Europeana Semantic Elements (ESE) case study
Polish Digital Libraries Federation
Marcin is the leader of the Digital Libraries Team of PSNC, which acts as the hub of the Polish Digital Libraries Federation, aggregating metadata from Poland's regional and institutional digital libraries. This team also acts as the national coordinator for Europeana Local, and in 2009 became the first Europeana Local coordinator to deliver metadata to Europeana's central index.
Marcin describes the steps towards integrating the Polish content into the Europeana portal.
'The first step towards Europeana was the analysis of the metadata that we aggregate to see how consistent it was with the Europeana Semantic Elements [ESE] and the mapping guidelines.
'Our metadata was Dublin Core simple which mapped to ESE with some normalisation (e.g. we used ISO 639-2 for the DC language element). Another issue was to do with fields specific to the ESE, like 'Europeana type', referring to the nature of the content – text, image, video and audio.
'It was important to establish the standard that would map precisely to ESE across all Polish institutions that contribute data to the Digital Libraries Federation. We gave several presentations to our providers to advise them how to clean and augment their metadata. Cleaning up the metadata was complicated, but once done, allowed for automated transfer.
'We exported XML files from our OAI-PMH interface and uploaded these to the Content Checker. Throughout the process we worked closely with the Europeana Office.
'The Content Checker shows us how records are displaying in a test version of the Europeana interface. We were able to share this display and get feedback from our providers. Some were concerned about how their multilingual records were showing; others wanted to check the display of information about the rights in the objects.
'The next step was for the Europeana Office to test our OAI-PMH interface so they could harvest the records. On 24 November, we completed our work in the Content Checker; on 27 November we had confirmation from Europeana that they were ready to start downloading data from the interface.
'Then it was out of our hands. Europeana harvested the 257,000 records and completed the internal processing. This involved normalising the records and indexing them. Then the Europeana Office let us know as soon as they were ready to go live, which they did on 11 December 2009.'