The University of Illinois Archives and the Sousa Archives and
Center for American Music are pleased to announce that version
2.1 of Archon has been released under the University of
Illinois/NCSA Open-Source License. It is available for download
Archon is a web-based tool for managing and providing access to
archival descriptive information and associated digital objects.
The software automatically produces a searchable and browsable
website, EAD files, and MARC records. Version 2.1 includes
several new features:
-Accessions manager to record information about unprocessed
-Improved public interface and page designs
-Google-optimized headers on each page
-Compliance with accessibility guidelines (meets Section 508
-Improved import scripts (added .csv file importer)
-Easier local customization via themes and templates system
-Complete user, administrator, and developer documentation
In the version 2.11 release (planned for early summer), a new
method for publishing information regarding unprocessed materials
will be added. Version 2.11 will also improve usability in
Archon's digital library by adding thumbnail views and additional
To help ensure the long-term sustainability of Archon, we ask
that you take a few moments to read the following information and
provide valuable feedback and comments.
To date the University of Illinois has fully self-funded the
development of this software. We believe it fills a niche in the
community, and we will continue to support its development since
we depend on it.
Following the release of several versions of the software, the
encouragement and feedback received have been instrumental in
creating a product that we believe is stable, easy to implement,
and useful. It is built on the most commonly-available web
technologies (MySQL and PHP), and its public release forced us to
work out many issues and problems in a timely fashion. To date
the software has been downloaded over 900 times and installed or
upgraded over 600 times. In addition, approximately 30
production installations are either active or planned.
As more repositories use Archon, we are seeking additional means
to improve the underlying software and support the growing user
community. Releasing Archon under a very permissive open source
license is one critical element. We hope that other developers
will contribute code to the project by developing new modules,
contributing themes, or adding other features. It is important
that these activities take place collaboratively.
In this respect, we note that Archon was recently nominated by
our University for a Mellon Collaborative Technology Award. We
believe that the award of this grant would help us support the
Archon community in ways that cannot be achieved with internal
We request that you view the nomination and submit comments at:
We greatly appreciate any support you are able to provide.
Assistant University Archivist
Director, Sousa Archives and Center for American Music
Christopher J. Prom
Assistant University Archivist
University of Illinois Archives
1408 W. Gregory Dr.
Urbana, IL 61801
e-mail: [log in to unmask]