How is the work within APEx divided?

APEx is structured into 8 Work Packages (WPs), each of which focuses on a specific area of responsibilities and expertise. Individual Work Packages are led by different partners with all participants striving to enhance and progress the Archives Portal Europe.

Equipped with the experiences and the results of the APEx predecessor project – APEnet – the WPs consist of various national partners focusing on certain aspects of the project, each of which requires specific know-how. Though individual functions are coordinated by particular Work Package Leaders (WPLs), close cooperation between all WPs is vital to the success of the project.

Interested in learning more about who is doing what? Just click on the corresponding links below:


Project Managment (WP1)

Led by: Nationaal Archief (National Archives of the Netherlands)

Aye, capt’n!

Holding the tiller of the APEx project, the management ensures the smooth realisation of goals as well as overall organisation of the enterprise – not only at strategic but also at political level.


  • Overall planning
  • Change management
  • Quality control
  • Risk management
  • Administrative and financial tasks

Management of the APEx project is a particularly complex operation due to the geographically and organisationally dispersed resources that must be utilised. Therefore, precise administrative supervision of the project’s information infrastructure is crucial to achieve the project’s goals. The Project Management’s responsibility lies in providing a single point of contact for the European Commission as well as rendering coordination for the project and its constituent Work Packages during the lifetime of the APEx project.

Furthermore, this WP is responsible for aligning the activities and deliverables across the individual Work Packages, coordinating the implementation of the WP plans and thereby ensuring the compliance and regular updating of the overall Consortium plan. This also includes overseeing and controlling the Consortium budget and ensuring the desired quality of the project deliverables.

While monitoring the project’s progress and handling change management when necessary, the Project Management also reports on progress and/or changes to the European Commission, the APEx Executive Steering Committee (ESC) and the APEx Project Board (PB). 


Europeana Interoperability (WP2)

Led by: Bundesarchiv (Federal Archives of Germany)

Forces, unite!

The close 3-year cooperation between the APEnet project and Europeana has proven to be valuable for both sides and APEx will continue the work on substantially enhancing the interoperability between both projects and their respective portals.


  • Stabilise and maintain the technical interface of the Archives Portal Europe
  • Foster submission of archival material to Europeana
  • Improve interoperability of metadata formats
  • Establish a network of national aggregators

Stabilising and maintaining the already established technical interface between the Archives Portal Europe and Europeana and turning the former into the centre of an aggregation network for all European institutions holding archival material, is one of the major goals of this Work Package. The Archives Portal Europe will become an essential pillar for the continuity and sustainability of Europeana by preparing as much digitised archival material as possible of European institutions to be transferred to and presented within the Europeana portal. Accordingly, this will also ensure the aggregation of archival knowledge and feed this into the joint efforts of the Europeana network to enhance the cross-domain portal on Europe’s cultural heritage.

In order to achieve the latter, APEx will pursue the work on standardising metadata formats and on improving their interoperability. With regard to the European Data Model (EDM), this WP will, for example, determine more options for demonstrating a hierarchically-structured display of archival content via the apeEAD by taking Europeana structures into account. This will promote the establishment of a network of national aggregators within the project’s partner states, thereby intensifying cooperation on providing rights-clarified digital content in the archives’ domain in Europe – eventually to the benefit of Europeana as the knowledge creating hub in and for Europe.


Infrastructure Development & Hosting (WP3)

Led by: Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte (Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport of Spain)

Features, olé!

This Work Package aims at enhancing the functionalities of the Archives Portal Europe for users as well as content providers.


  • Progress usability and accessibility of the Archives Portal Europe
  • Enhance user profiles and Web 2.0 facilities
  • Ensure security of the infrastructure within the Archives Portal Europe
  • Support content providers manage the tools and interfaces of the Archives Portal Europe

Based on the results achieved within the APEnet project, the main objectives of this WP centre on maintaining and improving user related hardware and software functionalities and innovating the portal’s front-end/user and back-end/dashboard interface. This involves close cooperation with other related WPs in order to enhance user profiles, Web 2.0 facilities and facilitate virtual exhibitions etc. The collaboration with WP5 (Tools & Support) is of particular importance regarding the support of content providers to manage the tools and interfaces of the Archives Portal Europe and also to submit APEx project content to Europeana.


Standards & Guidelines (WP4)

Led by: Bundesarchiv (Federal Archives of Germany)

Synthesis, ahoy!

Pursuing further successful content management is based on the use of common profiles of international archival standards like EAD – advancing the Archives Portal Europe specific standards & guidelines sets the tone here.


  • Adapt and advance the apeEAD (Encoded Archival Description)
  • Develop the apeEAG (Encoded Archival Guide), apeEAC-CPF (Encoded Archival Context – Cooperate Bodies, Persons, Families) and apeMETS (Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard)
  • Evaluate rights administration on archival material and set a common framework within the Archives Portal Europe network
  • User evaluation in cooperation with Usability & Web 2.0 (WP6) 

The APEnet project already successfully established a common profile for the use of the international archival standard EAD (Encoded Archival Description) within the Archives Portal Europe network as the basis for central conversion, validation, indexing and presentation facilities. APEx will take up the threads to adapt and further advance the apeEAD to new developments of the general EAD schema and interoperability with the EDM, where WP2 functions will be based on the work of WP4.

The steps undertaken for EAD will furthermore be followed for the related archival standards EAG (Encoded Archival Guide), EAC-CPF (Encoded Archival Context – Corporate Bodies, Person, Families) and METS (Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard) in order to establish profiles for these formats too. This WP will additionally act as APEx’s link to other international archival bodies like the European Branch of the International Council on Archives (EURBICA), the European Board of National Archivists (EBNA) and the European Archives Group (EAG).

WP4 will furthermore take care of organising agreements on the exchange of archival (meta)data and descriptions with a special focus on rights management as well as emphasising alignment of the content provider agreements of the Archives Portal Europe and Europeana. 


 Tools & Support (WP5)

Led by: Service interministériel des Archives de France (Interdepartmental Service of Archives of France)

It’s tool time!

Time to further develop the Data Preparation Tool thereby allowing content providers to convert their local data into the newly-defined profiles for the Archives Portal Europe.


  • Gather information on possible content providers, contributors, systems and formats per country
  • Conduct studies on best practices regarding the administration of rights at local level in cooperation with Standards & Guidelines (WP4)
  • Develop central and local tools to connect systems and content via standards

In order to understand the objectives of this Work Package, it is necessary to take a look back at the accomplishments of the APEnet project: setting up the logical model of the Archives Portal Europe regulating the standards to be used and the integration of content into the portal, efficiently established:

  1. a common “European archival standard” based on an EAD schema specifically created
  2. a Data Preparation Tool allowing the content providers to convert their local data into the newly-defined schema profile, available either as a standalone tool or as an integrated tool within the dashboard of the portal.

As a result, a wide range of holdings guides and finding aids from various countries were made fully interoperable and searchable within the portal. This standardisation of archival descriptions is a necessity to concern Europeana only with one single aggregator and with only one type of data model instead of the numerous ones, actually existing in the archives’ domain.

It is this Work Package’s main responsibility to maintain and further develop the Data Preparation Tool in order to: 

  • integrate all of the new partners’ data
  • implement the APE profiles of the other standards chosen for the portal such as apeEAG, apeEAC-CPF and apeMETS which are being established as a team effort between this WP and Standards & Guidelines (WP4)


Usability & Web 2.0 (WP6)

Led byRahvusarhiiv (National Archives of Estonia)

Innovation, hurray!

This Work Package is tasked with applying innovative Web 2.0 functionalities to the Archives Portal Europe, allowing for user-compliant accessibility.


  • Develop innovative, international and cross-sectoral best-practice assess methods and tools
  • Implement infrastructural use cases and business requirements
  • Organise acceptance testing and user evaluation of portal software
  • Disseminate research and best practice about innovative access methods and tools for the Archives Portal Europe and Europeana

This WP groups several activities which were previously spread across multiple WPs in the APEnet project: now there is a new focus on the need to modernise access. The work encompasses researching and implementing an optimised use of Web 2.0-and-beyond functionality for front- and back-end users alike. WP6 explores the state of the art of user interface design, including novel approaches such as social bookmarking, personal databases, collaborative content enrichment/crowd sourcing, virtual exhibitions and mash-ups with geographic data etc. On the basis of this knowledge, WP6 will – in close cooperation with Standards & Guidelines (WP4) – develop requirements for the user interface and corresponding back-end tools for APEx’s infrastructure. The tandem of WP6 and WP4 will operate a client/supplier relationship with WP3 and WP5 on usability and accessibility issues which also includes testing and evaluating the outcomes of Infrastructure Development & Hosting (WP3) and Tools & Support (WP5) both internally and externally.


Dissemination and Training (WP7)

Led byRiksarkivet (National Archives of Sweden)

Reaching out to new shores!

Basically, anything regarding the public dissemination and training of end users of and content providers to the Archives Portal Europe is what this Work Package’s flag is reading.


  • Promote the Archives Portal Europe
  • Set up and maintain the APEx project website
  • Implement a Learning Management System (LMS) to collate streamed and recorded presentations, workshops, training sessions, guidelines and seminars
  • Create a visual corporate identity
  • Edit and publish PR material about the APE in relevant online/offline media

In order to work productively, the base for this Work Package forms the development of an efficient dissemination model within the APEx project to successfully promote the Archives Portal Europe. The goal is to make the portal known to potential users and also to encourage institutions to join the network by establishing comprehensive activities in dissemination and training. The involvement of ICARUS as a network of more than 100 archival and archive-related institutions in Europe contributes to these aims significantly and provides the opportunity to foster synergies with other projects and gain new partners for APEx.

Furthermore, WP7 will be present at conferences and seminars etc to promote the use of the portal, educate institutions (in a joint effort with corresponding WPs) in the use the network's framework, tools and standards and reach out to suppliers of archival data management systems to join the project. An additionally important task is to develop and align branding and layout designs for the APEx website, for the Archives Portal Europe and finally for the Archives Portal Europe Foundation. Last but not least, WP7 will encourage and enable knowledge building and exchange among partner organisations, especially towards a wide variety of institutions outside the Consortium.


Sustainability (WP8)

Led by: Nationaal Archief (National Archives of the Netherlands)

Full steam ahead!

The vision: keep the sails set, keep bridging new shores and keep discovering our shared European history and future.


  • Establish an Archives Portal Europe Foundation
  • Ensure sustainability of the Archives Portal Europe

The major responsibility of this Work Package is to ensure the permanence of APEx’s efforts by transforming the project after its completion into an Archives Portal Europe Foundation. The practical implementation of the APE Foundation will sustain the APE and its aggregator role vis-à-vis Europeana. Ultimately, it´s for the archival institutions and the end users that the project partners join efforts and resources, making sure that the results of the APEx project are for the benefit of everyone beyond the project’s duration!



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The APEx project is co-funded by the European Commission via the ICT PSP framework, 5th call, theme 2.1 - aggregating content for Europeana

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