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Archivists' Toolkit Matrix

Page history last edited by Lisa Spiro 14 years, 2 months ago

Archivists’ Toolkit 1.5

Home Page


Developed by

University of California San Diego Libraries, the New York University Libraries and the Five Colleges, Inc. Libraries. Funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Developer’s Description

“The Archivists’ Toolkit™, or the AT, is the first open source archival data management system to provide broad, integrated support for the management of archives. It is intended for a wide range of archival repositories. The main goals of the AT are to support archival processing and production of access instruments, promote data standardization, promote efficiency, and lower training costs.


Currently, the application supports accessioning and describing archival materials; establishing names and subjects associated with archival materials, including the names of donors; managing locations for the materials; and exporting EAD finding aids, MARCXML records, and METS, MODS and Dublin Core records. Future functionality will be built to support repository user/resource use information, appraisal for archival materials, expressing and managing rights information, and interoperability with user authentication systems.”


Open source-- Educational Community License, v. 1.0

Purchasing Cost


Maintenance Cost


User Support

  • Listserv
  • User manual
  • Web site
  • FAQ
  • Wiki
  • Developers are regarded as being responsive to user requests

Training available


System Requirements

Recommended System Requirements for the AT Client




    * Operating System: Windows XP

    * Java 5 JRE or JDK [also supports Java 1.6]

    * CPU: Pentium 4 2.4GHz+ or AMD 2400xp+

    * System Memory (RAM): 512MB

    * Hard Disk: 100MB free space

    * Screen: 1024x768




    * Operating System: Mac OS X 10.4.5 (or higher)

    * Java 5 JRE or JDK

    * CPU: G4 1.2Ghz

    * System Memory (RAM): 512MB

    * Hard Disk: 100MB free space

    * Screen: 1024x768


Supported Database Backends:


    * MySQL 5.0 (with the InnoDB storage engine)

    * MS SQL Server 2005 (or higher)

    * Oracle 10g

Technical Architecture

  •  Java desktop client
  • Based on relational database model. Supported database backends include MySQL 5.0, MS SQL Server 2005 (or higher), and Oracle 10g
  • Can work as stand-alone or networked application


Backup/ restore utility



Current release: Version 1.5. Now in Phase 2; Phase 2 release expected in February of 2009. Beta testing of version 1 began in the spring of 2006.

Hosting Available?

Not currently

Demo/ sandbox available?

Yes: http://archiviststoolkit.org/support/sandbox1.1.shtml


Developed business plan in collaboration with Ithaka.

Example Users

1062 registered users of Version 1.1; 1756 registered users of Version 1.  Users include: Georgia Institute of Technology, Archives and Records Management; Princeton University, Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library; and University of California, Riverside, Special Collections & Archives Department.

Unique strengths

  1. Strong support for archival management functions
  2. Supports export of METS, MODS, MARC, Dublin Core; batch export
  3. Offers many management reports
  4. Rich customization features
  5. Robust authority support
  6. Merge and transfer feature enables several staff to simultaneously describe different parts of the same resource

Support for Importing/ Exporting Metadata

Exports MARC


Exports EAD


Exports Dublin Core


Exports MODS


Exports METS


Exports MADS


Batch Exports EAD

Yes: “From the resource browse screen select two or more resources that you want to export as either EAD files or MARCXML records”

Batch Exports MARC


Batch Export Tab Delimited Files

No (?)

Imports EAD

Yes (including abstract, biographical/history note, scope and content, publication rights, conditions/restrictions, preferred citation, and name/subjects)

Imports MARC


Imports Tab Delimited Files

Yes: “The Archivists Toolkit allows you to import data from either a tab-delimited file from a table or flat file, or from an XML file structured according to the Accessions XML schema provided with the


Imports Digital Image Files


Import Accession Data


Batch Import EAD

Yes: “target a directory containing the EAD files to be imported and import all EAD files in the directory”

Batch Import MARC


Batch Import CSV


Collection Management Features


No (has appraisal note)


Yes (40 fields)

Create Deeds of Gift

No—but you can link to a deed of gift

Prioritize Processing Order


Track Donors

Yes: create contact info for donor;

Project Management

Sort of: include “update by/when” on record

Record Condition


Manage Locations/ Create Shelf List

Yes: can batch add locations

Manage Restricted Materials

Yes. Provides “field for indicating restrictions on the material due to

repository policy, donor specifications, legal requirements, etc.”

Manage Rights


Manage Loans & Exhibits




Reference Support


Generate Reports

Yes: reports include accessions, names, subjects, resources, locations, and repository profile

Track Repository Statistics

Yes: “includes new fields for recording repository statistics, per recommendations of Archival Metrics Project.” Fields include services provided, staff size, collection foci, and repository’s physical characteristics.

Resource Description

Authority Control

Yes: name and subject authority

Controlled vocabulary

Yes:  can reference controlled vocabularies as source in name/subject record

Compliance to Archival Standards


  • International Council on Archives’ ISAAR(CPF): International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families, 2nd ed.
  • Encoded Archival Context (EAC)
  • AACR2
  • DACS.


Data Validation

Yes. “If the record does not include required elements or conform to uniqueness requirements, the user is informed that the record is not valid, and provided with information necessary to fix the record.”

Templating/ Default Fields

Yes: default values for accessions, deaccesions, locations, subjects, resources, resource components, digital objects, names, and users.  Can Use look-up (drop-down) values.

Support for Digital Media

Digital Object module supports describing both simple (single files) and complex (multiple files) digital objects.  Produces unbound digital object, “one in which the metadata record simply references the digital content file” (e.g. Dublin Core), or bound digital object, one [in] which the metadata and the digital content files are bound together through the use of a

digital binder or wrapper” (e.g. METS).



Flexibility of Data Model

Relational database model allows greater flexibility with output.  Supports multi-level description according to standard archival practice. Drag  & drop component rearrangement tool.

Item-level Description


Reorganize Hierarchies

“To reorder component records, simply select the component you wish to move, and drag it up or down in the hierarchy, releasing the mouse button where you wish to place the component”

Dynamically generate EAD finding aids


Publish finding aids online


Administrative Functions

User Permissions

Yes: 5 levels of user permission, from beginning data entry staff to superuser

Support for Harvesting/ Syndication of Content


Customization/ Configuration

Yes: Can customize field labels, screen/browse view, note fields, search fields, reports, data formats, right-mouse functions, and drag and drop.  Can create user defined fields, e.g. date, Boolean, text, integer.

Spell Check


Bug Reporting


Interoperability with Digital Repository Systems

Planned for Phase 2.

User Interface

Web Publishing





Yes; provides search filters.

Can search Name, Subject, Accession, and Resource records

Component-level search results

Advanced Search

“For accession and resource records, the Search Editor also provides the ability to retrieve records by searching for related information. This includes names (creators, sources, subjects), subjects, location, or deaccession dates. In addition, you can search for resources containing a specific instance type, for example, digital objects and also for specific text within notes.”


Yes (see above)

Built-in Help

Yes: customizable; includes definition and examples

Link to Images & Other Files


Speed Data Entry

Rapid Data Entry feature to allow for repeated entry of component records with fewer mouse clicks than one would use during the process of adding individual component records and then adding instances.”  Customizable.

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