CDL Hosted Archivists' Toolkit / Archon Service
Overview and Features
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.
What We Offer
By hosting one or both of these applications, we seek to provide the technical infrastructure for institutions that do not have the capacity to host the backend databases locally. Institutions only need to implement the application clients to use the systems. Our goal is to 1) provide you with different options of applications, depending on what is best suited to your institution’s needs, and 2) help your institution avoid costs associated with creating or hosting an archival data management system locally.
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.
- Centralized system and software upgrades
- Technical/database support and user support, including transitioning users to newer software versions as they are released
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.
Get Started with Using the Service
First, consult the User Guides, below, for additional information about the scope of the service, and for specific instructions on configuring and using the applications.
Next, request an account for using either the Archivists' Toolkit or Archon hosted service, via your OAC Contributor Dashboard (you will need a voroEAD account to access the dashboard -- to request an account, contact us at email@example.com). Once you've logged into your dashboard:
- Under the "My Account" section, select either "Request a CDL Hosted Archon Account" or "Request a CDL Hosted Archivists' Toolkit Account" for your particular repository
- Select "Request Account."
- You will receive a confirmation message. A CDL staff member will send a follow-up, with setup details on connecting to a "test" instance of the AT on our servers. You'll be asked to test the connection between your AT client to our server.
- Once you confirm that there are no connection problems, we will move forward with establishing a production instance of the AT on our servers, and will relay setup details at that time.
A single, primary contact for your institution -- who will be responsible for overseeing or coordinating your use of AT or Archon -- should submit the request. This primary contact will receive a user account, with the appropriate level of permissions to create additional user accounts for your institution.
The primary contact will also be subscribed to our AT-ARCHON-L listserv, which we use to communicate updates to our user community.
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
Visit our Get Satisfaction support community -- join discussions, ask questions, report problems, or request help with our services.
Users of our service should also feel free to subscribe to our AT-ARCHON-L listserv:
- To subscribe, send an e-mail to listserv @ listserv.ucop.edu. 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 @ listserv.ucop.edu
- To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to listserv @ listserv.ucop.edu. 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).