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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 
at http://www.archon.org.

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
 	materials
   -Improved public interface and page designs
   -Google-optimized headers on each page
   -Compliance with accessibility guidelines (meets Section 508
 	requirements)
   -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 
search options.

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 
resources.

We request that you view the nomination and submit comments at:

http://matc.mellon.org/nominate/university-of-illinois-at-urbana-champaign/archonTM

We greatly appreciate any support you are able to provide.

Chris Prom
Project Co-Director
Assistant University Archivist

Scott Schwartz
Project Co-Director
Director, Sousa Archives and Center for American Music


--

Christopher J. Prom
Assistant University Archivist
University of Illinois Archives
19 Library
1408 W. Gregory Dr.
Urbana, IL 61801

phone:	217.333.0798
fax:	217.333.2868
e-mail:	[log in to unmask]
web:	http://web.library.uiuc.edu/ahx