The Master Shelf List: Where We Go From Here

For many archives, the master shelf list has been a permanent staple since their inception. We have one. It’s an ever-growing Excel spreadsheet that lists the location of every single box in our collection down to the shelf number. It’s enormous, it’s unwieldy, and it takes a ton of work to keep updated month to month. For years we’ve been looking for a way to move away from it, and the release of ArchivesSpace version 1.5 has given us the rare opportunity to move entirely away from our spreadsheet into a more structured and interoperable. The Rockefeller Archive Center will no longer enter new information into our Master Shelf List. Continue reading

Cross-Origin Resource Sharing for ArchivesSpace

We’ve written a lot on this blog about things we’re doing with the ArchivesSpace API, ranging from find and replace operations in notes to reporting on our DACS compliance across our repository. It should be pretty obvious we’re big fans of the power and flexibility it provides to automate what otherwise would be some pretty tedious and error-prone, and also that the data model is getting us to think about archival description outside of the EAD box. Continue reading

Introducing Project Electron: infrastructure for digital records

Today we’re announcing a major project to build sustainable, user-centered and standards-compliant infrastructure to support the ongoing acquisition, management and preservation of digital records so we can make them available in the broadest and most equitable way possible. Because a snappy title makes everything better, we’ve codenamed this effort Project Electron, and we even have a cool mascot (Captain Electron, discovered by our internet expert Patrick Galligan): Continue reading

DACSspace: An ArchivesSpace DACS Compliance Evaluation Tool

As the newest member of the Processing Team, I have been working on writing a DACS compliance evaluation script called DACSspace. Creating this tool came with a lot of “firsts” – this was my first experience writing code as well as interacting with an API. After a successful (yet sometimes frustrating) three months, I am excited to introduce DACSspace to the archival community and share a reflection of my work.

To view DACSspace on GitHub click here.

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A healthy relationship with technology

In our mission statement, the D-Team talks about “providing technical leadership and expertise,” which is accurate but not really the most conversational way of talking about what it is that we do. Lately I’ve been saying the D-Team’s role here at the RAC is “helping our staff and researchers have a healthy relationship with technology.” I thought it was time to dig into what that means a little. In thinking about this, I’ve realized this conceptualization of our work is has been strongly informed by some recent reading as well as conversations I’ve had with colleagues. Continue reading

Learning Python as a Processing Archivist: A Reflection

A large part of my first month at the RAC has been spent learning Python, Git, and GitHub.  As a processing archivist, who is also fairly new to the profession, I had no programming experience and was vaguely familiar with these tools. I began with a goal-orientated learning plan that essentially required me to learn enough of Python to be able to interpret an ArchivesSpace script. This experience not only taught me that programming is a powerful tool – but that it takes a sense of fearlessness to conquer a programming language.

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A METRO Retrospective

I attended METRO’s annual conference on 1/21. METRO is the Metropolitan New York Library Council, and as members, RAC staff is open to attend any of their events. There were a lot of fantastic panels and speakers at the panel this year, but I’d like to focus on an overarching theme that I picked up on this year: getting our systems to communicate nicely with each other can streamline our work processes and improve our work as archivists.

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Academics in the Archives

Our very smart and articulate colleague Rachel Wimpee, who works in our Research and Education division, has published a post on MLA’s Connected Academics blog that talks about her work at the RAC, including the Zotero bibliography project the Digital Program helped to organize. She also touches on larger issues of cross-disciplinary work and the enduring value of humanities education, so her post is well-worth a read!

edUi Report

This week I attended the annual edUi conference in Charlottesville, Virginia. As I’ve written before – this was my third year in a row attending – I’ve found the conference and community to be a place of challenge and inspiration, and I always leave with at least one major “aha” moment. Continue reading

Rockefeller Archive Center Bibliography now in Zotero!

 

I’m very pleased to announce that the Rockefeller Archive Center’s substantial (and rapidly growing) bibliography of publications based on work completed using our collections is now available in Zotero. This is the culmination of several months of hard work on the part of many individuals here, working together to create functional requirements, evaluate potential solutions and select the best option, and then migrate our existing bibliography into Zotero. Continue reading