I realized yesterday that, in all my excitement about open-source ILSes and open-source text editors/IDEs, I’d completely neglected to mention some of the similarly exciting open source-y things going on in the part of the information profession that I hope to someday be a part of: archives!
These projects are unique in that, not only are they open-source and community-based rather than vendor-based, they’re also some of the first systems to attempt to create something akin to an ILS (managing accessioning, manuscripts processing, description, resource location, etc.) for an archival setting. This isn’t to say that vendor-based products don’t exist, products like PastPerfect and Eloquent Archives are out there as well, but as this is a post about open-source archival management systems, that’s another discussion for another time.
Several open-source projects have been generating some chatter on the SAA Archives and Archivists listserv lately:
- The Archivists’ Toolkit, a Mellon Foundation-funded collaboration between UC-San Diego, New York University Libraries, and Five Colleges, Inc.
- Archon, a project of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
- ICA-AtoM, a product of the International Council on Archives, the impetus of which was the ICA’s work with UNESCO to create a “a searchable, online guide to international archival sources on human rights violations,” which you can read about in greater detail on Peter VanGarderen’s (one of the project consultants) blog post about it. He also has some interesting things to say about open-source archival management software in this post.
I haven’t had a chance to play around with a working version of any of the above projects (though someday, hopefully, someone will pay me to do so…which would be a dream come true), but, as I said earlier, I’ve done enough kvelling about open source projects in general that it seemed silly to have not posted about similar goings-on in my intended profession.
Also, if anybody reading this has had a chance to play with any of the open-source (or even vendor-based) products mentioned, I’d love to hear about it in comments!