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Thursday, 7 April 2016

Our catalogue is now live!

Was it really 3.5 years ago when I first blogged about requirements for a new archival management system?

My main aim in getting involved in this project was to create a stable base to build a digital archive on.

If you build a digital archive on wobbly foundations there is a strong chance that it will fall over.

Much safer to build it on top of a system established as the single point of truth for all accessions information your organisation holds. A system which will become the means by which you disseminate information about your digital holdings (alongside the physical ones) and enable users to access copies of born digital and digitised material.

Finally we have such a solution in place!

We chose Access to Memory (AtoM) as our new archival management system, and over the last few years there has been a huge amount of work going on behind the scenes getting it up and running. I'm so pleased that today we are in a position to unveil the results of all of that hard work.

Our new catalogue can be viewed at https://borthcat.york.ac.uk/



In a previous blog post "A is for AtoM" I talked about some of the tasks that have been going on and decisions that have been made to get us up and running, so I won't repeat all of that here.

Suffice to say that a considerable amount of work has gone in to getting AtoM installed, configured and styled. While this has been going on, Project Genesis has been key to getting the catalogue populated with archival descriptions. The task of populating our catalogue will continue via project Genesis until April 2017 and by other channels beyond that.

While our initial focus has been to get a collection level description for each of our archives into the catalogue, further work is required on the wider task of retroconversion - getting a variety of finding aids in a range of different formats into the system. We have managed to tackle some of this in an ad hoc way but there is still much to do.

Our AtoM catalogue is live, but our work is not yet done. I need to start thinking about how we can build digital preservation functionality on top of this (via Archivematica) and of course how we can start to provide more access to our digital holdings through the catalogue interface. Watch this space!

In the meantime, we'd be happy to hear any feedback about our catalogue so do get in touch.


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