Web Archives – Where Do We Go From Here?

We’ve recently been thinking a lot about the potentials of web archives here at the RAC. Last week, I attended the appropriately titled web archives WARCshop hosted by Penn State University, and, while the organizers focused on getting its participants hands-on experience working with web archives research tools, the lesson that I took away from it is that libraries and archivists still have a long way to go in fully supporting researchers working with web archives. Penn State invited a great group of librarians and archivists to learn, as well as Jefferson Bailey and Lori Donovan from Archive-It, Nick Ruest from York University, and Ian Milligan from Waterloo to help lead the workshop. I was personally very excited for the meeting because I think Nick and Ian have been doing some of the most exciting research in web archives for the past few years, and I always love hearing them talk. Continue reading

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

Technical Overview of EAD Requesting with Aeon

A while ago I wrote a post detailing how data in DIMES is imported into Aeon to populate requests. Since then, I’ve had conversations with several individuals asking about the technical details of this implementation. As a way of documenting that work, and also offering some direction for future Aeon implementers, I thought I’d pull together a post describing the interaction in technical terms, since there’s limited documentation on how to do external EAD requesting for Aeon. I pieced together this information by looking at existing implementations, particularly Princeton’s archival discovery system, with a lot of false steps along the way. I hope to help others avoid the same frustrations and pitfalls! Continue reading

Getting data from DIMES to Aeon

Among the many things that Aeon will do for us, communicating directly with DIMES to import data about our materials is among the most important, and a feature that will likely save both researchers and staff a great deal of time and frustration. Starting in February, researchers will no longer have to fill out requests for materials by hand; staff will no longer have to decipher researchers’ handwriting, correct inaccurate or missing information, or complete charge-outs by hand. In addition, we’ll be able to run much more accurate reports on use of our collections, which will help us better target digitization and preservation efforts. This post explains how that data moves from DIMES to Aeon, detailing some of the things that happen along the way with restrictions information and grouping of folders within the same box. Continue reading

Aeon Naming Contest

As many of you know, we have already begun to start planning on implementing Aeon.

Our first project is to come up with a name, and in order to do this, we thought the best way would be to have a naming contest.

The contest will be very similar to the naming contest for XTF (which thanks to Laura – was renamed DIMES).  Once again, as incentive, we are offering a $25 gift certificate to Amazon.com to the person who suggests the winning name.

This name will be used for the URL to host Aeon, similar to DIMES’ URL being dimes.rockarch.org, so it should be short and preferably reflect Aeon’s functionality in some way. As always, extra points for anything Rockefeller-related.

We’ll be accepting suggestions for names (either via email or as comments on the blog) until Friday, June 6th.  We’ll open voting on a curated list of these names on the following Monday, June 9th until Friday, June 13th.

Names can be added as comments to this blog post, or emailed directly to Michele.

Unveiling ArchivesSpace

As you should all know by now, we will be transitioning from ATReference to ArchivesSpace in a couple of months. It has been a lengthy project, but we’re quickly approaching its final stages. As such, I wanted to give everyone a quick rundown of the final timeline and the work that we are doing to get us there.

Continue reading

Introducing Aeon

As most of you know by now, we’ll be implementing Aeon here at the RAC starting in a couple of months. This will be a pretty big project, and one that gives us the opportunity to reconfigure and restructure some core reference services workflows. It’s an exciting prospect, but one that will also involve a lot of change, so I thought I’d outline the three major processes that will be affected by Aeon. Continue reading