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ESE2EDM Converter

ESE2EDM stands for a collection of scripts we use to convert given source files expressed in the XML-based Europeana Semantic Elements (ESE) format into the RDF-based Europeana Data Model (EDM).


Make sure you have rapper and libxml2 installed on your system. The latter should be available on any Unix-based system (Mac OSX, Linux, etc.). Rapper can easily be installed via apt-get on Debian-based systems or homebrew on a Mac.

Clone ese2edm:

git clone git://
cd ese2edm

Install dependencies:

bundle install

Convert a single ESE XML file:

ruby -I lib/ bin/ese2edm -d examples/00000_europeana_test_ese.xml

This takes the given ESE XML file examples/00000_europeana_test_ese.xml and produces an RDF/XML file rdf/00000_europeana_test_ese.rdf. The option -d means "create an N-TRIPLES dump file", which is stored in the base directory.

If you only need the RDF/XML files, simply skip the -d option.

If you running the gem from another directory than the clone directory, you need to provide the path to the stylesheet in conf/ese2edm.xsl using the -s option.

Convert multiple ESE XML files:

ruby -I lib/ bin/ese2edm -d examples/00000_europeana_test_ese.xml examples/00000_another_ese_file.xml

or simply

ruby -I lib/ bin/ese2edm -d xml/*.xml

Does the same as the previous command but for more than one source file.

The long way and all the options you have

Use the -h option to learn more about all the options you have

ruby -I lib/ bin/ese2edm -h

Use the -s option to use a custom stylesheet for the conversion

ruby -I lib/ bin/ese2edm -s mystylesheet.xsl examples/00000_europeana_test_ese.xml

Use the -p option to output a pretty-printed RDF/XML document with XML indentations. Don't use this option for large files. It will slow down the conversion process.

ruby -I lib/ bin/ese2edm -p samples/00000_europeana_test_ese.xml

Use the -o option to define a custom RDF/XML output directory

ruby -I lib/ bin/ese2edm -o somedir/rdf

Using the ese2edm.xsl stylesheet without the script

For converting a single ESE XML files using the ese2edm.xsl stylesheet use

xsltproc ese2edm.xsl samples/00000_europeana_test_ese.xml | xmllint --format - > samples/00000_europeana_test_ese.rdf

for pretty-printed output, or

xsltproc ese2edm.xsl samples/00000_europeana_test_ese.xml > samples/00000_europeana_test_ese.rdf

for compact output.

Where to get the ESE files from

The Europeana raw ESE data files are stored in an SVN repository ( that is currently not publicly accessible.

If you have the necessary access privileges you can use the download_files.rb script to download these files via HTTP.

ruby -I lib/ bin/ese2edm-download -o xml/ -u username -p password conf/edm-datasets.ttl

Generating HTML documentation

The following command generates a simple HTML web page, which contains relative links to all datasets

ruby -I lib/ bin/ese2edm-doc -f HTML conf/edm-dataset.ttl

Further Infos and Citation

Please read this paper for further information. If you use ese2edm in your research, please cite:

Haslhofer B., Isaac A.: - The Europeana Linked Open Data Pilot. In: DCMI International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications. The Hague, The Netherlands. 2011

    booktitle = {DCMI International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications},
    month = {July},
    title = { - The Europeana Linked Open Data Pilot},
    author = {Bernhard Haslhofer and Antoine Isaac},
    address = {The Hague, The Netherlands},
    year = {2011},
    url = {}


A collection of ruby scripts that should make Europeana Linked-Data ready



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