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CDL Hosted Archivists' Toolkit / Archon Service


The CDL has provided hosted Archivists' Toolkit (AT) and Archon archival data management systems for contributors to the OAC and Calisphere.  As of September 2013, we will not be hosting new instances. Both the AT and Archon applications have been superceded by the ArchivesSpace software.

AT and Archon are popular open-source archival data management systems providing broad, integrated support for records and manuscript collections.  They can be used to record information about collection workflows (appraisals, accessioning, processing, and deaccessioning); describe collection items, including digitized objects within a collection; generate print, HTML, and EAD collection guides; note the physical location of collection items; track reference questions; and more.

Both products offer support for describing and managing archival collections, but each has different features and functionality (see Appendixes 2-3 of this CLIR report).

EAD collection guides generated by both tools can be contributed to the OAC.  The AT, in particular, also supports the creation of METS-encoded digital objects, which can also be contributed to OAC and Calisphere. 

The service currently includes the following support:

  • For AT users, a single back-end MySQL database for your institution. For Archon users, all institutions will share a single MySQL database
  • For AT users, a single Class 5 / "Superuser" administrative account and single Class 4 / “Repository Manager” account for the primary contact at your repository. For Archon users, a single user account (“Power Users” permission level) for the primary contact at your repository
  • An entry for your repository within the application
  • Data recovery and backup of the MySQL databases
  • Technical/database support and user support

There are no fees for use of these services.

Please note that Archon provides two general features that have particular usage implications, within the context of our Hosted Archon Service. For additonal information about these features, see the Archon User Manual:

  • Public (End User) Interface: Please note that this particular Archon feature is not enabled, restricting public access to the collections.  The default Archon public interface includes all collections maintained by all repositories, and cannot be customized or modified by repository at this time; hence, we have not activated this feature.  We recommend submitting completed EAD collection guides to the OAC for publication.
  • Digital Library Package: You can use this feature to describe digital objects associated with a finding aid. When creating digital objects, you have the option to either 1) upload files associated with the object, or 2) input a URL to an online location of the file. Digital files may not be uploaded to the CDL Hosted Archon database. If you are creating digital objects, you must place associated files on a local webserver and then link to those files.

User Guides

Additional Resources

off siteat2oac
at2oac is an XSLT stylesheet that can be used to post-process Archivists' Toolkit EAD outputs, in order to conform to OAC encoding specifications.

User Support Community

Get Satisfaction

Visit our Get Satisfaction support community -- join discussions, ask questions, report problems, or request help with our services.

User Listserv

Users of our service should also feel free to subscribe to our AT-ARCHON-L listserv:

  • To subscribe, send an e-mail to listserv @ In body of message (do not include a subject line), type: "SUBSCRIBE CDL-AT-ARCHON-L [type your first name and last name here]".
  • To send messages to the listserv, send an e-mail to cdl-at-archon-l @
  • To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to listserv @ In body of message (do not include a subject line), type: "SIGNOFF CDL-AT-ARCHON-L" (Note that your first and last name is not used for unsubscribing).

Last updated: November 22, 2013