Archive Management System project update


The focus of our project remains migrating records from our legacy systems on to ArchivesSpace. Alongside work on the University Library’s AtoM data, this month we moved on to migrating Cantab databases for external partners, working closely with the database owners throughout. Catalogues for collections held at King’s College, Murray Edwards and the Needham Research Institute (NRI), plus the catalogue of the Cambridge Philosophical Society archive have all gone live on the AMS and published records can be searched on ArchiveSearch, the public user interface of the Archive Management System. The NRI catalogues include Chinese characters and it was really good to see that these all migrated as expected. Thank you very much to all the archivists involved with the migrations: it has been a pleasure to work with you, and your speedy work checking the migrations has helped keep the project on track. 

Overall progress

The AMS continues to be used for live cataloguing and during lockdown sustained progress is also being made on retrospective conversion of legacy catalogues (from typed, word-processed and hand-written catalogues). The system now holds 352882 records, 24% up in the last month. It is exciting to see a steady increase in the amount of data being added to the AMS. 

Documentation update

The AMS documentation has been updated this month with information about using spreadsheets to enter data on ArchivesSpace and a link to a spreadsheet template which has been customised for archivists in the University Library and Cambridge. 

ArchivesSearch links

Links to catalogues on ArchiveSearch are persistent and expected to endure for the life of the system (at least!). They can be linked to in this format. This example is a link to a volume in the University Archives about the enforcement of plague measures in Cambridge between 1625 and 1638 which will ultimately be searchable together with the records of the University Library’s Collecting Covid-19 collection.

Katrina Dean and Natalie Adams (

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