Scan and upload! Promotion of ingest in Archives Portal Europe and Europeana

Two new scholarships

In 2021, Archive portal Europe (APE), one of Europeana’s leading aggregators of historical archives, has launched two new grants to promote access and reuse of digitized archival materials and to create high-quality metadata to be shared internationally . Both grants were to be implemented on a project basis and are part of APE’s contribution to Europeana DSI-4. They were aimed at smaller institutions that might not have the means to participate in international initiatives.

The first grant was a metadata ingestion grant, funded primarily independently by the EPA. This grant focused on creating new metadata for ingestion into APE and improving existing metadata for better retrieval of archival descriptions. The idea for this grant came from the realization that there were no funds available for the archives to work exclusively in these areas; as an institution dedicated above all to the aggregation of archival descriptions, the APE was keen to promote this work. The grant also enabled the creation of enhanced metadata following the Europeana publishing framework, such as the inclusion of contextual classes based on linked open data vocabularies to support discovery.

APE wanted to combine the Metadata Ingestion grant with another funding opportunity dedicated to improving access and reuse of digital archival collections, again following an integrated approach based on the Europeana publishing framework. The added value of digital objects was obvious, freeing archive users from time-consuming and costly trips to access the material they needed.

The second grant, the Digitize and Upload grant, was specifically aimed at collections to be shared not only in APE, but also in Europeana, and was awarded as part of APE’s collaboration within Europeana DSI-4. The grants were intended to help archival institutions improve access to digitized collections, for example by embedding direct links to digital objects in the metadata, linking higher resolution images instead of publication versions, or by promoting the use of more open licenses and declarations of rights. Applicants for this grant were free in their choice of collections and were supported to prepare metadata for ingest into APE as well as to aggregate digital objects into Europeana.

Winners and Collections

In 2021 as in 2022, the grants were received with great interest from the international archival community. Over the two years, almost 20 institutions from several countries applied, which made it very difficult to select the winners! Both grants were open to any institution worldwide, whether or not already affiliated with APE or Europeana, provided that they present Europe-related collections and accept the conditions to become a content provider for APE and/or or Europeana. The winners were selected based on the potential interest of their collection for users and with the aim of highlighting various historical places and periods, as well as supporting smaller institutions.

In 2021, there were two winners of the Metadata Ingestion Fellowship. The Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University of York (UK) ingested the Archives of Oury, the personal collection of colonial period railway magnate Libert Oury, in APE, providing information on economic activities in Mozambique and Zambia. the Municipal Archives of Lyon (France) used their grant to improve the metadata of city-related collections that were already available on the portal.

Mary I. Bruner