LHSA staff, in conjunction with colleagues from across Information Services at the University of Edinburgh, have been exploring the possibilities of using Archives Space as a cataloguing tool. The University of Edinburgh is the first European institution to sign up as a General Member of the community and we’re excited by the possibilities it brings to transform our cataloguing.
In 2012, LHSA started creating item-level descriptions of case notes in the archival encoding language of Encoded Archival Description (EAD) as part of the Wellcome Trust-funded Norman Dott project but the remainder of our catalogues are currently created in Word documents and transferred into PDFs for the website: http://www.lhsa.lib.ed.ac.uk/collections/index.html. Whilst our catalogues are fully available, this system is somewhat cumbersome to administer and does not create the best interface for users trying to find out what we have in our collection. Archives Space offers a much more straightforward and streamlined approach to cataloguing for Archive staff, interns and volunteers, with the potential for easier searches and improved visibility across archive search engines meaning a vastly improved user experience.
Earlier this week archivists, librarians and developers were involved in a one day workshop to test its functionality with real-life collection items. Any issues that cropped up were investigated and discussed, and questions were put at the end of the day to one of the US-based developers via a Skype call. All in all, a very positive and useful day. Full steam ahead for Archives Space!
|Getting to grips with Archives Space|
More information on Archives Space can be found on their website: http://www.archivesspace.org/