APEF releases more API services

The Archives Portal Europe's team has spent its summer well: it has successfully released version 2 of the API functionality on the Archives Portal Europe's production server.

The first version of the API, as released in May, offered three services:

  • a simple search facility to provide basic information of a search result from finding aids and their descriptive units;
  • a possibility to fetch a bit more detailed information of a specific finding aid;
  • a possibility to fetch a bit more detailed information of a specific descriptive unit.

These three services have now been expanded. The responses to these API requests will now offer much more detailed information, including the filtering information which is also available in the Archives Portal Europe's interface (in the "List view" on search results, f.i. the filtering on countries, archival institutions, dates, etc.). But additionally six new API services have now been implemented:

  • a simple search facility to provide basic information of a search result from archival records creators, including filtering information;
  • a possibility to fetch all details of a specific archival records creator, including filtering information;
  • a possibility to fetch a list of all archival institutions that have enabled Open Data in the Archives Portal Europe's Dashboard and thus give access to their data-sets via the API;
  • a possibility to fetch a list of all finding aids of one of these archival institutions;
  • a possibility to download finding aids of these archival institutions as raw data;
  • a possibility to download archives records creators information of these archival institutions as raw data.

The response of the first seven of the total of nine API services that are available as of now, is offered in JSON format and in a specific structure to enable web developers to easily make use of this ("pre-cooked") information on their websites. The response of the last two API services is offered in the original raw data format (apeEAD/XML and apeEAC-CPF/XML), to enable app developers to re-use whatever parts of these data in whatever way they want, according to the 'real' Open Data principle.

The API documentation on the Archives Portal Europe's wiki has been updated and now provides detailed information on all nine API services: the main page offers an overview of the nine services and links to specific pages on each of them, providing information on their purpose as well as request and response examples.

The Dashboard functionality providing contributing archival institutions the opportunity to 'enable' the API services for their data-sets has not been changed. Institution Managers still only have to check mark one option ("Manage Open Data for API" as described over here) to enable 'third parties' to make use of their data-sets via all nine API services as mentioned above.

Of course we would appreciate any feedback on our API services. Please forward that to us using the portal's contact form.