Thursday 9 May 2019

Here’s looking at EU - Borthcat data shared with major networks

Just in time to celebrate Europe Day, we have successfully shared Borthcat’s catalogue descriptions with two major online portals: Archives Portal Europe and the Archives Hub.


The project builds on work to convert and import the detailed catalogues we have for some of our major holdings into Borthcat. Together with the summary descriptions from Project Genesis and the outputs of recent cataloguing projects, it makes over 670 of our collections, and thousands of detailed catalogue descriptions, more easily discoverable by wider research communities. Sharing the data allows our archives to be viewed and interpreted alongside different material from the networks’ respective European and UK contributors. This means archives can be displayed, searched on and contextualised in different and exciting ways.

It’s difficult to imagine the power that you’re going to have when so many different sorts of data are available.” Tim Berners-Lee

Gateways to discovery

Archives Portal Europe (APE) provides access to information on archival material from across European countries. It is the first time European archives have collaborated and aggregated their data on such a scale and has brought together more than 255 million records from several hundred institutions in more than 30 EU countries. The portal also acts as a data aggregator for Europeana. This offers us future possibilities for links to our digitised archives and other digital objects to be surfaced in a portal which already brings together more than 50 million digitised items, and to continue working alongside the Archives Hub and APE to document and provide access to a shared cultural heritage.

Milnes Coates Letter 787
The Jisc Archives Hub is a vital part of the research and education landscape in the UK. Its open access and standards-based ethos give researchers the ability to search across the huge wealth of UK archives. It shares our vision of making the most of our data, creating descriptions once and using them in many different ways. The technology underpinning the Hub now allows the service to take data from various archive management systems and gives contributors even greater control in the timely uploading, publishing and modification of their descriptions, with a seamless workstream supporting publication to portals like APE.

Realising opportunities

Working collaboratively and sharing our data is central to the continued improvement and development of our resources. As we establish, adopt and drive common standards across different archive systems and datasets we can make sure our descriptions work alongside those created by others and we improve the quality and maximise potential of our data. This helps us and researchers to get the most out of the information and expands the horizons for collaboration and discovery.

Archie the Archive Squirrel

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