Archivportal-D - Building a German Archives Portal

Archivportal-D – Building a German Archives Portal

For the first time, the German Archives Portal “Archivportal-D” financed by the German Research Foundation (DFG) offers centralized and comprehensive access to the records of various kinds of German archives. The portal includes varied resources such as state or communal archives as well as church and business records. Researchers are able to find archival information, look through finding aids provided by participating archives, view search results and study digital copies of archival records.

The portal is a national aggregator for the European Archives Portal and contributes to the process of making European archival records accessible for everybody at any time and from anywhere. The German Archives Portal is furthermore closely connected with the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek (German Digital Library) and national data aggregator for the European cultural heritage portal Europeana. This idea of networking and cross-linking runs like a golden thread through the overall concept of the project and shows the significance of Archivportal-D as a symbol for successful European cooperation in the field of cultural heritage across different cultural sectors. On a national level and given Germany’s federal system, this project is also an excellent example of what professional communities can achieve through combined efforts.

To gain attention in the digital age it is of crucial importance for archives to present archival material on the internet. Both users and institutions benefit notably as archives and their data become more visible and users are able to increase their knowledge without great effort concerning the tools. Moreover, the website is optimized for mobile devices which means that one can do some research on the move. In addition, Archivportal-D offers a glossary which enables the users to learn more about archival terms.
Since the creative commons license CC-0 is used for all metadata and CC-BY for many digitized images and documents, the German Archives Portal takes a trend-setting step in the direction of open data. This is a quite new field for German archives. Due to the future integration of authority files linked data will also become a central issue for the project.

The German Archives Portal forms part of the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek (German Digital Library). In addition to developing and further customizing the data management layer for the Archivportal-D, a presentation layer specifying the different types of archives has been generated. In terms of organization and technical environment, Archivportal-D has been embedded inside the German Digital Library. Hence, it is able to guarantee a long-term and persistent operation beyond the project’s lifetime.

The German Research Foundation has funded the realization of the Archivportal-D since autumn 2012. The project consortium consists of reliable and skilled institutions: the State Archives of Baden-Wuerttemberg who manages and supervises the project, FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure, the State Archives of North Rhine-Westphalia, the State Archives of Saxony and the Archives School Marburg – University of applied studies for Archival Science. In 2015, the German National Library joined the project.

Extra media