AtoM Camp St. John's College 2017

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We're excited to announce the second AtoM Camp, and our first in the United Kingdom, cohosted by St. John's College Archives and Artefactual! Inspired by similar events like Hydra Camp, Islandora Camp and Fedora Camp, AtoM Camp is intended to provide a space for anyone interested in or currently using AtoM to come together, learn about the platform from other users, and share their experiences.

Dates & Location

May 9-11, 2017 - Fisher Building, St. John's College at the University of Cambridge (Cambridge, UK)

26-27 Magdalene St, Cambridge CB3 0AF, UK

Rooms: Dirac Room and Castlereagh Room

Map of St. John's College

Cambridge is approximately an hour and a half North of London by car or public transportation. Cambridge is a city on the River Cam in eastern England, home to the prestigious University of Cambridge, dating to 1209. University colleges include King’s, famed for its choir and towering Gothic chapel, as well as Trinity, founded by Henry VIII, and St John’s, with its 16th-century Great Gate. University museums have exhibits on archaeology and anthropology, polar exploration, the history of science and zoology.

St John’s College is located in Cambridge city centre. It's close to buses, coaches and the rail station; and is within easy walking distance of many hotels, B&Bs and restaurants.


The Fisher Building is wheelchair accessible and there is a lift in the building if individuals have difficulty managing stairs. There is a wheelchair accessible entrance to the College off Northampton St, which happens to be the closest entrance to the Fisher Building where the Camp will be held.


Click image for larger map

Getting to Cambridge

Flying into Cambridge

Cambridge is connected by coach and rail to London Stansted Airport. For information on rail links see the Rail website and for coaches the National Express website.

Taking the train to Cambridge

Cambridge is a 45 min train journey from London King’s Cross Rail Station. See the Rail website. The train leaves on the quarter hour. The rail station is connected to the city centre by bus and by taxi.


The car park is Park Street car park:



Cost: £325

Camp Counsellors

At all of the camps that Artefactual hosts, we seek to provide attendees with counselors who have a wide range of experience with the software. Supplementing members of the Artefactual crew will be counselors who have extensive experience with AtoM as users and administrators.

Jenny Mitcham

Jenny Mitcham is Digital Archivist at the Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University of York. She managed the AtoM implementation project at the Borthwick and has blogged about the process of selecting AtoM and moving it into production ( She is currently planning for the implementation of Archivematica alongside AtoM to archive born digital holdings.

Pete Vox

Pete is a software developer and is the managing director @ IMAGIZ ( - a small web development company based in Richmond, London. Pete has over 30 years' of development experience and for the last five has been mainly focussed on projects within the heritage space. Recently the IMAGIZ team have delivered web-based projects for a number of Archival, Museum and Educational institutions, including the migration of Archive Catalogue data from Calm to AtoM on behalf of the Museum of Croydon ( IMAGIZ is currently working to support AtoM in the UK - including development of UK-specific tools and features.

Dan Gillean

Dan serves as AtoM Program Manager and provides quality assurance testing, requirements analysis, documentation, technical support and community dialogue for Artefactual’s AtoM and Archivematica projects.

Sara Allain

Sara started working at Artefactual on both the AtoM and Archivematica projects in 2016, providing requirements analysis, user documentation, QA testing and community support. Prior to her work at Artefactual Sara worked in academic libraries as - depending on the day - an archivist and/or a librarian, tackling wide-ranging subjects like data migration, Islandora implementation, digitization management, and library communications. She firmly believes that the best way to learn is to dive in headfirst - because there probably aren't any sharks in the water. Right?


The schedule is a work in progress. Depending on the make-up of the campers, sessions might range from AtoM 101 for absolute beginners to command line tools to systems administration. We look forward to welcoming campers with a wide range of experience with AtoM!

Potential topics

The registration form allows campers to select some topics of interest from a pre-set list, which includes topics that we think will be of interest:

  • AtoM 101 - beginner's guide to AtoM (or a helpful refresher if it's been a while!)
  • Importing and exporting archival descriptions using CSV templates.
  • Performing common tasks on the command line (importing, updating records, etc.).
  • Customizing the front end through the web interface (menus, static pages, etc.).
  • Maintenance and troubleshooting (sysadmins).
  • Maintenance and troubleshooting (front-end users).
  • Creating custom AtoM themes.
  • Installation and deployment.
  • Developing new features.
  • Contributing to the AtoM documentation.
  • Future of AtoM and/or project governance.

Is there something you think we're missing from the list? When you register, there will be a field to suggest any other topics you want us to cover. If there's a critical mass of people who want to discuss a particular topic, we'll cover it! During the camp, we'll also leave lots of space to adjust the schedule to give time to specific topics as they come up.

Day One - Tuesday, May 9

Time Main room - Dirac Breakout room - Casltereagh
9:00am - 9:30am Arrival, sign-in, and setup
9:30am - 9:45am Welcome

Introductions, code of conduct, agenda overview, etc.

9:45am - 10:45am Introducing AtoM

This session is intended to ensure that everyone is on the same page and has a basic understanding of AtoM. We'll talk about the history of the project, hear about things to consider when selecting software, and get an overview of AtoM's main features.

10:45am - 11:00am Break
11:00am - 12:00pm Vagrant installation and configuration

Intended for archivists, this session will focus on ensuring that everyone has a working AtoM instance on their laptop, which will be used throughout the camp for hands-on work.

Get to know AtoM's codebase

An introduction for developers and systems administrators covering symfony, developer resources, standard practices, and other information.

12:00pm - 1:00pm Lunch
1:00pm- 2:00pm AtoM 101, part 1

This session will give campers some hands-on practice with their new AtoM instance. More experienced users will have the opportunity to ask questions about issues they have with their instance. This is also a good chance for interested devs and sysadmins to gain front-end experience with the application (helpful for troubleshooting!).

Installation and upgrading

This session will cover recommended installation parameters, gotchas and tips for installing on other systems, using Ansible for deployment, managing upgrades, and multi-site management.

2:00pm - 2:45pm AtoM 101, part 2

We'll continue working with our AtoM instances, focusing on a series of self-directed learning exercises. Counselors will be available to answer questions, troubleshoot issues, and provide brief feature demos as requested.

Creating custom themes

This session will incorporate an introduction to relevant theming files, registering a plugin, home page customizations, and also give devs a chance to create basic themes.

2:45pm - 3:00pm Break
3:00pm - 4:00pm Import and export through the user interface

Continuing on the theme of hands-on training, this session will show campers how to construct and import archival descriptions, authority records, taxonomies, and other data types using CSV and SKOS templates. This session will also touch on new functionality - updating records en masse through the user interface!

MySQL queries

Campers will get an overview of AtoM's data model and start constructing simple queries for reporting and data cleanup, among other uses, using PHPmyAdmin and other tools.

4:00pm - 4:45pm Basic CLI tasks

This session will give everyone a grounding on using the command line for basic maintenance, user management, troubleshooting, and data import/export. Even if you don't use the command line firsthand, this session will be helpful for understanding the functionality provided by AtoM's CLI.

4:45pm - 5:00pm Wrap-up
6:00pm - late Evening social event: small sign-up group dinners

Day Two - Wednesday, May 10

Time Main room - Dirac Breakout room - Casltereagh
9:30am - 9:45am Morning announcements
9:45am - 11:00am Implementation tours

This session is a chance for users of all stripes to show off their current implementations - or to discuss future implementations! If you're interested in discussing how AtoM works (or might work) in your institution, come prepared with a 5-10 minute informal presentation and/or your questions.

11:00am - 11:15am Break
11:15am - 12:30pm Customizing the front end through the web interface

This session will cover how to manage menus, static pages, labels, themes, and other front-end customizations - no coding required. Campers will again use their personal AtoM instances to get hands-on experience configuring their own sites.

Feature development

Thinking of developing a new feature or customization for AtoM? This session will expand upon the code overview session and introduce best practices for developing features - and sharing them back with the community. A look at plugin registration, major modules, functions and classes, as well as how Artefactual performs code review and public code management, including things to consider when planning a development project and submitting code to the public AtoM branch.

12:30pm - 1:30pm Lunch
1:30pm - 2:30pm Managing access

During this session, campers will focus on creating and managing users and groups, editing group permissions, and implementing PREMIS rights rules. We'll also talk about managing multi-tenanted AtoM instances.

Workflows with Archivematica

Campers interested in integrating their AtoM instance with Archivematica can learn about DIP upload, passing descriptive and rights metadata from Archivematica to AtoM, and future enhancements to Archivematica's AtoM integration.

Dev/sysadmin clinic

An informal opportunity for devs and sysadmins to discuss any issues, suggestions, ideas, or wild speculations with the experts.

2:30pm - 2:45pm Break
2:45pm - 4:45pm Future of AtoM/project governance

This session is intended to be partly a showcase of what's coming up in AtoM development as well as a chance to collaboratively discuss where the AtoM project - and the AtoM community - is headed.

4:45pm - 5:00pm Wrap-up
6:00pm - late Evening social event: group dinner (location TBD)

Day Three - Thursday, May 11

Time Main room - Dirac Breakout room - Casltereagh
9:30am - 9:45am Morning announcements
9:45am - 10:30am Implementing AtoM in the UK

In this session we will look at a couple of implementation case studies. The case studies will focus in particular on challenges encountered and how these issues were overcome. We will also discuss the direction of AtoM and what features and support would be required to enable wider adoption in the UK. There will be time for discussion so do come prepared to share your ideas and experiences.

Contributing to documentation

From typos to improved feature descriptions, we love when the AtoM community improves the docs! This session will act as an introduction to AtoM's documentation - how they're organized, how they're maintained, how we use Sphinx, and, of course, how to contribute to the docs. We'll cover some basic git/Github information as well.

10:30am - 12:30pm Data migrations

Leaving a thorny topic for last, this session will be an overview of potential approaches to data migration. We'll go over known challenges, how to map to standards, data cleanup using OpenRefine, scripting transformations, and AtoM's import formats. Pete Vox will also talk about migrating from CALM.

Free space

Our second room is booked for AtoM Camp for the duration of Thursday, May 11. Want to work through some AtoM problems? Interested in convening a small group to discuss another topic? Go forth and self-organize!

12:30pm - 1:30pm Lunch
1:30pm - 2:15pm Open discussion

A final free-for-all discussion!

2:15pm - 2:30pm Closing

Accommodation and Things to Do

There are a number of B&Bs near the rail station and throughout Cambridge. There is a Travelodge and Premier Inn on Newmarket Rd, and another Travelodge near Cambridge Central – most if not all accommodation should be within walking distance of the city centre. Cambridge is very cycle and pedestrian friendly . This is a helpful website:

Things to do in Cambridge


Local food and drink suggestions

Code of Conduct

The AtoM community is dedicated to providing a welcoming and positive experience for everyone, whether they are in a formal session or a social setting related to an AtoM event, or are taking part in activities online. AtoM community participants come from all over the world and bring with them a wide variety of professional, personal and social backgrounds; whatever these may be, we treat colleagues with dignity and respect. We are sensitive to the fact that the international nature of the AtoM community means that we span many different social norms around language and behaviour and we strive to conduct ourselves in ways that are unlikely to cause offense. In the event that someone’s conduct is causing offense or distress, the AtoM Camp has a detailed Anti-Harassment Policy, details below, which can be applied to address the problem.

The first step in dealing with any serious misconduct is to contact a member of the organizing group, or a counsellor at an AtoM Camp (please see counsellors, below). These people will be made known before and during any AtoM Camp event.

Anti-Harassment Policy

The AtoM community is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference/camp experience for everyone. If you have been harassed, please consult this protocol for conflict resolution which makes clear how we can help.

The AtoM community has established the following policy to make it clear that we do not tolerate harassment in any form. Sexual or discriminatory language and imagery are not appropriate for any event venue, including talks, or any other communication channel used during the conference (such as social media).

Harassment includes:

  • offensive verbal comments related to sex, gender, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, age, race, religion;
  • sexual or discriminatory images in public spaces;
  • deliberate intimidation;
  • stalking;
  • harassing photography or recording;
  • sustained disruption of talks or other events;
  • inappropriate physical contact; and
  • unwelcome sexual attention.

The lingua franca of AtoM Camp is English; however, English may not be the native language of AtoM Camp participants. Further, cultural norms around what may be considered obscene and offensive communication will vary among AtoM Camp attendees. Campers are asked to please be mindful of the international character of AtoM Camp, and to use respectful and clear language free of slang to facilitate communication.

Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, event organizers and AtoM representatives (or their designees) may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender, expulsion from the AtoM Camp, or contacting a higher authority such as a representative from the offender’s institution.

If a participant raises a concern relating to actions covered by this policy in good faith, there will be no retaliation for bringing forward their concern. Threatening or taking action against someone for invoking this policy or for participating in any related investigation will be considered a violation of this policy.

Participants are expected to follow the anti-harassment policy at all Camp-related venues, Camp-related social events, and online communication channels

We expect attendees and speakers past and present to be respectful to each other, and we will deal with any incidents that arise, including on social media.

We value your participation in the AtoM community and your support in keeping the AtoM community a safe, welcoming, and friendly space for fellow participants.


This policy is based on the PASIG Code of Conduct, portions of which were modified from the Open Repositories’ code of conduct, which was itself modified from Seattle Attic’s code of conduct and the Ada Initiative’s event harassment policy.


This document is licensed under Creative Commons BY-SA.