Over the past several weeks, I’ve been working a bit more to evaluate open source packages to implement an open archival information system. The software I’ve looked at is very promising. In particular, RODA will be a very nice package for a lot of archives, assuming you can get local support to install it an manage the installation in a way that file storage and backup is trustworthy. I also like Archivematica a lot. Although the software is not yet ready to implement, the design philosophy and development model make it very easy to adopt, even in repositories without a lot of IT support. (I’ll post my thoughts regarding their functional elements later next week, after I get back from talking about all my research with the Society of Archivists Data Standards Group.)
At the same time, most of us need to do something with the electronic records we have in hand now, and might not be ready to work with either of these systems (although they will be more mature soon). Which leaves us with what could be called the DYI approach to implementing trusted accessioning and storage. I’ve seen several examples (e.g here), of this in professional journals. Usually the process of setting up the trusted archives and processing e-records is complex.
In any case, I just cobbled together some thoughts regarding the minimum amount of work I think would really be necessary to set up a rudimentary system to accession, process and provide access to electronic records, using whatever existing software, people, and systems an archives might have in place. I placed this under the newly-revised ‘Recommendations‘ section of the blog. I know that they system would be far from perfect, but I think for most archives it would achievable, and I’d be very interested to hear any thoughts about what I am suggesting.
Over the next months, I’ll be filling out the recommendations section (I just realized that time really is ticking and this sabbatical will be done 4 months from now–time to get busy on the actual writing!)