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A Unified Platform for Archival Description and Access. Christopher J. Prom, Christopher A. Rishel, Scott W. Schwartz, Kyle J. Fox Joint Conference on Digital Libraries Vancouver, BC, June 21, 2007 Presenter: Chris Prom ( [email protected] ) Assistant University Archivist

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University of illinois at urbana champaign

A Unified Platform for

Archival Description and Access

Christopher J. Prom, Christopher A. Rishel,

Scott W. Schwartz, Kyle J. Fox

Joint Conference on Digital Libraries

Vancouver, BC, June 21, 2007

Presenter: Chris Prom ([email protected])

Assistant University Archivist

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

www.archon.org

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Overview

Overview

  • Why does this software exist?

  • What does it do—what is new about it?

  • How do I implement it? (semi-technical)

  • What have we learned/what are our next steps?

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Why archon the problem

Why Archon?—The Problem

  • To meet a need: unified platform for description and access—A ‘good enough’ tool.

  • To implement idea of archival provenance—grouping by function or creator

  • To reduce or eliminate training

    • Typical EAD implementations undermine workflows, exacerbate backlogs, and frustrate users

    • Our EAD/XML experience . . .

  • The target market

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Basic characteristics

Web-based

Access from any computer

Integrated access system

staff editing fully integrated with public website

Output flexibility

Search

Browse (creator, title, subject/function, record group, digital object title)

EAD

MARC

Other formats can be defined (OAI, METS) in archon/styles folder

Requires no knowledge of XML; integrated help system

But supports all relevant archival descriptive standards (EAD, DACS)

Basic Characteristics

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


University of illinois at urbana champaign

  • Browse

  • Search

  • Description

  • Link to finding aid

  • Subject links

  • Digital object access

  • Creator authorities

Provenance/breadcrumb trail

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


University of illinois at urbana champaign

Provenance-Based Browsing

Browse by creating office, function, or other ‘classification’ defined by repository

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


University of illinois at urbana champaign

Digital Archives/Library

Link to collection

Links to creator, subjects not shown (below fold)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


University of illinois at urbana champaign

Authenticated (staff) view of public website

(edit pencils)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


University of illinois at urbana champaign

Staff users

Logging in

Editing

Modify collection record

Filtering/ adding subject term

Defining new creator

Content manger

Linking/uploading digital object

User permissions

Setting a new style

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


University of illinois at urbana champaign

Collection Manager—for ‘collection level’ description

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


University of illinois at urbana champaign

Filtering and linking creator authorities, subject files, etc

‘Filter and link’ method used for creators, subjects, genres, languages

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


University of illinois at urbana champaign

Content Manager

Used to create finding aids/box and folder lists

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


University of illinois at urbana champaign

Other areas of description available in collection manager

Listing Locations

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Implementation

Implementation

  • Requirements, Installation

  • Uses widely-supported web technologies:

    • Any web server with PHP 5.0 or higher

    • A blank MySQL or MSSQL database with network connection

    • Optimized for LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP)

  • Visual Basic install packet; define database name, login, pswd, webserver address, upload directory or FTP site; can also install manually.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


University of illinois at urbana champaign

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Documentation and api

Documentation and API

  • Illustrated System Administrator and User Manuals

  • API fully documented via php documentor

  • Object-oriented, correspondence between database and class/object/variable names

  • Class ARCHON has system-level functions, to process arrays, etc.

  • BUT. . . most customizations never touch the Archon API itself; few implementing institutions or developers will need to be aware of it beyond calling functions

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


University of illinois at urbana champaign

Database Server (MySQL & MSSQL currently supported)

queries responses

Database Module (translates queries to specific syntax)

Application Programming Interface (PHP 5.0 scripts, objects, functions, SQL queries)

Administrative Interface

(collects data)

Public Interface

(output templates)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


University of illinois at urbana champaign

Basic system administration

  • takes place in web client

  • User/usergroup manager

  • Data import/export (SQL script, MARC, EAD)

  • ‘Archon Configuration’

    • Select default style, template set

    • Set messages

    • Enable provenance browsing

  • Session killer

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


University of illinois at urbana champaign

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


University of illinois at urbana champaign

  • Output customization

    • Takes place on web server

    • Customize output via Styles folder (will be Themes in next release)

    • Templates: for more complex changes

  • Database admin takes place via standard client such as phpMyAdmin

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


University of illinois at urbana champaign

Template modification (output customization)

Use standard php and html, referencing archon objects

Sample objects:

$objCollection->Scope

$objCollection->Extent

$objCollection-> LocationEntries

$_ARCHON->Security ->isAuthenticated()

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Future directions 1

Future Directions, 1

  • Archon 2.0 (Summer 2007)

    • ‘Languages manager’/ interface customization

    • Cart function

    • New output templates, accessibility guidelines and better usability

    • Modularization; code divided into ‘core’ area and packages for extensibility

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Future directions 2

Future directions, 2

  • Research issues

    • User annotation system for collections and digital objects, ‘web 2.0’ type features

    • UI improvements, based on analytics study and evaluation phases

    • Digital preservation/curation features

  • Other features

    • Integrate OAI data provider

    • Expand digital library

    • Libraries to enable access to external digital libraries

  • Building an implementer community


University of illinois at urbana champaign

A Unified Platform for

Archival Description and Access

Christopher J. Prom, Christopher A. Rishel,

Scott W. Schwartz, Kyle J. Fox

Joint Conference on Digital Libraries

Vancouver, BC, June 21, 2007

Presenter: Chris Prom ([email protected])

Assistant University Archivist

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

www.archon.org

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


University of illinois at urbana champaign

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


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