Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Archival management - keep calm and carry on?

Managing archive collections is a pretty essential part of running an archive and being an archivist. Software helps do this better and faster and open source alternatives have opened up the options of what has traditionally been a fairly small market.

First the background reading. There was a very good and comprehensive report by CLIR on archival management software published in January 2009. There is also a wiki which emerged as a result of that report which should hopefully be updated with new developments. Both these resources explain much better the whys and hows and criteria so I'm not going to do that. I'll just point and link.
First up is the Archivist's Toolkit which states that its "main goals are to support archival processing and production of access instruments, promote data standardization, promote efficiency, and lower training costs." List of users includes New York University Archives and The Martin Luther King, Jr. Archive.
Next we have Archon (not the directory) but another software which is intended to "automatically publishes archival descriptive information and digital archival objects in a user-friendly website." User example - College of William and Mary
CollectiveAccess is another option and bills itself as " full-featured collections management and online access application for museums, archives and digital collections." User example - Museum of Jewish Heritage


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