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CALM Matrix

Page history last edited by Lisa Spiro 15 years, 6 months ago


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Developed by

DS is a member of the Axiell Library Group, based in the UK.

Developer’s Description

“Calm is the leading Archives management system in the UK. DS has worked for many years with specialists to develop our Calm products: comprehensive and integrated systems suited to diverse organizational needs. Calm makes it easy to manage data across the heritage sector. All relevant standards are supported seamlessly within one system. Development in partnership with customers ensures that Calm reflects current and changing professional standards. DS is committed to providing mechanisms that allow customers to work with others in similar and cross-sectoral areas.”



Purchasing Cost

Depends on number of staff clients and modules purchased.

Maintenance Cost

25% of software license cost. Note this includes free updates and upgrades to all purchased modules.

User Support

  • Help desk
  • User group listserv
  • Online manual


Yes, customized to user requirements.

System Requirements

Server specification:
Windows 2000, 2003, 2008 Server Standard Edition
.Net 2.0 + IIS 6 or higher (for CalmView web module) + TCP/IP networking

RAM – 2Gb
HDD – 1.5Mb per 1000 text records + space required for other media files
RAID and back-up to suit customer standards.
Calm will run in a VM Server environment.


Client specification:
2000 Pro, XP pro, Vista Business or Ultimate
RAM – 512Mb minimum
HDD - 10Mb
Display currently 800x600 but will increase to 1024x768 minimum for next release.

Technical Architecture

Client/server application, runs as a Windows Service.

Uses a proprietary database.

CalmView public access module based on .NET/APSX.

Backup/ restore utility

Backup to fit local customer standards. Restore based on restoring database files from last back-up.


Calm products have been available for 12 years, with over 300 installations across the UK and Europe.

Hosting Available?


Demo/ Sandbox Available?



“Calm has a very large and active user community, and development is based on a user consensus approach. Calm conforms to current approved international standards, including ISAD(G), ISAAR, EAD and OAI. It is our policy to conform to standards once they are ratified.


There is an optional ESCROW agreement available.”

Example Users


National Archives of Scotland

Wellcome Library

London School of Economics and Political Science

The British Postal Museum and Archive

Hampshire Record Office

The National Gallery

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Transport for London


National Archive of Portugal, Lisbon

Shell Family Archives Centre, Netherlands

Unique Features

“Calm is a modular system designed to provide a full range of Collection Management functions, including:

•           Accessions/LoansIn

•           Depositor/Owner/Lender

•           Catalogue

•           Authority Files

•           Conservation

•           Enquiries

•           Productions/Loans Out/Movement Control

•           Condition Check

•           User Management

Unique features also include:

  • Dynamic collection hierarchy display through “tree view”.
  • Date parser for searching non-specific dates.
  • Flexible staff client GUI.
  • Support for “messy” data schemas
  • Archives and Museums standards integrated into one application without compromise.
  • Can be translated into other languages (including database commands).”

Support for Importing/ Exporting Metadata

Exports MARC

Yes, can be mapped

Exports EAD


Exports Dublin Core

Yes, can be mapped

Exports MODS


Exports METS


Exports MADS


Batch Exports EAD


Batch Exports MARC


Batch Export Tab Delimited Files


Imports EAD


Imports MARC


Imports Tab Delimited Files/ CSV


Imports Digital Image Files

Yes, further integration in next release with implementation of new digital repository module.

Import Accession Data


Batch Import EAD


Batch Import MARC


Batch Import CSV


Collection Management Features





Create Deeds of Gift


Prioritize Processing Order


Track Donors


Project Management


Record Condition/ Conservation


Manage Locations

Yes, has a locations database for stock check and collections management.

Manage Restricted Materials


Manage Rights


Manage Loans & Exhibits




Reference Support

Yes, provides support for reference requests.

Generate Reports


Track Repository Statistics


Resource Description

Authority Control

Yes, has Authority control for Names, Places, Periods, Events, Subjects and Class.

Controlled vocabulary

Yes, provides for both single and poly-hierarchical subject thesaurus options and provision of the UNESCO or UKAT thesaurus if required by customer.

Compliance to Archival Standards

Yes. supports EAD, ISAD (G) and is compliant with ISAAR (CPF) and NCA name authority guidelines.

Data Validation

Yes, Calm has a sophisticated date parser allowing storage and searching across a variety of date ranges e.g. search Spring 1916 will retrieve record with date April 1916 or c1915 or Easter 1916.

Templating/ Default Fields

Yes, has extensive field and template customization options.

Support for Digital Media

Yes, links to electronic data sources including images, audio and video.


Yes. Backend database Unicode aware, and the interface is translatable.

Flexibility of Data Model

Calm has a flexible database structure, fully supporting relational and hierarchical relationships.

Item-level Description


Supports Hierarchical Cataloging

Yes, flexible and dynamic tree structure for managing collection hierarchy. Hierarchy levels are not hard-coded which allows individual customers flexibility to define their own collection structures.

Dynamically generate EAD finding aids


Publish finding aids online

Yes, using CalmView public access module.

Administrative Functions

User Permissions


Support for Harvesting/ Syndication

Yes: OAI repository and harvester module available.

Customization/ Configuration

Yes, record relationships can be viewed through a unique graphical tree browser. Fields are repeatable (unless functionally undesirable) and can contain up to 64,000 characters of searchable text per field; record templates can be modified, but also, unusually, individual records of the same type can have fields added or removed. A standard utility called DS Admin allows the system administrator to vary record types, field labels, authority fields, picklists, and many other functions, without jeopardising a common upgrade path. All field properties (width, position, label, font, picklist, mandatory, serial number, bib1/MARC/XML attributes, etc) are user defined using DS Admin.

Spell Check

Yes, provided as standard.

Bug Reporting

Yes, through support channels and resolved through standard service level agreements.

Interoperability with Digital Repository Systems

Yes, with external systems through API, XML broker or exposed URL. Integrated digital repository module available with next release.

User Interface

Web Publishing

Yes, CalmView is the new public access module for Calm, and allows any allows any data and/or images stored in a Calm database to be searched locally or remotely (intranet or Internet) through a web browser. It is fully parameterised and allows local configuration to control search options (e.g. keyword, Google style simple search, wildcard), screen displays, visible/hidden fields, search filters, data security, access to images and electronic documents, links to other URLs, hierarchical browsing, bookmarking, image watermarking,  plus “showcase/image gallery/what’s new” features.




Calm is a structured full text retrieval system and has search features including any text, field specific, wildcard, proximity, keyword, date parser, Boolean, widen/narrow/exclude, and/or/not, synonym, etc. All fields or combination of fields may be searched unless functionally undesirable. All words are indexed automatically unless set as a stopword. All fields are indexed automatically unless set as unindexed by the administrator.

Advanced Search

Yes: customizable, support for intelligent date searching, synonym, wild card, etc.


Yes, CalmView has “out of the box” theming/ skinning.  Calm application has flexible DSAdmin module.

Built-in Help


Link to Images & Other Files


Easy Data Entry

Yes. many of the databases have relational features, so it is possible to move seamlessly across databases using the database tabs and access any associated records. Calm has a dynamic, customisable user interface with context sensitive button strip to help work flow operations.

Other Features

§       “Calm is able to concurrently support field and record definitions from multiple standards. Record templates classified according to local requirements mean that archival records conform to international archival standards including ISAD(G), MAD, ISAAR(CPF) and NCA rules, the UK SPECTRUM standard is used as a guide for collection management of museum records, while standard AACR2 compatible bibliographic structures are used for library materials.

§       Calm is designed to support the concept of hierarchical collection management, typically used in the field of archives management, but equally relevant in all areas of heritage collection management. Records may be created at any level, including collection and item. The hierarchical structure supports the concept of blank nodes i.e. item level records may be created initially, and collection level records added at a later date. Calm catalogue fields are mapped to unqualified Dublin Core elements within the database definitions, and these can be used as a basis for data import, export and searching.

§       Calm has a sophisticated date parser allowing storage and searching across a variety of date ranges. It also permits exact matches on dates e.g. date ends with 1910. The date formats were agreed by our users e.g. an AD circa date is 10 years either side, and DS can consider other date formats if requested, provided they can be calculated by the underlying program.

§       Manages digital assets using ImageView and records metadata relating to digital images in the optional Images database.”

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