Archives are a society's memory but also its treasure chamber that can enhance the quality of life for any citizen, on a personal as well as a societal level.
Providing all Europeans with easy online access to the content of the collective memory contained in archives, will be an important contribution to the realisation of European social and cultural objectives.
With the rapidly growing number of archives services using the Internet for the dissemination of their holdings and their growing competence in using the new technologies, the creation of an European Archives Internet Gateway ("Internet Gateway for Documents and Archives in Europe") which pools efforts and expertise at the national and European levels, has been defined as a top priority by European professionals, and endorsed by the European Council in its recommendation of 14 November 2005 (Official Journal of the European Union, 29.11.2005; 2005/535/EC).
The fundamental aim of the APEnet project is to provide EU citizens, public authorities and companies with a common gateway, which will enable them to find out for themselves about Europe's archives and about archival material that is relevant to them, whether or not they live in the European Union.
Archives across the European Union will be easily accessible to EU citizens for the first time from a single entry point, and should improve public understanding of European history and culture. Therefore Archives Portal Europe will also have a strong relationship with the Europeana and other European portals or gateways which hold information on archives.
The gateway will connect disparate archival Internet initiatives and will act as a powerful catalyst in breaking down the remaining barriers to easy access to information about archives in the European Union and the important cultural resources which they hold, making them available through a virtual catalogue. The services of the gateway will be available in different languages.
More information about the APEnet project can be found on these related pages: