)
  • Convert (shortcut: Ctrl+M or Cmd+M)

Those items do the same as the convert and validate buttons in the main summary tab (see figure 1).

  • apeEAC-CPF

Has only one submenu that opens a form in a pop-up window (figure 3a and 3b). You have to first choose one of the three possibilities: person, family, or corporate body. Then the corresponding form is displayed. The form is subdivided in four tabs that have to be completed and correspond to the ISAAR-CPF standard: Identity, Description, Relations, Control.

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Figure 3a: apeEAC-CPF creation choose the type


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Figure 3b: apeEAC-CPF form

  • Create EAG2012

Has two sub-menus: Select an existing EAG(2012) file, Create a new EAG2012 file.

- Select an existing EAG(2012) file allows you to open the file that you want to process in the tool (completing or correcting existing elements for instance).

- Create a new EAG2012 file opens a form in a pop-up Window (figure 4). The form is subdivided in seven tabs that have to be completed following the logical order of the ISDIAH standard: Institution, Identity, Contact, Access and Services, Description, Control, Relations. You move from one tab to the other by clicking on the next/previous buttons. The tab "Your institution" includes all mandatory elements, plus some optional elements. Once saved, the EAG file is added to the files in the list and can be validated afterwards.

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Figure 4: EAG2012 creation form

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4.4. Windows menu

You have five items in the Windows menu:

  • Summary (shortcut: Ctrl+1 or Cmd+1)
  • Validation (shortcut: Ctrl+2 or Cmd+2)
  • Conversion (shortcut: Ctrl+3 or Cmd+3)
  • Europeana conversion (shortcut: Ctrl+4 or Cmd+4)
  • Edition (shortcut: Ctrl+5 or Cmd+5)

In order to change to a selected tab, you can either click on it or select it in this menu, or use the shortcut.

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4.5. About menu

You have two items in the About menu:

  • Visit project website:

This option opens a page in your browser (you need an internet connection) and you will access the APEx project website (

  • APE DPT v2.0.x:

This indicates the version of the DPT you are working with. We will see in a following chapter (Chapter 8: Update of the tool) that an automatic check is done at the opening of the program to see if a new version is available.

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5. The list

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Figure 5: This list shows the different status of the files: files successfully converted and validated in green, files with errors in red, files saved with the disk icon in front, files not yet processed in black

On the left side of the window there is an empty list that you populate either by opening files or directories or with the files created within the DPT: holdings guide, EAG, EAC-CPF or EDM files.


5.1. Upload files in the list

By clicking on "File" > "Select file or directory", you can upload one or several file(s) or a whole directory. The last path used when opening files is memorised by the tool. If the option Checks when loading files is set to yes, only XML files are added to the list, and non-XML files are discarded. It's not possible to load two files with the same name. An according error message is displayed if it happens and you are asked to whether cancel the action or overwrite.

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5.2. Remove files from the list

Select the file(s) by clicking on the name of one or more files and use the right click of the mouse, or after having selected it (them), choose Close selected file(s) in the File menu.

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5.3. Functions of the list

- Selecting files to process them:

Select the file you want to process, and then convert and/or validate it by using the radio buttons in the summary tab on the right part of the window and clicking on the action buttons for processing the files. The radio buttons indicate which schema and style sheet you want to apply to your file(s). By default, the buttons are selected to convert or validate EAD files in apeEAD by using the default style sheet.

The action buttons on the right part are activated when at least one file is selected and depending on the status of your file (e.g. Convert to EDM will only be available for validated apeEAD files).

The action button Convert to EDM is activated when a file containing digitised object has been successfully converted to apeEAD and validated.

The action button at the bottom of the list, Create holdings guide, is activated when at least one file is selected in the list. For more details on this functionality, please see chapter 7: Additional functionalities of the tool.

- Indicating the result of the action processed:

When a file has been successfully converted and validated, its colour changes in the list display to green. If an error occurred, its colour changes to red. The same for the colour of the tab corresponding to the process conducted.

On the main part of the window, you will see the progression and status of the operations thanks to a progress bar. You can stop the program when you want by pressing the Abort button that is made available during the process, but please note that after pressing the Abort button, the tool will finish its last operation before stopping.

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Figure 6: progress bar and information displayed during conversion and validation batch process. In this case, seven files have been selected. Three are already converted and validated
(turned to green in the list); the fourth one is being processed.

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5.4 Save file(s)

To save your converted or validated files, you have to choose Save selected APE file(s) in the File menu. It saves the file(s) currently selected in the list.

  • If the file is valid, the file will be saved and renamed as follows in the output folder: ape{schema_used}_{original_filename}.{original_extension} and an according message will be shown.
  • If the file is not valid the file will be saved and renamed as follows in the output folder: NOT_ape{schema_used}_{original_filename}.{original_extension} and an according message will be shown.

{schema_used} can be "EAD", "EAG" or "EAC-CPF". Example: apeEAD_FRAD015_2_4_AV.xml or apeEAG_FR-FRAD015.xml

The saved files are marked with a small disk symbol in front of the file name in the list. If the edition tab is used, the disk logically disappears.

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6. The tabs

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You have five tabs: Summary, Validation, Conversion, Europeana conversion and Edition. Depending on the process, some of them turn green or red to indicate that a process is completed and that you might check them.


6.1 Summary tab

The first and main tab is the Summary, and is opened by default when you enter the tool (see chapter 3). This is where you can apply operations to your XML files. When a file is selected in the list, you can, from this tab, convert the file to the APE format, pass it to the validator or convert it to Europeana format. You have the possibility to choose the style sheet to be used for the conversion, of course only if you installed your own style sheet (see chapter 4 paragraph 2: Options menu - Use own style sheet). The same goes for the schemas. The status of the current transformation or validation is displayed beneath those buttons and radio buttons. Please note that the action buttons and radio buttons are available only if the action is possible for the selected file.

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6.2. Validation tab

The second tab is Validation and here you will find the results of a validation for the selected file. It can either contain a sentence saying the validation succeeded or a list of all the errors found during the validation process, with the indication of the lines and columns where the errors have been found. You can find in the annex 1 a list of the possible errors, their meaning and the actions to be taken to avoid them.

Please note that if you validate a file before the conversion, the lines indicated in the error report will be the ones of your original file, but if you validate a file after the conversion, the lines indicated will be the ones of the new converted file, therefore will not exactly correspond to your original file.

Besides, in case of a successful validation, a report on the data quality or completeness of the file will be displayed, indicating the number of missing or wrong information for four elements:

----- Data quality -----
Missing content for title information (unittitle): 0
Missing normalised date information (unitdate@normal): 0
Missing information on digital object type (dao@xlink:role): 0
Wrong information on digital object link (dao@xlink:href):0




This information also can be downloaded via the button download report of XML quality in the tab: it is saved in the report file to be found in the output folder of the tool. To save this information for several files, you have to use the same command from the File menu. You can improve the data quality of your files by editing them (see chapter 6 paragraph 5: Edition tab), or by adding rules for date conversion and by indicating the digital object type (see chapter 4 paragraph 2: Options menu).

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6.3. Conversion tab

The third tab is Conversion and here is displayed information on the transformation operated on the files and the problems encountered:

  • The tab lists the elements (and their attributes, if applicable) that are being excluded either because they are not recognised, either because they do not comply to the apeEAD profile which is more restrictive than the EAD2002.
  • The tabs also indicate the problems due to the c-element hierarchy, when a c-level is not understood.

Please note that the conversion tab does not list all changes made to the file, but only the elements discarded during the conversion.

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6.4. Europeana conversion tab

The fourth tab is Europeana conversion and here is displayed information on the EDM conversion. Files that are transformed into EDM format are automatically saved in the output folder (or an alternatively chosen default folder for saved files, see chapter 4 paragraph 2: Options menu). Their names stay the same with an additional "-edm" before the file extension. For more information regarding the conversion to EDM, please see chapter 7 paragraph 4: EDM conversion.

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6.5. Edition tab

The last tab is Edition. When an EAD file is selected in the list, it is read and displayed in a tree like view. Some elements only can be edited, they are marked in green or blue (see figure 6):

  • eadid @mainagencycode
  • eadid @countrycode
  • eadid / text
  • langusage / language
  • langusage / language / text
  • langmaterial / language
  • langmaterial / language / text
  • unitdate@normal
  • titleproper / text
  • c @level

The eadid is mandatory to validate your file. The elements and attributes related to the language are useful for the display and refinement of the search results. The same goes for the date: a date is searchable only if normalised. An empty titleproper will be displayed as "no title".

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Figure 7: XML tree: editable elements are indicated in blue, editable attributes are indicated in green

Please note that after editing your file, you should validate it again and save it.

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7. Additional functionalities of the tool

7.1. Holdings guide creation

The button Create Holdings Guide in the summary tab becomes available once at least one valid apeEAD file has been selected. Clicking on the button opens a new window containing the file(s) selected to be integrated in the Holdings guide (it’s preferable to save your finding aids before beginning).

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Figure 7: Holdings guide creation form. The screen is divided in three parts: on the right: list of selected files, in the middle: the tree structure of the holdings guide, on the left: ordering buttons. An extra dialogue box (Edit) allows to enter the elements of each description level.

On the right side, you have the list of all finding aids to be linked within the holdings guide. You have first to provide in the edit window some information to describe your holdings guide: Identifier (<unitid>), Name (<unittitle>) and Description (<scopecontent>). This has to be repeated for the lower levels if you do create lower levels.

  • You can create as many levels and sub-levels as needed to organise your holdings guide. The structure will be displayed in the middle part of the window as a tree form.
  • Once you have created your hierarchy, you simply drag and drop the files in the corresponding levels.
  • If you need to rearrange the hierarchy or the order of your files: the up and down buttons on the left enable you to move files or levels inside the same level from one place to the other. To move an entire level to another level, you have to use the drag and drop facility.
  • The right click on a level or a file enables you to add, edit or remove a level, or remove a file. In this last case, the file(s) will be available again in the right part of the screen for further use.
  • Once all finding aids have been inserted in the holdings guide, click on Save. The finding aids left in the right part will not be integrated.
  • Back to the summary tab, validate your file that is now at the bottom of the list on the left.
  • Save it before closing the tool.

The holdings guide obtained has the following characteristics: all information of each level (identifier, title and description) are transformed into c-levels (unitid, unittitle and scopecontent and all information of the file levels are retrieved from the files themselves (unitid, unittitle and scopecontent) but the <eadid> of each file becomes part of the otherfindaid/extref-element used in the holdings guide for linking the finding aids.

Please note that during the save, a serialised file is also saved for loading the file at a later stage if wanted. The file is saved as a ".ser" file in the output directory. This ".ser" file can serve as a base to further modify or complete the holdings guide, if it has not been overwritten or moved from the directory. One can always save it and replace it in the output directory for further modification.

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7.2. EAG creation form

The EAG 2012 is based on the ISDIAH standard. Please refer to it for more detailed information ( or see
The first tab (Your institution) contains all mandatory elements required to create a valid EAG file. Numerous fields can be translated, therefore you have the possibility to select a language on the right of these fields. You move from one tab to the other by clicking on the next/previous tab buttons and can save your file from any of the tabs by clicking on the save button without going through all tabs. The exit button closes the pop-up window without saving the file. You have to validate and save your file in order to upload it in the Dashboard (see figures 3a and 3b).

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7.2.1. Your institution tab

This tab holds the general information on your archival institution and contains mandatory fields, marked with an asterisk (*). Some of the information entered on this tab may serve as a base for additional data and will be reported automatically in one of the other tabs. The first part of the tab lists concerns the identification of your institution.

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Figure 8: first part of the tab "Your institution"

Person/institution responsible for the description – this field is optional. In case the field is left empty, a standard value ("automatically created agent") will be used later on in the EAG-XML output but will not be displayed.

Country code – this mandatory field is pre-filled with the two-letter country code provided at the first start of the tool.

Identifier of the institution – this field is pre-filled with the identifier you provided at the first start of the tool (or changed via the "Options"-menu). If this identifier is a registered ISIL code or a unique code within your country, set the value "Yes" in the right for the question "Is this your registered ISIL code?" This identifier would then be used in the portal as the identifier of your institution. It is recommended to use a registered ISIL code ( when existing. If your identifier is not a registered ISIL code or unique within your country, please specify "No". Your file will then get an extra "stand-in" value as identifier ([country code]-99999999999) for the time being. When uploading this file to the dashboard, this "stand-in" will be recognised as such and will be replaced automatically by a unique identifier within the Archives Portal Europe. If you have more than one identifier assigned to your institution, you can add further identifier fields by clicking the "Add further IDs" button.

Name of the institution – this field is mandatory and holds the authorized, full name of your institution.

Parallel name of the institution – if there is another name for your institution which can be used in parallel to the actual name, you can add it here. As for the previous field, the language box is optionally filled with the language of the given parallel name.

The next part of the tab deals with the location of your institution:

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Figure 9: second part of the tab "Your institution"

You can list several visitor and postal addresses to your institution if you wish to translate them in other languages or use different scripts.

Coordinates – these fields hold the coordinates of a visitor address. Any longitude or latitude value should be provided as decimal numbers. For example, a location on 50°30' N latitude and 12° E longitude would be provided as 50.5 and 12.

The last part of the tab provides general information on your institution:

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Figure 10: last part of the tab "Your institution"

Telephone – it is recommended to use the ITU-T standard E.123 for printed representation of telephone numbers: sign +, country code, area code, telephone number. F.i. +33 1 40 27 60 00.

E-mail address – please note that if you don't change it (by copy-pasting the e-mail or entering a descriptive text), the default English text "Send an e-mail" in the link title box on the right will be displayed.

Webpage – please note that if you don't change it (by copy-pasting the url or entering a more descriptive text), the default English text "Go to our homepage" in the link title box on the right will be displayed. Please note that only the link title on the right will be displayed. You can either copy-paste the url or enter a more descriptive text.

Opening hours – when using the EAG form to describe an archival portal, it is recommended to enter "not applicable" (in your own language of course).

Closing dates – please make sure that you update this field regularly if you enter specific dates changing from one year to the other, depending on the calendar.

Accessible to the public – this mandatory field is pre-filled with yes. If your institution is not open to the public, select "No". The according displayed text is "Accessible to the public" or "Not accessible to the public".

Disabled access – in the fourth tab (Access and Service) you can describe the facilities or difficulties for disabled persons.

Link to your institutions holdings guide – please note that only the link title on the right will be displayed. You can either copy-paste the url or enter a specific text.

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7.2.2. Identity tab

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Figure 11: "Identity" tab

Add another form of the authorised name – this button may also serve to add the names in the different official languages of your country.

Add another parallel name – this button allows to enter unofficial names or unofficial translations of a name.

Add another formerly used name – you can add any name your institution has had in the past, including the corresponding dates (single date or time span, that can be repeated – see screenshot). The fields can handle alphanumerical values, so data like "November 1918" will be accepted as well.

Select type of institution – this box is used to select the type of your archive. It’s not mandatory.

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7.2.3. Contact tab

The contact tab is pre-filled with information entered in the first tab. You can precise or extend them if you want to add additional visitor and/or postal addresses, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail addresses, and webpages.

Fax – please use ITU-T standard E.123: sign +, country code, area code, number. F.i. +33 1 40 27 66 36.

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7.2.4. Access and services tab

This tab is divided into several subsections. Information given in the first tab is automatically reported here. Most of these fields are repeatable, to enter translations if wanted.

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Figure 12: "Access and services" tab

The second subsection will hold data on your search room, including:

Telephone, E-mail address, Webpage – for general contact to the search room staff and background information if they are different from the ones provided in the first tab.

Number of working places (seats) – the term "places" is automatically added and displayed in the portal, so enter only a figure.

Number of computer places – idem. Note that you can also add multiple descriptions, e.g. on the equipment of your computers, via using the attached button.

Number of microfilm/fiche readers – the term “places” is automatically added and displayed in the portal, so enter only a figure.

Reader's ticket –you can add the link(s) to your reader’s ticket(s) here. Please note that the text entered in that field will be displayed as a link in the Portal if you enter a link in the next link field.

Ordering documents in advance – information on how documents could be ordered in advance, together with a weblink, if available. Note that this field is repeatable.

Archives research services – information on the (external or internal) research services of the archives.

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7.2.5. Description tab

The description tab gathers all information about the archival institution itself and its holdings.

History of the archive – a short description about the history of the institution.

Date of archive foundation – the date of the foundation of the archive. You can add a link to the foundation act. If there are multiple founding dates, you can add these via the "Add rule" button.

Date of archive closure – the date of the closure of the archive. You can add a link to the closure act. If there are multiple closure dates, you can add these via the "Add rule" button.

Administrative structure – a short description of the administrative organisation of your institution; you can use the "Add administrative unit" button to describe each part or department if you want to get into details.

Building description – add one or more description of your buildings here. The section also holds the extent of the archive buildings area (in m²) and of the shelves (in linear metres – "m" is automatically added in the display, so provide only a figure there).

Holdings description – here you can enter a brief description of your holdings, the date ranges they cover, as well as the extent of the holdings (in linear metres – "m" is automatically added in the display, so provide only a figure there). Note that you can add any years or year ranges via using the "Add single year" and "Add year range" buttons.

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7.2.6. Control tab

The Control tab holds information on the scripts, languages, rules, conventions and other standards used in the description. Most of the fields are pre-filled but you can add more languages/scripts and/or rules by clicking the appropriate button.

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7.2.7. Relations tab

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Figure 13: "Relations" tab

The resource relations sub-section - holds links about your holdings guide and other online or offline resources as well as their description. (e.g. special websites of your institution containing information on archives on constituent topics or which are focussed on a special type of media).
The type of the relation: CreatorOf, SubjectOf, other can be precised with the box on the right.
The institution relations sub-section - is meant to link your institutions to others. This is done via different fields.
The type of the relation is important and must be precised via the box on the right (see screenshot above).

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7.3. EAC-CPF creation form

The apeEAC-CPF is based on the ISAAR (CPF) standard. Please refer to it for more detailed information (  or see You can create EAC-CPF files in the DPT by filling a form. Please remember to validate your file and then save it for further upload in the Dashboard of the Archives portal Europe.

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7.4. EDM conversion

Based on valid apeEAD files, the tool can create EDM files for Europeana. Use the EDM button in the summary tab. A new window opens (see figure 14) where you have to select different options. Please note that all fields are mandatory, except Specify additional rights information.

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Figure 14: Preferences for the conversion to EDM

Two conversion modes are available, minimal and full:

The minimal conversion will only include the information that is mandatory in EDM (the title of the object, the language of the object, the type of the digital object (TEXT, IMAGE, VIDEO, SOUND, 3D), the link to the digital object and the rights information on the digital object, plus the information on the data provider and the provider (by default: "Archives Portal Europe"). For all of these aspects, apart from the rights information, it is possible to have the DPT check for existing information in the EAD file. When the according checkboxes are checked, this existing information is taken instead of any value provided via the tool and the latter will only be used in cases, where there is no according information in the file.

The full conversion allows you to additionally specify context information which shall be included. Basically, this will refer to copying information from higher levels in the EAD hierarchy in case this is not available on the lower level, which is linked to the digital object. Typically, this refers to a concatenation of the titles of the higher levels to be provided with the single unit or the name of the records' creator.

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7.5. List the index terms of your files

An option allows you to let the tool read the files and list all subelements of <controlaccess>. This is interesting for two reasons:

  • Prepare the "topics" within the Dashboard, that is the tag cloud displayed on the home page of the portal. The tags are based on the <controlaccess> content. Therefore, if an indexation term matches a topic, it will automatically be linked to it after publication in the Dashboard.
  • Rapidly check the indexation terms of your file(s)

This option is available after having selected one or more files via a specific button List controlaccess, on the bottom of the list, under the Create holdings guide button.

Note: this functionality is available in DPT v2.0.5 or higher.

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8. Update of the tool

A semi-automatic update is available in the tool. It is only semi-automatic because once detected, it requires the user to download the new version and install it. Please note that you need to be connected to the internet for this. At the launch of the tool, the tool will check on the internet if a new version is available. This check is done at a minimal interval of 2 weeks. If it does find a new version, then the tool proposes to go to the internet page in order to download the new version. Please note that downloading the tool will also get the last version of the default style sheet where additions might have been made.

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9. Trouble shooting

If problems were to be found, please send us an email via and select "Technical issues" in the proposed subjects. If the tool contains bugs or you suspect it does, please do the following before sending an email:

  • Go to the output directory of the tool and retrieve the file named errors.log,
  • Copy/paste the content of that file into the email with some explanations on the error that occurred.

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10. Annexes

Annex 1: Validation errors, meanings and possible fixes


Annex 2: Conversion of dates - normalisation rules


Annex 3: Remarks on <eadid>



Copyright © 2012 - 2015 APEx project - All Rights Reserved
The APEx project is co-funded by the European Commission via the ICT PSP framework, 5th call, theme 2.1 - aggregating content for Europeana

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