Our backbone

The Archives Portal Europe lives through its contributors, archival institutions from all over Europe, and we welcome them all – large national archival institutions as well as small local city archives. The more institutions participate in supporting the Archives Portal Europe, the more the digital landscape of European archives will grow and diversify and the more content will become available for the portal’s end-users. Join the network of content providers and help us to further expand the virtual reading room for European history.

Let us tell you WHY you should provide content

As a content provider not only are you enabled to present yourself and your material within an international context. You also have access to the professional and technical knowledge and support provided by the Archives Portal Europe Foundation. Get access to free tools for data processing and to background information on international standards and how to use them. The Archives Portal Europe network enables you to exchange experiences, to learn from others and explore together future developments like Linked Open Data. As the international archives aggregator for Europeana - the biggest cultural heritage portal in Europe - the Archives Portal Europe also allows you to present your digital material in a broader context together with objects from libraries, museums and audiovisual collections from all over Europe.

Let us now show you HOW you can provide content

Step 1 - contact your Country Manager

Your first point of contact is your national Country Manager, often located at the national archives or a national archives and cultural heritage portal. Your Country Manager will provide you with information and support to get started. See the list of all current Country Managers for more details.

Note: is your country not yet represented within the group of Country Managers? Then please contact us directly via our contact form.

Step 2 - decide the way in which you want to contribute

Together with your Country Manager, you will decide how you can present your content to the Archives Portal Europe. This should correspond as far as possible with your institution’s requirements and can include collaboration with a national archives portal or a national Europeana aggregator in your country. Your participation will then be formalised by signing the Content Provider Agreement of the Archives Portal Europe*.

Step 3 - assess whether your metadata is suitable for contribution

The Archives Portal Europe is based on a set of international archival and technical standards that have been defined specifically for their use in this joint research platform. In the Archives Portal Europe, content providers are not required to submit digital objects (eg scanned image files). Only metadata - usually in the form of XML files - is necessary, including a link where appropriate, to digital objects on your website. The technical team can support your data submission through knowledge of your technical requirements (data management, structures and formats etc) that you provide.

Step 4 - test the conversion of your metadata against the common profiles

The conversion of your data into the common profiles defined for the Archives Portal Europe will be prepared in close cooperation between you and the technical team with you approving the results of the data conversion process. It is possible to test the data yourself using the Data Preparation Tool.

Step 5 - familiarise yourself with the Archives Portal Europe's dashboard and manage your contribution

You can manage the publication workflow (new content, updates, data deletion etc) yourself once this is put in place or you can authorise a third party eg a national aggregator, to do so on your behalf. You will therefore have your own personal account and access to the back-end of the Archives Portal Europe, the dashboard. Access to the latter will be provided by your Country Manager who will support you in your initial use of the dashboard. Your Country Manager can also assist with getting an account for the "Content Checker", a test environment which offers the possibility to familiarise yourself with the dashboard processes before providing your content through the public production environment.

*) The Content Provider Agreement is already available in a Dutch and a French translation.