Archive Management System update

This is a regular monthly update about the Archive Management System (AMS) Project for April 2020. The last few weeks have been a challenging time for many of us: the Archive Management Project Team have been working remotely for 4 weeks and many of the Cambridge archivists who have signed up to use the AMS system have been in touch to advise that they have been furloughed. Despite these challenges, we have continued to make good progress over the last month. We have maintained momentum on the AMS project and through online and video communication.

 Online training

A series of nine short training videos about using ArchivesSpace for archival description has been recorded during the lockdown period to replace ‘in person’ training for new users of the AMS and to serve as refreshers for existing users.


Migrations of University Library legacy datasets are progressing well and almost 250,000 records have been through the migration system this month and are now close to final migration to ArchivesSpace. We have also carried out trial migrations of the majority of datasets supplied by external partners and reported back to database owners.

The AMS and working from home

Staff at the UL and partner organisations have been able to use the AMS for cataloguing and retro-conversion of old catalogues during the lockdown period. Scaling up the system is going well and it is exciting to see the body of catalogue data on the AMS growing. Over 2,000 new records have been added to the system by University Library staff alone since the lockdown began. These include the vivid Ely Assize records which are being catalogued in detail by Sally Kent (for a fascinating taster of her discoveries please visit the Special Collections blog). Descriptions of the huge range of University and student societies represented in the Cam Papers are also being added to the system. When published, these finding aids will greatly enhance discovery of these unique and varied collections, as well as many more.

For further information, please contact

Natalie Adams and Katrina Dean

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