Getting archives online with Archeion


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Presentation given at an Archives Association of Ontario Professional Development Committee workshop on February 7th, 2014. Explains how to create records describing archive creators and the archives themselves using Archeion, Ontario's archival network, which runs on the AtoM software from Artefactual Systems.

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Getting archives online with Archeion

  1. 1. Getting your archives online with Archeion Image courtesy of Elgin County Archives, St. Thomas Times-Journal fonds, C8 Sh2 B1 F32 2 McBride's Christian Fellowship Church Quilting Bee, 1971
  2. 2. Today’s activities • • • • • • Creating authority files for creators of archives Creating connections between authority files Creating RAD-compliant archival descriptions Linking creators to descriptions Adding more detailed descriptions Adding or linking digital materials to descriptions
  3. 3. Online options • Your own website – Hosted by you – Or hosted externally • Community sites such as Our Digital World and Archeion • Image-focused sites like Flickr, HistoryPin or Pinterest • …or a combination of all the above!
  4. 4. Archeion • Ontario’s archive information network • Established in 1999 • Holds over 9,000 fonds- and collection-level descriptions from more than 90 institutions across Ontario • One of a network of provincial systems feeding in to ArchivesCanada • Major upgrade in 2011 with a move of all existing information to ICA-AtoM software • Moved to AtoM 2.0 this week!
  5. 5. Advantages of Archeion • Free to use if your institution is a member of the Archives Association of Ontario • Visible to search engines such as Google – People will hit Archeion records without knowing about Archeion – 67% of all Archeion users come straight to Archeion from search engines • Presents your records alongside those of archives all over Ontario, helping users find connections between holdings – And Canada, with the forthcoming re-launch of Archives Canada
  7. 7. Archeion’s structure Archival institutions Online display Archival descriptions Record creators
  8. 8. Old ARCHEION combined creator information within fonds description Archival description Information about creator(s) Information about records
  9. 9. Institutional information was held elsewhere Information about creator(s) Archival institutions Information about records Held in ARCHEION Held on AAO site
  10. 10. Saves duplication Record creator Archival description Archival description
  11. 11. Saves duplication Archival description Record creator B Record creator A Archival description Archival description
  12. 12. Standards-based records • ISDIAH – International Standard for Describing Institutions with Archival Holdings • RAD – Rules for Archival Description • ISAAR-CPF – International Standard for Archival Authority Records Corporate, Personal, Family Archival institutions Archival descriptions Record creators
  13. 13. Easy to update All these records can be edited by Archeion contributors Archival institutions Archival descriptions Record creators
  17. 17. Exercise 1 • Complete the Identity and Description sections for an authority record for a person, family or organization in your finding aid – Check that they aren’t already in Archeion first! – Browse ‘People and organizations’ and then use the search box on that page to search for your creator • Your record will be publicly available once saved, so be nice!
  18. 18. Creating new authority files • Log in to Archeion • Click the ‘add’ icon, then ‘Authority record’
  19. 19. Authority record editing screen
  20. 20. Identity Area
  21. 21. Mandatory fields in Identity area (marked with red asterisk) • Type of entity – Corporate body, Family or Person • Authorized form of name
  22. 22. Authorized form of personal name • Names are formatted according to RAD guidelines – Surname, Forename for individuals • Watson, Sheila – Surname, Initials (Fornames in full) • Macdonald, John A. (John Alexander) – Do not put life dates in the name field • There is a separate field for that
  23. 23. Authorized form of family name • Names are formatted according to RAD guidelines – Surname, (family) • Aberneathy (family • Wilson (family) – RAD allows additional information to be added to distinguish between families of the same name • MacIntosh, Angus (family) • MacIntosh (Elgin, Ont., family) – This is unnecessary in Archeion, as this information can be place elsewhere in the authority record: put it in the appropriate section
  24. 24. Authorized form of organization name • Names are formatted according to RAD guidelines – Use most recent/current name as main heading – Names of organizations go in direct order • Annan Women’s Institute – Add place names if necessary for disambiguation • Emmanuel College (Toronto, Ont.) – Add earlier names under ‘Other names’ – Use ‘Parallel name’ for linguistic variants of the same name (e.g. French vs. English versions)
  25. 25. More on organizational names • Government names are simply the name of the place covered by the jurisdiction • Kitchener (Ont.) • Names of organizations which are part of a larger body • St. Michael's College (Toronto, Ont.). President's Office
  26. 26. Description Area
  27. 27. Dates of existence - formats 1924- Living person 1837-1896 Both birth and death years known 1836 or 1837-1896 Year of birth uncertain; known to be one of two years 1837?-1896 Probable year of birth ca. 1837-1896 Year of birth uncertain by several years 1837-ca. 1896 Approximate year of death ca. 1837-ca. 1896 Both years approximate b. 1825 Year of death unknown d. 1859 Year of birth unknown fl. 1893-1940 Years of birth and death unknown. Some years of activity known.
  28. 28. History • ISAAR-CPF field 5.2.2 & RAD field Administrative Remember History/Biographical Sketch world-wide context… • Include the name, birth and death dates, major occupation, and geographical area of the creator(s) in the biographical sketch/ administrative history. – Adam Lindsay Webb (b. 1879) was a physician who practised in Brighton, Ontario.
  29. 29. Important facts for History field Corporate body Individuals Dates of founding and/or dissolution Place and dates of birth and death Mandate/sphere of responsibility Place(s) of residence Predecessor and successor bodies Occupation, education and activities Administrative structure Names of family members
  30. 30. Other important fields • Other forms of name – E.g. pseudonyms, previous names • Source – Record any printed or online sources used in creating the authority record
  31. 31. Save your record for now
  32. 32. Relationships Area
  33. 33. Relationships • Separate authority files can be linked to more than one archival description, saving duplication of information • Links can also be made between authority files, e.g. predecessor/successor businesses, associations between colleagues, family members, places of work…
  34. 34. Allows establishment of relationships between creators Person Organization Member of Predecessor of Family Organization
  35. 35. Categories of relationship • Hierarchical – Superior/subordinate, owner of/owned by • Temporal – Over time, e.g. predecessor/successor • Family • Associative – Any other sort of relationship between entities
  36. 36. Links between authority files • A link between two authority records can be made in either record • Once established, the link will automatically appear in the other file
  38. 38. Exercise 2 • Either – Create a new authority file and establish a link to it from your first record • Or – Establish a relationship between your first record and an existing Archeion authority file • Check to see that the link appears in both records
  39. 39. Final tips for authority files • If the person/family/organization is already in the system, link to that description, editing it if you have useful additional information • The authority files are a community resource – Don’t belong to single institutions • Trying to avoid Wikipedia-style editing wars
  41. 41. Archival descriptions • Form is designed to reflect the fields in the Rules for Archival Description • ‘Archeion for Archivists’ manual acts as a RADrefresher for the fields required by Archeion • It is easier to create authority files for creators of archives before you start on the archival description
  42. 42. Mandatory fields • Title proper • Physical description • Level of description • Scope and content • Repository • Language (of materials) • Name of creator • Restrictions on access • Date • Finding aids
  44. 44. RAD areas 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Title Edition Class of material specific details Dates of creation Physical description Series area Archival description Notes Standard number
  45. 45. Important RAD areas 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Title Edition Class of material specific details Dates of creation Physical description Series area Archival description Notes Standard number
  47. 47. Title Area • 1.1B3 Title proper [Required] • Enter the name of the person, family, or corporate body responsible for the creation of the records, followed by the word fonds. If the unit being described is an artificially accumulated collection, use the word collection instead of fonds
  48. 48. Examples • Anthony Adamson and Marion MacRae fonds • Frederick Hagan fonds • Kingston General Hospital photograph collection • Proctor family fonds
  49. 49. Title Area • 1.0A4 Level of Description • For a top-level description, choose either Fonds or Collection.
  50. 50. Title Area • Repository (not in RAD) [Required] • Start typing the name of your repository and click on it to associate the repository with the description • N.B. If you don’t, you won’t be able to edit your record once you’ve saved it!
  51. 51. Title Area • Identifier (not in RAD) • If you have a reference number for the material, enter it here
  52. 52. Dates of creation area • This is where you link the authority record to the archival description – It’s the act of creation which forms the connection between the two types of file
  53. 53. Dates of creation area • 1.4B Date • Give the date(s) of creation of the unit being described either as a single date, or range of dates (for inclusive dates and/or predominant dates). Always give the inclusive dates. When providing predominant dates, specify them as such, preceded by the word predominant. • If there is no date, provide an estimated date in square brackets. Do not use ‘n.d.’ or ‘undated’
  54. 54. Examples • • • • 1890 1934-1955 [ca. 1875]-1954 1812-1903, predominant 1845-1867
  55. 55. Uncertain/probable dates [1867?] [ca. 1867] [before 1867] [after 5 Jan. 1867] [1892 or 1893] [between 1915 and 1918] [197-] [186-?] [17–] [17–?] probable date approximate date terminal date terminal date one year or the other use only for dates fewer than 20 years apart decade certain probable decade century certain probable century
  56. 56. Machine-readable dates • Automatically created fields • To allow for date searching, ensure that the ‘start’ and ‘end’ dates make sense
  57. 57. Physical description area [Required] • 1.5B • At all levels of description, record the extent of the unit being described by giving the number of physical units and their nature • Record all the different types of materials found, starting each on a new line • Use metric measurements
  58. 58. Examples • • • • ca. 200 photographs 50 maps 21cm of textual records 102 posters : silkscreen ; 60 x 90 cm, 40 x 60 cm and smaller
  59. 59. Archival description area • 1.7 • This area contains the core of your archival description, including information on the creator(s) of the material and the nature of the material itself
  60. 60. Custodial history • 1.7C • Use this field to record the changes of ownership of the archival materials, if known, since their creation • If the records were received directly from their creator, record this information under ‘Immediate source of acquisition’ (1.8B12)
  61. 61. Scope and content [Required] • 1.7D • Give information about the functions and/or kinds of activities generating the records, the period of time, the subject matter, and the geographical area to which they relate • Give a succinct overview in the first sentence, e.g.: – Fonds consists of records created and received by A.L. Webb, primarily relating to his medical practice. • Summarize the arrangement and structure of the records and the form that they take
  62. 62. Examples • Fonds consists of Anthony Richmond's records pertaining to his career as a scholar and includes his research files, professional files, manuscripts, as well as his personal files. • The collection consists of records of various private businesses which operated in Hastings County, Ontario, which were gathered as a unit by the Hastings County Historical Society. Various kinds of activities and occupations are represented: collection of duties; public utilities; loan; general merchants; grocery; temperance; insurance; engineering; surveying; railway…
  63. 63. Notes area • In RAD, a bit of a rag-bag of fields. • In Archeion, only three of these are mandatory • We’ll look briefly at some of the more useful fields
  64. 64. Physical condition • 1.8B9a • Note anything about the physical condition of the material being described that affects the clarity or legibility of the records • Also consider noting if the material has suffered mould damage, even if it does not affect the legibility of the records, as a warning to potential users
  65. 65. Language [Required] • 1.8B14 • Start typing the name of the language of the archival materials and select it from the dropdown list. You can add as many languages as you need. Enter the predominant language(s) first.
  66. 66. Immediate source of acquisition • 1.8B12 • Enter information about the donor from whom you obtained the records • Only information about the holder of the record immediately prior to their transfer to the archives should be recorded in this field
  67. 67. Restrictions on access [Required] • 1.8B16a • Enter information about any applicable restrictions on researchers' ability to view the material
  68. 68. Examples • Open • Access restrictions apply to Series 5, Restricted Originals. • Several files and photographs within the collection have restricted access due to the information they contain. Access to brittle documents may be restricted.
  69. 69. Finding aids [Required] • 1.8B17 • Enter here information on any finding aids available for this fonds or collection, including lists, catalogues, and inventories. If a finding aid is online, you can put a hyperlink to it here. • If there are no finding aids, write 'None'.
  70. 70. Rights • 1.8B16b • Indicate the copyright status, literary rights, patents or any other rights pertaining to the unit being described
  71. 71. Access points • Archeion has a place-name gazetteer and a list of (very general) subject headings • Start typing a place name or subject and choose it from the drop-down list to add it to your description
  73. 73. Publishing descriptions • Possible rights in relation to archival descriptions: – – – – Create Edit Delete Publish • Archivists generally only have the right to edit, create, delete and publish their own institution’s descriptions • Rights are customizable for each user of Archeion
  74. 74. Tips • Descriptions do not have to be completed in one sitting • Work can be saved at any time by clicking the 'Create' button at the bottom of the editing window (it then becomes a ‘Save’ button) • Save frequently to avoid being logged out and losing work • An archival description is not visible to the public (or to search engines) until its status is changed from ‘draft’ to ‘published’ in the Administration area • Descriptions can be edited at any time, before or after publication, to correct them or add new information
  75. 75. More tips • Be concise • Put key information at the start of longer text fields, particularly: – History of person/family/corporate body – Scope and content • Remember you are writing for a global audience – The reader is (probably) not in your building
  78. 78. Adding lower levels of description
  79. 79. Display of lower levels
  80. 80. Adding digital objects • Digital materials can be added to archival descriptions at any level – You might want an image at fonds- or collection-level to represent the whole group of records – Or you could associate a digital object from a description of an item • You can either upload objects to Archeion (cost implication) or link to objects hosted elsewhere (free)
  81. 81. Adding digital objects
  83. 83. Adding digital objects
  84. 84. Archeion: a community resource
  85. 85. Any questions/concerns? • @AAOArcheion •
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