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ICA-AtoM: alpha v0.1 release

October 2nd, 2006 · 8 Comments · ICA-AtoM

humanrightsarchives.orgI haven’t had a chance to post to this blog much over the past month. Firstly I moved office. More significantly, I have been working day and night to complete the first alpha version 0.1 release of the ICA-AtoM open source software for archives.

This version of the ICA-AtoM software is being used to manage a preview release of the HumanRightsArchives.org website which hosts a searchable guide to archival sources related to human rights violations.

The alpha release provides basic archival description, search, browse and website management features (menus, user accounts, static page editing). The archival description component is fully compliant with the International Council on Archives’ standards for archival description (ICA-ISAD(G)), archival authority records (ICA-ISAAR(CPF)) and the forthcoming standard for institutions with archival holdings (ICA-ISIAH). The subject access points are populated with terms from the UNESCO Subject Thesaurus.

This is a very early alpha release and therefore it is subject to any unforeseen hicups and it is still limited in features. However, I am pleased with the performance and flexiblity of the open-source software stack (MySQL, Apache, PHP5, Symfony MVC) and I am very optimistic about the ongoing enhancement of this software with new modules and features over the coming months.

Check out the brief (7min) screencast video which introduces the humanrightsarchives.org website.

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 ICA-AtoM: software de código abierto para la descripción archivística « @rchivista // Oct 4, 2006 at 12:24 pm

    [...] Esta iniciativa se enmarca en otra del propio CIA que, con financiación de la UNESCO y a través del Grupo de trabajo “Archivos y Derechos Humanos”, ha decidido la creación de una Guía online de fuentes de archivo para el estudio de las violaciones de los Derechos Humanos, cuyo sitio web puede ser ya visitado. En él puede verse la versión 0.1 de la aplicación, como anunciaba hace un par de días Van Garderen. Según informa, las descripciones se ajustan a las ISAD (G), ISAAR (CPF), a las futuras normas de descripción para instituciones y centros de archivo (ICA-ISIAH), y los puntos de acceso de materia, al Tesauro de la UNESCO. [...]

  • 2 Megan // Oct 26, 2006 at 6:52 am

    I wonder if your future plans involve the capacity for individuals or families to contribute, if they have personal papers that relate to the subject?

    I suppose your software could be easily applied to this type of use. I think it would bring some interesting possibilities, and maybe problems as well, to a web-based guide project.

    Thanks for all your great work on this. Very exciting.

  • 3 Peter Van Garderen // Oct 26, 2006 at 7:08 am

    Thanks Megan,

    You’re right, having individuals and families add materials to the Guide could certainly enrich it.

    This decision will be up to the ICA project team that is handling the Guide To Human Rights Violations.

    One thing to keep in mind is that the goal of the project is to identify materials that are available and accessible for research. Most individuals and families won’t have a reference room with research hours ;-)

    Therefore, they could consider donating their archival materials to a trustworthy archival institution or perhaps they could digitize the materials and donate digital copies to such an institution or upload them to the Guide itself.

    Anyway, one step at a time. There is still a significant chunk of work to be done to add basic functionality to the ICA-AtoM software and move it from an alpha to a beta state.

  • 4 thesecretmirror.com » Blog Archive » The State of Open Source Archival Management Software // Dec 21, 2006 at 1:31 pm

    [...] ICA-AtoM didn’t have the most coverage at this year’s SAA conference. However, its developer, Peter Van Garderen of Artefactual Systems, Inc. (also a PhD candidate at the Universiteit van Amsterdam), spoke at the session entitled “Finding Aids: The Next Generation.” The development of ICA-AtoM is being sponsored by the International Council on Archives for the development of the Guide to Archival Sources on Human Rights Violations, a multi-repository guide to collections held around the world. Although ICA-AtoM is only at the alpha-stage of development, the software seems robust enough to support distributed archival description compatible with ISAD(G) and ISAAR(CPF). Obviously, it appears to be better suited for multi-institutional descriptive projects, and that in turn seems to reflect the current lack of features that the other two programs offer, such as the ability to track collections from the time of accession onwards and the creation of container lists. However, the development roadmap indicates that these and other features are on definitely planned for inclusion. I believe that Van Garderen’s decision to make these features modular — which most likely means the application will also be scalable — clearly shows sophistication in both planning and development. The collaborative aspect of ICA-AtoM’s implementation, its use of international standards, and Van Garderen’s candor regarding the development process make me believe that this package might be the best replacement for our current implementation of ICOS. [...]

  • 5 Hilary // Jul 6, 2007 at 10:58 am

    “Check out the brief (7min) screencast video which introduces the humanrightsarchives.org website.” – Peter – your link to the screencast is coming up with a 404 error.

  • 6 Peter Van Garderen // Jul 6, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    Sorry about that Hilary. The link should work now.

    Please keep in mind, though, that this is a demo of the very first alpha release. I will post another screencast like this in a couple of months to show the progress we’ve made.

  • 7 shawn // Sep 18, 2007 at 1:04 am

    Hello, Peter
    Where could I download it and have a little try? Thanks a lot.

  • 8 Peter Van Garderen // Sep 18, 2007 at 8:25 am

    Hey Shawn. Version 0.4 will be made available for Subversion download on the GoogleCode project hosting site in mid-October.