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ICA-AtoM Goes Provincial

April 26th, 2008 · 2 Comments · ICA-AtoM, Meetings & Presentations, News

I was in Victoria, BC yesterday to give a demonstration and presentation on the ICA-AtoM software project at the Archives Association of British Columbia (AABC) conference. It was also the first opportunity to announce the BCAUL pilot project that Artefactual Systems will carry out in partnership with the AABC, Library and Archives of Canada, Simon Fraser University Archives and University of Victoria Archives. The software and migration project were well received. Archivists are excited about the prospect of an open-source alternative to manage their descriptions and put their collections online.

The BCAUL pilot project will implement an ISAD-to-RAD crosswalk, test migration of data from the current BCAUL database, remote data-entry directly into the BCAUL database via the ICA-AtoM web forms (UVic Archives), EAD XML import of archival descriptions from an alternate system into the BCAUL database (SFU Archives), and development of an archival description harvesting features (sponsored by the Library and Archives of Canada).

If everything goes well during the pilot phase, we will make a full migration of the BCAUL data into an ICA-AtoM hosted system. Other key components of the project include an assessment of the technical readiness of British Columbia archival institutions to use one of the three options to contribute their archival descriptions to the new BCAUL and the preparation of training material and support services (via the AABC’s existing Advisory Service). Of course, the upgraded network will have to work with whatever tools individual institutions choose to manage their archival descriptions but for those that currently don’t have archival description software or are having trouble getting their existing descriptions online they can implement the free and open-source ICA-AtoM software.

In the meanwhile, development of the ICA-AtoM software continues at a blistering pace. I demonstrated the 0.6 development version at the conference yesterday. We would have liked to package this version into a release a few months ago already but we’re slowed down by the data model refactoring that is necessary to implement a fully internationalized application as well as actually translating the user interfaces and default content (from English into French, Spanish, Portugese, and Dutch). Nevertheless, additional development of new features such as XML import/export and the application installer continues in parallel to the internationalization work.

The official launch of the 1.0 beta will take place at the ICA Congress in Kuala Lumpur in late July. This will ship with an installer and a demo environment. However, if you are a developer or techie familiar with the Subversion source code versioning system and setting up a LAMP environment then you are welcome to checkout the software from the online repository at any time.

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