Archive Management System update

This is a regular update on the Archive Management System (AMS) project for March 2020. The last few weeks have been a period of extremely rapid change and we are all adjusting to the changing situation which for many Cambridge archivists will mean working without access to the collections they are responsible for. The Archive Management Project Team are all now working remotely. 

Training

A significant proportion of our time over the last month was spent on training and we have now delivered training to the majority of participants in the AMS. There have been four AMS training sessions attended by 43 archivists from 26 separate repositories. The sessions were interactive: a mixture of presentation and practical exercises with the opportunity to ask questions throughout. 

As those attending the training are responsible for a wide range of different types of archival material, the questions from attendees were very varied. “How should I fill out a mandatory field for language of material when I am cataloguing a photograph?” “How can I create multiple variants of a name authority record including Chinese and Anglicised versions of the name?” Finding the responses to these questions has helped us to explore ArchivesSpace in more depth and to consolidate our understanding.

Overall feedback about the training sessions and the opportunity to connect with other users has been very positive and we will now investigate options for recording training which can be delivered remotely. 

Migrations

Migrations of University Library datasets are progressing well and we have been steadily refining the migration tool to reduce the number of errors generated during each migration of data. As anticipated, most of the issues have arisen from moving data from some of the unstructured fields in our legacy systems to the more structured data elements in ArchivesSpace.

We are also well under way with assessing and attempting trial migrations for all those partners who have been able to supply their data to the Project Team and plan to be back in touch with database owners to report progress soon. 

The AMS and working from home

Participants in the AMS who have received training and been set up to use ArchivesSpace can use the system from home. Information about an Excel template that can be used to create ArchivesSpace data off line (for example in the event of difficulties connecting to ArchivesSpace or with internet access) has also been circulated and made available to AMS participants. 

For further information, please contact <ams@lib.cam.ac.uk>.

Natalie Adams and Katrina Dean

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