Archive Management System project update: October-November 2020

This is a regular update on the Archive Management System (AMS) Project. It has been a busy couple of months for the AMS project and there is significant progress to report. 


We have now successfully completed the migrations of all Cambridge University Library datasets with the migration of data from a bespoke database for the Darwin archive. Many of the Darwin archive catalogue entries now available on ArchiveSearch include thumbnail images of the original documents and are linked to the Cambridge Digital Library and to the Darwin Correspondence Project. The ability to search the Darwin archive with the other collections on ArchiveSearch will greatly benefit the research community.

We have almost completed migrations of data for external partners adding datasets from Trinity Hall, Downing College, Peterhouse, the Faculty of Classics, Darwin College and Corpus Christi to ArchiveSpace. Published data from these repositories can now be searched on ArchiveSearch.

AMS User Group

An AMS User Group has been established and had its first meeting at the start of November. Members of the group represent the University Library, Cambridge Assessment, Cambridge University Press and five of the colleges.

Technical progress

The tech team have upgraded ArchivesSpace to version 2.8 which has delivered improvements to search, browse and sorting on the staff user interface. We have been working hard on improving the performance of the site and have further work scheduled for the remainder of the year to improve responsiveness of the site, especially searching on ArchiveSearch. The following improvements have been implemented: 

  • A ‘Contact Us’ button has been added (at the top right of the display of a catalogue record). When clicked this generates an email to the repository holding the material with reference code information in the subject line of the message. 
  • On ArchiveSearch display of ‘conditions governing access’ on the search results screen so researchers are always aware of access restrictions.


We have started to investigate the process of sharing data from the AMS and partners using different systems with iDiscover. For further information please contact

Natalie Adams and Katrina Dean

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