Here is my running list of software that may be useful for working with electronic records.   I’ve arranged it (somewhat arbitrarily) into the following categories.  Many of these tools may be useful for doing one or more archival functions.

Please note that for the purposes of this project, I am assuming that we are dealing with records that the archives will accession and provide access to, i.e. records over which the repository will take custody.  I think that ‘non custodial’ approaches to digital preservation are valid in many circumstances, but this project aims specifically to evaluate software that can be used with records that will be deposited, managed, and accessed at an established archival repository, regardless of how well they have (or have not) been managed in their prior recordkeeping environment.

Evaluation Criteria

As I work with some of this software, I’ll be evaluating it.

There are many resources that provide advice on how to evaluate software.  Most go into quite a bit of detail, most of which would be overkill  for the purposes of this project.  As I work with software in this project, I’ll be assigning each application a score, based on the following criteria, with a max possible score of 100:

  • Installation/confuguration/supported platforms (20)
  • Functionality/Reliability (20)
  • Usability (10)
  • Scalability (10)
  • Documentation (10)
  • Interoperability/Metadata support (10)
  • Flexibilty/Customizability (10)
  • License/Support/Sustainabilty/Community (10)

While this certainly isn’t intended to be the last word regarding any of these projects, it offers a rough and ready guide for comparsion.

Here are some other resources regarding software evaluation, theDavid Wheeler article is especially good: