SFA Data Challenge
Write an app using our data search API connecting to our online catalogue
SFA data challenge
At the Swiss Federal Archives (SFA), we’re looking for creative ways to improve access to our documents. Take up the SFA’s data challenge! Write an app using our data search API and maybe we’ll incorporate it into the Federal Archives’ online access platform.
Online access, which went live at the end of 2019, enables millions of freely accessible data sets from the Federal Archives catalogue to be searched and ﬁltered using an API. You decide what the app does with the data: for example, you can develop a graphic search engine that links search results to metadata from other archives or libraries, or design a conversational agent. Two actual examples can be found under "explore". Help us improve access to the treasures of the Federal Archives!
The Swiss Federal Archives hold documents from the Federal Administration, the Federal Assembly and the Federal Council, from foreign resident dossiers and parliamentary debates to customs treaties and trade agreements. In most cases, the online catalogue contains only brief metadata on the documents that are kept in our stacks: the title, reference code, creation period and accessibility under the Federal Act on Archiving (ArchA, SR 152.1). Some fonds are described in greater detail in the metadata: one example is the Schweizer Filmwochenschau, where transcripts of the spoken texts are also catalogued.
The search API accesses the catalogue’s structured metadata. Documentation on the API can be found here: www.recherche.bar.admin.ch/recherche/#/en/information/api
The number of results per search request is limited to 10,000. For this reason, the app should be designed for a speciﬁc topic or for certain search functionalities rather than attempting to capture the data as a whole.
The participants in the most exciting projects (max. 25 people) will be invited to the Federal Archives. They will receive an exclusive guided tour of the archives and the opportunity to meet other challenge participants and staff of the Archives at a drinks reception. The date will be set as soon as it is clear that the restrictions associated with COVID-19 are going to be eased.
Selected submissions will also be presented on our online channels. We may also contact individual developers or teams to integrate the functionalities into our offering. A payment will be made if this leads to a collaboration.