For a couple of months now I have been intending to install archivematica and test it out. Described as a "free and open-source digital preservation system that is designed to maintain standards-based, long-term access to collections of digital objects", this sounds like it could be a great starting point for establishing a digital archive here at the Borthwick Institute. Also strongly in its favour from my perspective is the fact that it is compatible with the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) reference model and supports metadata standards such as PREMIS and Dublin Core.
Though I have had a passing interest in this software for some time, in my previous job at the Archaeology Data Service
we had a long established digital archive with preservation systems and
migration pathways already in place. Setting up archivematica in such a
way to interface with our existing processes and procedures there may
not have been an easy. Here in the Borthwick Institute we are starting
from scratch with digital preservation which in some ways gives us more
freedom to make use of some of the new and exciting tools that are being
developed in this area. What we need to be able to interface with here
are existing systems for cataloguing and providing access to traditional
analogue archives. One thing that attracted me to archivematica was the
way in which it can work alongside ICA's AtoM.
This is a system that supports archival description and can be used by
traditional archives to catalogue their holdings and make their
catalogues searchable on-line. This is another tool we will be
investigating in the not too distant future.
So, to cut
a long story short, this morning I set about downloading and installing
Oracle VirtualBox and setting up archivematica as a virtual appliance.
This all seemed to go quite smoothly despite all the warning messages
about non-verified software (all above board according to the
installation guide). The only problem was, when I tried to run
archivematica and test it out I was disappointed to find I couldn't get
past the login screen as there was not enough available memory to
I will try again once my PC has been upgraded so watch this space.
the meantime I would be really interested to hear from anyone else in
the UK who is using both archivematica and ICA AtoM. It would be great
to be able to see a real life example of how they work together.