Hello from Maryland

Similar to many we are dealing with a ton of legacy data in various forms at the University of Maryland. I am nowhere near as advanced as Maureen is with OpenRefine, regular expressions, or XSLT, but I will be sharing my experiences as I learn new tools for managing our data more efficiently.

I am really excited as we have some major infrastructure projects to work on this year including implementing ArchivesSpace (coming from a homegrown system), redesigning ArchivesUM, our current finding aid interface, and implementing Aeon. As you can imagine these are some hefty projects that will completely change the way we operate.

A new archives content management system has many moving components, stakeholders, policy decisions, and legacy data quandaries. This will give us an opportunity to update our policies, practices, and workflows and bring descriptions more in line with standards and best practices. A redesign of ArchivesUM is long overdue (we can talk about why in a future post) and we’ll be rebuilding both the user interface as well as the back end administrative side.

I was part of a team that implemented Archivists’ Toolkit (AT) several years ago at the University of Oregon, so I have experience changing over to a new system. Looking back, I know we did a lot of cleanup work by hand that could have been automated. I also really wish we shared more publicly about our work including our detailed local AT documentation. You can view what we did share publicly:

  • Elizabeth Nielsen and Cassandra A. Schmitt, “A Joint Instance of the Archivists’ Toolkit as a Tool for Collaboration,” presentation at the annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists’, Chicago, IL, August 22-27, 2011. http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/handle/1957/25253
  • Nathan Georgitis and Cassie Schmitt, “University of Oregon Archivists’ Toolkit Implementation,” A Webinar for Northwest Digital Archives Archivists’ Toolkit Interest Group, September 30, 2010. http://vimeo.com/15469318 [Confession: I have not watched this in years.]

While I will be posting on our legacy data cleanup, I will also be sharing our implementation plans, strategies, successes, and pitfalls as we venture into ArchivesSpace. I hope others will be able to benefit from this work. I know the AT@Yale blog was extremely helpful to me back in the day.

Looking forward to diving in!

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