Data standardisation and tools
The main goal of Archives Portal Europe is to meet users' expectations by providing seamless access to various archival resources held throughout Europe. To achieve this, the team developed common European profiles of the international XML schemas EAD (Encoded Archival Description), EAC-CPF (Encoded Archival Context - Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families), EAG (Encoded Archival Guide) and METS (Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard) that act as pivotal formats additionally enabling Archives Portal Europe to deliver standardised data to Europeana.
The principle is simple: each partner will convert his/her data into this common format before integrating them in the portal, using the Data Preparation Tool (DPT) locally with their own computers or the online tool available in the portal's backend. The realisation of this conversion and validation tool is based on the existing data provided by the partners, which is already structured in "local" versions of the formats mentioned or drawn from databases etc. compliant with ISAD(G), the General International Standard Archival Description, ISAAR-CPF (International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families) to describe the records creators and ISDIAH (International Standard for Describing Institutions with Archival Holdings) to describe the archival institutions themselves are also taken into account. The tool thus relies on international standards and has developed standards usable by all.
The central and common data management and presentation of archival contents within Archives Portal Europe are prepared via (de)centralised data processing. The participating institutions can decide themselves if they would like to use the tools for data preparation (ie conversion to and validation against the commonly used data formats) locally as desktop applications or as part of the central portal application, the dashboard.