Hi all,

We use ArchiveSpace here – have just recently transitioned to it and so far the process has been relatively painless and the functionality is SO much better than our old system. One of the changes in the new version (we have not yet upgraded) is a more improved way of handling top containers and while it will definitely present some challenges to our small staff, I don’t foresee it being overly complicated and I think it will be worth it in the end. We only use ASpace for internal staff use at this time, though would like to use it for public access to our finding aids at some point in the future.

Laura Taylor | MWWC Catalog Librarian

University of New England | 716 Stevens Avenue | Portland, Maine 04103


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From: Encoded Archival Description List <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Jane LaBarbara <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: Encoded Archival Description List <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Tuesday, July 19, 2016 at 9:32 AM
To: "[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: archival management systems question

Alston & All,


Add an extra tally mark to “homegrown system” for us.  Here at WVU, we’re in a funny place.  Our finding aids are presented to the public through DLXS (which is no longer maintained), and we enter the metadata through a webform that our Systems Department built within our homegrown archival content management system, which is really more of a digital asset management system, called MFCS (Metadata Form Creation System).  Systems is helping us migrate our item-level digital content in MFCS from DLXS to Hydra, and we’ve decided to migrate our finding aids to ArchivesSpace (we may not choose to use all of its new bells and whistles though).


Thanks for posing this question—I’m very interested to hear what everyone uses!




From: Michele R Combs [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Monday, July 18, 2016 4:12 PM
Subject: Re: archival management systems question


Hi Alston –


We use a “home-grown” Filemaker Pro database.  It’s pretty comprehensive; we use it to manage gifts, purchases, donors, patrons, overall collection information (locations, dates, processed level, level of description, etc.), collection usage, duplication requests, and more.  We also use the database to generate a number of reports (e.g. donations within the past year), to generate lists of our collections sorted by author ( and subject (, and to produce a shelf list for all our collections.


Our finding aids are encoded in EAD and linked to the database, but are neither imported into it nor generated by it.  MARC records are generated from our EAD finding aids using MARCEDIT.


Our University Archives, which only recently became part of our unit, uses AT.





Michele Combs | Lead Archivist

Special Collections Research Center
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Ave
Syracuse, New York 13244

t 315.443-2081 | e[log in to unmask] | w





From: Encoded Archival Description List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Cobourn, Alston
Sent: Monday, July 18, 2016 1:29 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: archival management systems question


At Washington and Lee University we are currently using ArchivesSpace as our archival management system, which we use to generate EAD finding aids and provide information about our materials to the public.  It is a great system, and I believe the way to a better future.  But some upcoming developments to the system will expand its functionality and potentially make some aspects of it more complicated.  This has prompted a few of my colleagues to inquire as to whether ArchivesSpace is the best option for us as a small institution. 


My impression from professional conferences and reading is that generally institutions are using Archivists Toolkit or Archon (and are planning to migrate to ArchivesSpace), ArchivesSpace, or a locally grown system.  I’m hoping to confirm, disprove, or expand upon that impression by gathering some information from folks on this listserv regarding the systems you are using, so that I can create a list of other options to investigate and share with my colleagues in the sake of due diligence.


I appreciate your responses.




Alston Cobourn

Assistant Professor and Digital Scholarship Librarian

Washington and Lee University

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ORCID 0000-0002-3756-6476