Starting the AT / Archon Integration Project

On behalf of the Archivist’s Toolkit and Archon projects, we wish to announce several activities related to the proposed development of a next-generation archival management tool. These activities will be undertaken this fall:

1. Based on an initial assessment of features in current and planned future release of the Archivists Toolkit and Archon, we will draft a set of high-level functional requirements for the new system, ensuring that essential features derived from each existing tool are included in the proposed new tool

2. On or about October 19th, we will disseminate a draft set of high-level functional requirements to the archives community via the same venues used to communicate this message. We will seek comments from the archives community about the proposed high-level functional requirements, as well as requests for other features not initially identified in the distributed draft of high-level requirements. The results of this process will be carefully considered, especially in regard to the anticipated scope of the integrated application and resources expected to be available for its development. We anticipate the comments will be due by November 20th.

3. We will conduct a migration analysis and recommend to the technical team potential strategies for migrating all data in current versions of Archon and the AT to the new application that will be built.

4. We will host a Webinar on or around December 9th, in order to discuss the proposed high-level functions and the data migration. Thirty preselected members from the AT and Archon communities, as well as from the larger archives community, will be invited to participate in this session. The Webinar will be led by a facilitator who is not formally affiliated with either the AT or Archon projects. Date, duration, and other details for this Webinar will be communicated as they become known.

5. We will use the comments and feedback from this Webinar to develop a final list of high level functions, prioritized as either required, preferable, and optional for the new application. This list and the recommended migration strategy will constitute a final report to be completed by December 31, 2009; it will serve as the starting point for the specification and technical teams, which have not yet been constituted.

At this point, we strongly encourage all AT and Archon users and other interested members of the archives community to participate in this process.

Please note that the activities being undertaken this fall serve as track one in a proposed six-track planning and development process. Track one is self-funded by the host universities for the AT and Archon projects (University of California San Diego, New York University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign) and is undertaken in anticipation that further funding may be received to complete the planning process and development process.

We look forward to working with you in this endeavor,

Brad, Chris, Scott

Bradley D. Westbrook
Head, Metadata Analysis and Specification Unit
UC San Diego Libraries

Christopher J. Prom, Ph.D
Assistant University Archivist
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Scott W. Schwartz
Archivist for Music and Fine Arts
Sousa Archives and Center for American Music
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaing