CM manual Introduction

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The Archives Portal Europe publishes information on the archival material offered by its content providers via the back-end of the portal, called: the Dashboard. Each content provider, i.e. content contributing institution, gets an account for the Dashboard to upload, process and publish its content itself. Per country a so called Country Manager is responsible for registering and administering these individual content provider accounts. An overview of the Country Managers can be found here. This manual describes and explains the different tasks to be performed by the Country Manager (CM) and how the specific functionalities of the Dashboard support him/her in this.

Country Manager tasks

All countries represented within the APE network are to nominate a Country Manager. This role is most likely to be fulfilled by a representative of an active Archives Portal Europe Foundation (APEF) partner. Since there only can be one Country Manager Dashboard account per country, this role has to be negotiated within each country in case there would be more than one institution or organisation suitable for taking the related responsibility. The Country Manager is preferably someone generally involved in (inter)national activities of his/her institution. The Country Manager is a key person for Archives Portal Europe activities in each country and the main contact point for the APEF staff, the APEF Governing Board and the APEF Assembly of Associates. Ideally, the Country Manages would be from the national archives or archives administration of his/her country respectively designated by them, possibly involved in a national archives portal if existing and possibly engaged in branch organisations in his/her country. He/she is responsible for [1]:

  • providing information on the Archival Landscape of the country (creating and maintaining),
  • assisting in gathering information on the archival institutions,
  • providing a first level of information for the content providers,
  • gathering demands and needs of the institutions, and maybe, through these, the ones of end-users,
  • assisting in the implementation of the international archival standards the portal runs on, by either providing the Archives Portal Europe's technical team more information on an already existing implementations in his/her country or by learning from the Archives Portal Europe implementations and trying to spread the word about it in his/her own institution/country,
  • possibly acting as a mediator between the Archives Portal Europe technical team and existing national archival portals or national Europeana aggregators facilitating a specific archives’ branche,
  • possibly acting as a mediator between companies that develop/maintian software used by archival institutions, helping both (supplier and customer) in standardising their formats towards the Archives Portal Europe standards, and in coming up with exports or conversions compliant with the Archives Portal Europe standards,
  • acting as contact person for any PR activities in his/her country (f.i. regarding translating general PR texts or by organising national Archives Portal Europe related workshops and events),
  • acting as contact person for monitoring the translations for the front-end and back-end texts of the Archives Portal Europe,
  • acting as first "casual" tester of (new) Archives Portal Europe functionality and reporting problems in order to include an "outsider's view" on the portal's project’s developments,
  • facilitating general surveys within his/her country to monitor the progress of the involvement in the Archives Portal Europe of the national archival community.

Defining the role of the Country Manager from a technical point of view, he/she will maintain the Country Manager account in the dashboard of the Archives Portal Europe. This allows him/her to configure and maintain the archival landscape of his/her country and to provide Institutions Managers' accounts to other content providers from his/her country. The Country Manager can also be the Institution Manager of his/her own institution, therefore being responsible for uploading, processing and publishing its content. To be able to live up to this role, the Country Manager will be kept informed on all developments by the Archives Portal Europe technical team, trained if/when necessary by giving specific actions or workshops and provided with "information packages", that they can use within the archival community of their country. The Country Managers will be granted their own community platform within the Archives Portal Europe Foudation's website and activities especially dedicated to the Country Managers’ needs will be organised on a regular basis (f.i. workshops, meetings, etc.). In addition, the Country Managers can be represented in the APEF Governing Board by a Country Manager Coordinator.

[1] This list was taken and updated from the APEx project's handbook, which is still available in the Members Area of the APEx project website.

Administrative organisation of the Dashboard

A system administrator, a member of the Archives Portal Europe's technical team, creates the Country Manager account within the Dashboard when asked to do so by a country and/or the Country Manager Coordinator, and manages the Country Manager accounts.

One country manager per country, generally appointed by the national archives, has specific access and rights in the Dashboard, allowing him/her to:

  • define the archival landscape of his country
  • create new institutions in the archival landscape
  • give accounts to the institution’s managers
  • monitor his country (statistics etc.)
  • take the lead on an institution in case of problem
  • follow the Content Provider Agreement (CPA) issues

The Institution Manager (one per institution) has specific access to the Dashboard, allowing him/her to upload and manage the data of his institution. An Institution Manager can be in charge of different institutions.

Technical organisation of the Dashboard

The Archives Portal Europe offers two environments: the Production server environment and the Content Checker server environment (see figure 1 below). Each environment consists of a front-end (the Portal) and a back-end (the Dashboard).

The Production Dashboard

The Production server's Dashboard is the web environment where you upload your data for the online publication, available to the public and to all search engines, like Google.

The Content Checker Dashboard

The Content Checker server's Dashboard is a 'sandbox' or simulation environment, containing a duplication of all the functionality of the Production server, but not of all its datasets. This Content Checker server is available to all Archives Portal Europe partners and content providers as well as to institutions willing to join the Archives Portal Europe, allowing them to experiment with the portal, learn the workflow of data upload and processing and to check how their data will look like on the portal before publishing. Needless to say that it is highly recommended for new Archives Portal Europe partners and content providers to use Content Checker Dashboard first before using the Production Dashboard.

CM manual, figure 1

Please note that, as Country manager, you can grant an access to any partner you wish to. The Content checker is not "reserved" for the institutions that have signed the Content Provider Agreement. The Dashboard includes all necessary functionalities for the Institution Managers to upload, validate, convert, normalise, check, publish, and deliver data to Europeana.

Please also note that - since this is a 'sandbox' and 'demo' environment - all datasets will be deleted from the Content Checker server once a month. The exact date of that cleaning is always mentioned on the Content Checker's Portal as well as Dashboard homepages.