Success stories

From AtoM wiki

Main Page > Community > Success stories

On this page is a list of community success stories relating to both AtoM and ICA-AtoM. We know there are a lot more success stories out there, so please help us populate this page. Feel free to add your own success story here!

Success stories[edit]

July 26, 2017 - Dalhousie Univerity Libraries announces major additions to their AtoM catalogue. The following is copied from an announcement sent out on the SAA's Archives & Archivists (A&A) List, posted by Creighton Barrett, the Digital Archivist at the Dalhousie University Archives:

The Dalhousie Libraries is very pleased to announce the publication of new finding aids and digital content in its Archives Catalogue and Online Collections: http://findingaids.library.dal.ca/

With this update, the University Archives reaches two milestones: the catalogue now has more than 250,000 archival descriptions and more than 10,000 digital objects. Highlights include:

We have been actively digitizing material in anticipation of Dalhousie's 200th anniversary to be celebrated in 2018, and will continue to add digital content in the coming months. Visit the Dal 200 website for more information about bicentennial celebrations: https://dal200.ca/

Our catalogue was launched in January 2015 and is proudly powered by the open source Access to Memory (AtoM) software. Visit the Archives’ website for more information about our collections and services: https://dal.ca/archives

Congratulations Dalhousie University!


June 01, 2017 - The Oregon Historical Society (OHS) launches their new public catalogue using AtoM - the Oregon Historical Society Digital Collections. Local newspaper the Beaverton Valley Times ran an article on the site's launch, which included the following:

This new website allows online public access to a rich variety of materials from the OHS Research Library, including items from the manuscript, photograph, film and oral history collections. Behind the scenes, these files are safeguarded using a series of digital preservation workflows, systems and storage processes called the OHS Digital Vault.

"We're proud to announce the availability of this platform, which we view as a cornerstone of our organizational mission to make Oregon's history open and accessible to all," said OHS digital archivist Mathieu Deschaine. "We look forward to continued additions that will illustrate the breadth and diversity of our holdings and encourage their use for teaching, learning and research."

Congratulations, OHS!


May 25, 2017 - The City of Winnipeg Archives formally announces the launch of its upgraded catalog, Winnipeg in Focus, using AtoM. The City of Winnipeg began the process of migrating to a new archival management system in 2015 - the last stages of the migration were completed by Artefactual Systems, along with custom theming of the new site. In an announcement made on the Canadian archival mailing list, ARCAN-L, Sarah Ramsden, Archivist at the City of Winnipeg, said the following:

Winnipeg in Focus has been expanded from a database of historical photographs to the premier search tool for the City's archival collection. The application now contains archival records (reports, letters, and a growing number of photographs) that can be searched and accessed online. It also includes new information about records that support discovery and use of the City's rich archival collection.

The new and improved application...

  • Is a database for archival descriptions and records in electronic form.
  • Includes all of the historical photographs from the previous application and additional content.
  • Has improved in the areas of look, design, and functionality as a result of moving to the web-based application Access to Memory (AtoM).
  • Will expand gradually as staff members add content over time.

Congratulations to the City of Winnipeg, and welcome to the AtoM community!

  • Explore the new site: Winnipeg in Focus
  • See the 2015 Addendum report submitted to City Council approving the project here

May 17, 2017 - The Saskatchewan Archival Information Network (SAIN), two portal sites maintained by the Saskatchewan Council for Archives & Archivists (SCAA), is relaunched using AtoM 2. SAIN was one of ICA-AtoM's earliest adopters, but held on to the 1.x version while completing local customizations that allow for better institutional scoping when searching and browsing in a multi-repository instance. Now contributed back to the public project, the "Institutional scoping" feature was mostly developed in-house at the University of Saskatchewan Library, and then completed by Artefactual with funding from the U of S and the Saskatchewan Council for Archives and Archivists. The SAIN sites also include a custom theme - of this Tim Hutchinson, Head of the University of Saskatchewan's Archives & Special Collections, writes:

"This was created by one of our developers within days of returning from AtoM Camp SFU, building on the default Dominion theme. Beyond integrating design elements of the new SCAA website, the responsiveness has been improved a bit compared to the default theme - mainly achieved, as I understand, by moving the browse and search elements out of the block with icons for language, bookmark etc. We also contributed a fix to a bug that was preventing the facets from displaying via mobile."

Congratulations to the SCAA on a successful relaunch!


May 11, 2017 - Our second AtoM Camp, and our first in the United Kingdom, is complete! AtoM Camp Cambridge was hosted by St. John's College at the University of Cambridge, in Cambridge, UK from Tuesday, May 9th to Thursday, May 11th, 2017. The camp featured 3 days of sessions geared to users of all levels delivered by Community Counselors Jenny Mitcham of the Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University of York, and Pete Vox of IMAGIZ.


March 22, 2017 - Artefactual completes its first ever AtoM Camp! AtoM Camp SFU was hosted by the Simon Fraser University Archives, in Vancouver, British Columbia from Monday, March 20 to Wednesday, March 22, 2017. The camp featured 3 days of sessions geared to users of all levels delivered by Community Counselor Tim Hutchinson, Head of the University of Saskatchewan's Archives & Special Collections, as well as Artefactual staff.


April 7, 2016 - After years of planning, the Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University of York launches their new catalogue - using AtoM! Jenny Mitcham writes on her blog, "Digital Archiving at the University of York," that:

My main aim in getting involved in this project was to create a stable base to build a digital archive on.

If you build a digital archive on wobbly foundations there is a strong chance that it will fall over.

Much safer to build it on top of a system established as the single point of truth for all accessions information your organisation holds. A system which will become the means by which you disseminate information about your digital holdings (alongside the physical ones) and enable users to access copies of born digital and digitised material.

Finally we have such a solution in place!

We're proud to see AtoM chosen to be part of the Borthwick Institute's stable base.


March 18, 2016 - Jenny Mitcham from the Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University of York has recently written an excellent, thorough, and balanced piece on implementing AtoM. Titled 'A' is for AtoM, the blog post list an A-Z set of thoughts, considerations, challenges, and useful tips her team encountered when setting up AtoM as the system of record for the University's archival holdings. Some excerpts we were thrilled about:

F is for Friendly Advice

Though there is much detail in the AtoM documentation, anyone starting to use a new system such as AtoM will inevitably get to the point where they need to speak to someone, or see another implementation. The AtoM mailing list and the staff at Artefactual Systems are friendly and helpful and it is easy to get quick answers to specific questions. ...

J is for Just Start!

...Reading the documentation is essential but testing and experimenting with AtoM are really the best ways of working it out. Only by importing different datasets into AtoM or by creating new ones direct into the web form did we really understand how it worked and how this impacted on our own internal workflows. Learn by doing!

K is for Kittens (because they are never really free)

...On top of this, there will undoubtedly be things that you want AtoM to do that it doesn't yet do. If you are implementing AtoM, have a budget for funding further developments. Sponsored developments will then benefit the wider AtoM community and together we can make AtoM better and better. Quite early on in our AtoM implementation project we funded a small piece of work to include covering dates within the accessions module of AtoM as we felt that this was important information to record during the accessioning process and we did not want to lose this data from our existing accessions records when we imported them into the system. Of course we are hoping this feature will also be valuable for other AtoM users. There will undoubtedly be other feature developments we will sponsor in the future.

And this honest but optimistic nugget:

N is for Not Perfect

AtoM (like all complex systems) has its limitations. It ticks many boxes for us but it does not tick them all. There are several areas where we think it could improve and we have been discussing these with the user community and developers and hope to influence its roadmap. As with all open source solutions, rather than complaining about what it doesn't do well, the user community should be working together to solve problems and support improvements. AtoM is not perfect but we are confident that it is moving in the right direction and getting better all the time.

We fully agree! Thanks so much for sharing such a thorough and interesting story about your experiences with AtoM, Jen!


March 16, 2016 - The British Columbia Institute of Technology Archives BCIT Archives launches a new AtoM instance to allow public users to search their archival holdings. In a related blog post, the BCIT Archives notes the following about choosing AtoM:

The BCIT Archives chose the open source software AtoM for several reasons:

  • AtoM was developed under the guidance of the International Council on Archives using international archival standards.
  • Starting from archival standards ensured that the end result would be a software that was able to reflect the complex nature of archival records.
  • It has an active community of users worldwide.
  • This active open source community means that updates are frequent and user-driven.
  • And finally, the lead developers on AtoM, Artefactual Systems, are our neighbours, based in New Westminster.

Congratulations on a successful launch!


September 3, 2015 - The Jewish Museum & Archives of BC formally launches a brand new website, which includes an AtoM instance for all archival holdings. A formal press release, posted in the British Columbia archival mailing list (Archives-BC, included the following:

Implementing the archives database system, Access to Memory (AtoM), the new jewishmuseum.ca grants researchers unprecedented access to thousands of documents, photos, audio and video documenting the 150 year history of Jews in BC.

"For the first time in the history of the JMABC, we have the capability of providing online access to the treasures in the archives, while at the same time adhering to important archival standards,” notes archivist Jennifer Yuhasz. “We are excited to join the vast community of professional archives already using AtoM, including UNESCO, World Bank Group Archives, and most of the provincial, municipal and university archives and libraries across BC."

In addition to contributions from several donors and grant programs, the Jewish Museum & Archives of BC managed this impressive launch in part via a successful crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the new website and data migration to AtoM, to which over 100 participants managed to exceed the target goal of $18,000.

An earlier post on the new website's blog also helped familiarize users with the new AtoM-based catalogue. Congratulations to everyone involved in this successful migration and launch!


August 18, 2015 - The State Records Office of Western Australia launches its new AtoM site, after a multi-year testing, migration, and development project. The accompanying announcement, titled "One Giant Step for SRO," says of AtoM: "The need for a fast, modern archive management system and responsive public access catalogue led us to the search which identified AtoM, an open source software system, as the most likely candidate. All the systems we looked at required some modification to enable us to meet Australian descriptive standards, as well as international standards, but AtoM seemed to us to be the most flexible, and it had the blessing of the International Council of Archives." SRO Western Australia worked with Gaia Resources for their AtoM development needs, and over the course of the project, Gaia Resources developers contributed several bug fixes and minor features to the public AtoM releases as well. According to an announcement post in the AtoM User Forum, the State Records Office has migrated "804,024 items; 4,843 series; 1,919 organisations; 67 images (and growing)." Congratulations to everyone involved!


August 18, 2015 - The World Bank Group publishes a post celebrating the April 2015 launch of the World Bank Group Archives' new AtoM site, entitled "An information goldmine: The World Bank Group Archives goes online." Launched as part of the Group's Open Development Initiative and in support of its Access to Information Policy, the post says of their new site: "Created using the Access to Memory open source software, the website facilitates a faster, more efficient, and personalized online service delivery model. The software serves as a catalog that provides basic information about the resources of the Archives, and it is equipped with user-friendly finding aids compliant with the International Standard for Archival Description."


August 4, 2015 - The Royal BC Museum launches a new AtoM-based database for the BC Archives. Launched with a particular focus on the Ida Halpern fonds (see it here), the accompanying press release noted: "An improvement on the old BC Archives website for archivists and users alike, AtoM is an ideal platform for the digitized materials in the Ida Halpern fonds (or collection)." The press release goes on to add, "AtoM is used by most provincial and national archives, NATO, the World Bank and UNESCO’s archives – extremely good company for the Royal BC Museum to keep. ...As with many of the Royal BC Museum’s recent digital initiatives, AtoM’s debut shows how the Museum and Archives see technology as a smart and easy way to connect today’s public, no matter where they live, with BC’s collective history."


June 8, 2015 - Simon Fraser University (SFU) Archives announces new website content, including a section on digital preservation, describing SFU Archives' use of AtoM and Archivematica for digital preservation and access. From the announcement:

In 2013-14, the Archives received a three-year SFU University Priority Fund grant to develop a digital repository for archival materials. We're now into Year 3 and moving into production. This page brings together various resources relating to the project, including technical documentation, guidelines and tools, reports and presentations. Content will be added as more documents become available.


June 4, 2015 - Dalhousie University Archives announces the availability of the Elisabeth Mann Borgese digital archives, via AtoM. The largest archival digitization project undertaken to date by Dalhousie University, the Borgese collection has already attracted international researchers to Halifax, Nova Scotia and Dalhousie University Archives is now pleased to provide online access to this material for local and distance researchers.


May 22, 2015 - Mills Archive, based in Reading, UK, has been profiled on the UK's National Archives website as a successful case study, after completing a data migration into AtoM and publicly launching earlier this year. On the Mills Archive blog, Liz Bartram notes: "The reason we are being featured as a case study? Representatives from the National Archives came to visit us and were so impressed that they later approached us to ask if we would write a case study about our new online catalogue system so that other archives can learn from what we have achieved."

The National Archives case study comments that "Using AtoM allows the Mills Archive to provide more information at the collections level and it is a better tool for recording and demonstrating the context and the relationship of records with other material compared to the former catalogue." Check it out in the links below:


April 30, 2015 - Archeion, the Ontario-wide provincial archival portal maintained by the Archives Association of Ontario (AAO), announces that it now holds over 30,000 descriptions, contributed from institutions all across the Canadian province of Ontario. Announced via a blog entry on the AAO website, the post by Gabrielle Earnshaw and Danielle Robichaud focuses on one of the descriptions that hleped push Archeion over this milestone number: the Henry Nouwen fonds, held by the University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto.

In the post, Earnshaw and Robichaud state: "As a small archives without a public facing description database, our contribution to Archeion was an important way to reach an audience we may have otherwise missed by relying on our website and more university-focused outreach efforts."


April 1, 2015 - The World Bank Group Archives publicly launches its new AtoM-based Archives Holdings catalogue. In a publicity post sent to the International Council on Archives' public mailing list, the WBGA notes that "The Archives of the World Bank Group in Washington, DC is delighted to announce the launch of our Access to Memory (AtoM) site. In support of the World Bank’s commitment to openness, transparency and accountability through its 2010 Access to Information Policy, the site is now the gateway to explore the holdings of the World Bank Group Archives." The WBGA team has also offered to to answer questions about its AtoM implementation via email, at archives@worldbank.org.


March - May 2015 - A productive and interactive user forum discussion, with contributions from Artefactual, multiple users, and several developers leads to the repair, enhancement, and documentation of AtoM's OAI-PMH module in the 2.2 release. Community development in action!


March 31, 2015 - MemoryBC, the portal to archival descriptions in British Columbia maintained by the Archives Association of British Columbia (AABC), upgrades to AtoM 2.1! As one of the first sites ever to begin using ICA-AtoM 1.0.x-beta in production, we are excited to see MemoryBC upgraded.


March 2, 2015 - MAID, the Mennonite Archival Image Database goes live for public use after 2 years of collaborative design and development. A project of the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada which includes Mennonite archival partners in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario, MAID uses AtoM, with some custom features developed by PeaceWorks Technology Solutions of Waterloo (ON, Canada). News of the launch was published here. In the launch announcement, University of Manitoba archives professor is quoted saying that "by using open source code and contributing back to the code base, archives around the world that use AtoM can benefit from the new functionalities created by PeaceWorks for MAID. It is wonderful to see the Canadian Mennonite community working together, embracing digital technologies and contributing to the development of open source technologies."

Seealso

Learn more about the custom plugins that PeaceWorks developed for AtoM on our Community development page


August 15, 2014 - City of Coquitlam Archives launches its new AtoM (2.0.1) catalog - QUEST, the City of Coquitlam Archives Online Search Portal - and receives a write-up in the local paper, Tri-City News. See the new site here: http://searcharchives.coquitlam.ca/atom/

Article in the Tri-City News about an AtoM instance

Spring 2014, Pilot Project on AtoM 2.0.1 is launched by the Slovenian Office for Slovenians Abroad. 1250 Archival descriptions, 7 Archival Institutions, and 955 digital objects. View materials in English or Slovenian: Digitalni arhiv Slovencev po svetu supported by ZRC-SAZU, Slovenian Archives in Slovenia, HASA NSW and Slovenian Media House in Australia. Additional support from National Library of Australia.


Spring 2013, Australian National University Archives launches their 1800 collections with ICA-AtoM Software. As one of the original beta testers in 2008, the ANU has dedicated a number of years to getting their data entered into ICA-AtoM (1800 collections, over 1200 creators). The database covers two repositories representing 20 kilometers of archives: the Australian National University Archives and the Noel Butlin Archives Centre (Australian business and labour archives), as well as the virtual repository for Pacific Research Archives.


Winter 2012, Blogpost by University of British Columbia's Rare Books and Special Collections Archivist/Librarian Sarah Romkey, about their current work towards integrating ICA-AtoM and Archivematica.


Fall 2012, Blanca Biarge Gallardo releases an ICA-AtoM User Manual in Spanish for Vidimus a private company specializing in archives and records management. The manual is publicly available as of 2012-10-23.

Update 2015 - An updated second edition of the Spanish User Manual is created in April of 2014, and the location is moved on the website. The link above has now been updated.


April - May 2012 Link to User Forum discussion thread with some examples of ICA-AtoM data-entry practices (and suggestion to start this page).


April 2012 - Blog post describing the City of Vancouver Archives' ICA-AtoM installation and migration project.


Update on training workshops for ARCHEION, the Archivists Association of Ontario portal that is run using AtoM (http://www.archeion.ca/).


March 2012 - ESARBICA newsletter includes an article on an EAD Workshop at Nationaal Archief of the Netherlands with discussion about ICA-AtoM (pgs. 3 & 4) View ESARBICA link


July 2012 - Link to the University of British Columbia's Rare Books and Special Collections BLOG describing the use of ICA-AtoM taxonomies for tagging the Douglas Coupland Fonds

Example sites[edit]

  • This page lists links to some existing AtoM sites

Press releases[edit]

Link to Dumbarton Oaks Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives Discovery Portal PRESS RELEASE and HELP PAGE explaining how to use ICA-AtoM as a discovery portal, February 2014: AtoM@DO


Link to The Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives Dumbarton Oaks PRESS RELEASE on the ICFA Blog announcing the selection of ICA-AtoM as their Collection Management System (CMS), September 2012: ICFA Blog Post about ICA-AtoM Selection


Link to ARCHEION, the Archivists' Association of Ontario PRESS RELEASE announcing the launch of their portal using ICA-AtoM, December 2011: File:Archeion launch2011 thankyou.pdf (PDF, 85 KB)


Please revise and add to this page as you like.