Title: Connecting digital architectural archives with MACE
Authors: Boeykens, Stefan #
Issue Date: Jun-2009
Conference: Hybrid Architectural Archives: Creating, Managing and Using Digital Archives location:Rotterdam (Netherlands) date:10-12 June 2009
Abstract: In the domain of architecture, a huge amount of digital contents useful to academic and professional users is available online and in principle accessible from all over the world. However, because they reside in many different and unconnected systems, these contents are often hard to find with traditional search engines.

MACE (Metadata for Architectural Contents in Europe) is a European eContentplus project [1] to connect architectural repositories and archives, providing a framework for community based services such as finding, acquiring, using and discussing about e-learning contents that were previously reachable only to small user groups.


The MACE system provides its services on the base of collected information about available content (metadata harvesting). The actual content is left with the original repository owners, who keep an independent role, maintaining their own access and right policies.

To make digital architectural archives interoperable, the MACE system utilizes open standards. The Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) [2] is used as the communication protocol, with which metadata instances are collected (harvested). These metadata instances follow the IEEE 1484.12.1 - 2002 Standard for Learning Object Metadata (LOM) [3], which was extended into the MACE Application Profile to better describe Architectural Content. This extension builds on several existing classifications systems, such as CI/SfB, Uniclass and the Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus. To provide multi-lingual facilities, classification terms are being translated into different European languages.

When repositories are willing to connect with MACE, it is not necessary to provide actual content, since only metadata (content descriptions) are required. Collected metadata are used to provide web services, such as searching facilities and the addition of more metadata (enrichment). This requires the development of the OAI-PMH communication interface and setting up a mapping between the repository structure and the MACE structure, for which MACE partners will provide assistance.


The searching and community facilities can be applied to retrieve content descriptions. Additionally, content can be further enriched using keywords, comments, ratings, competences, geo-locations and classification information. By connection with MACE, the scope of architectural repositories and archives can be enlarged, making them retrievable towards a larger audience. The MACE classification approach can also assist other repositories in structuring their content. Moreover, collected and enriched metadata are shared with end users and developers.

More information

The public portal [4], which is still in development, already allows visitors to try some of these services, such as searching and tagging.


Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IC
Appears in Collections:Department of Architecture - miscellaneous
# (joint) last author

Files in This Item:
File Description Status SizeFormat
Connecting digital architectural archives with MACE.docFinal Paper Published 1365KbMicrosoft WordView/Open


All items in Lirias are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved.