New York University has been awarded a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to lead a partnership in developing the software that integrates Archon and the Archivists’ Toolkit (AT) into an open-source, next-generation archives management system. The integrated product—known by the working title ArchivesSpace—will incorporate the best features and functions of Archon and the AT.
The project is a collaboration among the libraries of NYU, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where Archon was developed, and the University of California, San Diego, which developed AT in partnership with NYU.
The design for ArchivesSpace is the result of a year of research and planning, also funded by the Mellon Foundation, by the three partner libraries in consultation with archivists and technologists from a variety of academic and archival institutions.
ArchivesSpace will be open source, but user institutions will be asked to join a membership support structure. Members will be encouraged to participate in the governance of ArchivesSpace and in the prioritization of enhancements and fixes, and will have access to helpdesk resources.
The main benefit of membership, however, will be sustainability, according to NYU Dean of Libraries Carol A. Mandel. “By supporting ArchivesSpace, members will ensure that the software keeps growing and responding to the needs of the community,” Mandel said.
Both AT and Archon have a strong community of members. “The Archivists’ Toolkit (AT) is widely recognized for its tremendous impact on archival practice and the promotion and adoption of descriptive standards,” said Brian E. C. Schottlaender, the Audrey Geisel University Librarian at UC San Diego. “We look forward to further collaboration with our partners in building an archival software tool that capitalizes on the strengths of both AT and Archon.”
Paula Kaufman, Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson Dean of Libraries and University Librarian, UIUC, emphasizes the importance of long-term use of the software. “Archon has served the needs of a wide range of archival organizations, including many that are very small,” she said. “ArchivesSpace development and membership will assure continued support for their archival work.”
Direct to ArchivesSpace Web Site