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At the University of West Florida, we were one of the initial group of
implementers of Archon for the same reason that Kyle says, we were not
trained in EAD, and given our small staff, we couldn't see how to move to
EAD as we felt it really required another professional position.

We have been ecstatic in our use of Archon.  It has been easy for staff and
graduate students to enter collection inventories, and the response from our
users has been overwhelming.   They love the simplicity of searching, they
print out lists of inventories, folders, etc.   The EAD export permits us to
add the collection to the PALMM portal (Archives Florida) which is a
searchable EAD collections from most all state university archives and
special collections.   The MARC export gives us a simple collection level
record that our catalogers put into the library OPAC to enable users to find
what we have.

The only con that we have had with Archon is this:  it has shown us that
quite a few of our older collections have rotten inventories thus we have a
"to do" list of revising older collections and inventory re-writing!!

Dean



On Fri, Jun 11, 2010 at 9:38 AM, K. Rimkus <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Hi Jodi,
>
> We implemented Archon at the University of Miami (
> http://proust.library.miami.edu/findingaids/) about a year and a half ago
> and have been quite pleased with it.  It provides a simple form-based
> interface for the creation of DACS-compliant finding aids, allows for the
> automatic publication of these to the web, and facilitates the easy export
> of records in EAD and MARC format.
>
> I would say that Archon's strength is in providing a low-cost, easily
> implemented turnkey technical infrastructure for archives.  With its
> collection record forms, it allows staff to focus on crafting good finding
> aids rather than worrying about the slings and arrows of well-formed XML.
>  The search and retrieval piece is there, but is fairly basic and is not the
> main focus of the system.  The search function, for example, conducts
> full-text search across certain indexed fields.  It does not allow you to
> limit your search by field, although you can browse by certain categories.
>
> While Archon provides a simple, easily-implementable technical framework
> for authoring and publishing finding aids to the web, it is not for
> everyone.  It was a good choice for us because we were not yet EAD
> implementors when we adopted it.  Archon is built around the concept of
> DACS-compliant collection records, and EAD is one of its export formats;
>  however, EAD is not the native format of Archon finding aid records.
>
> Archon stores its records in a database which does not currently support
> the round-tripping of EAD records, and we have found that using Archon's EAD
> import script (which can be tweaked and improved) to bring EAD finding aids
> into Archon often results in the loss of data and the subsequent need for
> revision of finding aid records in the Archon system.  Other institutions in
> Florida who have been implementing EAD for years have been reluctant to
> adopt Archon for this very reason, despite the advantages of its interface
> and the ability the system affords to easily publish newly created or
> altered finding aids to the web.
>
> My concern in browsing your NWDA is that if you switched to Archon you
> would lose some of the search capabilities your current system has.  If you
> are seriously considering Archon as a search and retrieval system, I would
> also recommend that you import a sample of your own EAD records into a test
> instance of Archon to see how well they import into the system's native
> database.
>
> I hope this helps,
>
> Kyle
>
> On Thu, Jun 10, 2010 at 5:54 PM, Jodi Allison-Bunnell <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>
>> Hi all:
>> The consortium program that I manage, Northwest Digital Archives, is
>> considering a change in its search and retrieval software as part of a
>> revision to our technical infrastructure. I have gathered some information
>> on what other consortia use and would like to hear from other EAD
>> implementors.
>>
>> If you use one of the systems below, or something else, it would be most
>> helpful if you could share your experience with the system. This could
>> include price (if commercial), ease of set-up and maintenance, existence of
>> user groups (particularly within the library-archives world), end user
>> feedback, and anything else that you could share with me and/or the list.
>>
>> Here are the systems I have identified so far:
>> Ixiasoft's TEXTml
>> Mark Logic XML database
>> XTF
>> ExLibris DigiTool
>> Cocoon/Lucene
>> Solr/Lucene
>> PLEADE
>> Archon
>>
>> Thanks in advance for any information that you can share.
>>
>> Best, Jodi
>>
>>   Jodi Allison-Bunnell
>> Program Manager, Northwest Digital Archives
>> Orbis Cascade Alliance
>> 418 Woodford
>> Missoula, MT 59801
>> [log in to unmask]
>> (406) 829-6528
>> fax (860) 540-8281
>> Researcher website:http://nwda.wsulibs.wsu.edu/
>> Member website: http://orbiscascade.org/index/northwest-digital-archives
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
> ---
>
> Kyle Rimkus
>
> Digital Projects Librarian
>
> University of Miami Libraries
>
> Otto G. Richter Library
> 1300 Memorial Drive
>
> Coral Gables, FL 33146
>
>
>
>


-- 
Dean DeBolt, University Librarian
Special Collections
University of West Florida Library
11000 University Parkway
Pensacola, FL  32514-5750
[log in to unmask];   850-474-2213