Library IT Out and About

The last six weeks have been a productive period for many staff members in Library IT — they have been traveling to various conferences to hone their craft and learn new skills.

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ArchivesSpace Public User Interface (PUI) Workgroup

Yale is continuing to develop the ArchivesSpace PUI and is preparing for a soft-launch of the new archives and special collections discovery service this Spring. This will create the foundation for the migration from YFAD to the Public User Interface. The ArchivesSpace PUI (public user interface) blog keeps staff informed of the significant work the project team and its workgroups are doing.

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A New Face for Special Collections

The Special Collections Steering Committee is planning an informative and interactive demonstration of the ArchivesSpace Public Interface on February 23rd, at 2-3:30PM. Please join the ArchivesSpace Public User Interface (AS-PUI) Implementation Project Team and colleagues for the opportunity to hear project updates as well as conduct hands-on searches for yourself.

The event takes place in the newly-reopened, SML Lecture Hall and Memorabilia Room.

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ArchivesSpace Public User Interface (PUI) Workgroup

Yale will be soon upgrading the production ArchivesSpace PUI to version 2.2.0, creating the foundation for the migration from YFAD to the Public User Interface. The ArchivesSpace PUI (public user interface) blog keeps staff informed of the significant work the project team and its work groups are doing.

The blog has two new posts this month. Christy Tomecek, Project Archivist, Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Manuscripts & Archives and Alicia Detelich, archivist at Manuscripts & Archives, are co-leaders of the ArchivesSpace Public User Interface (PUI) implementation project’s Data Cleanup and Enhancements Workgroup. Their post “Cleaning Data to Enhance Access and Standardize User Experience, Part I: Planning and Prioritization” details the planning efforts their work group developed to determine prioritization of tasks.

Chrsity Tomecek authored an additional post, “Movin Around with Reorder Mode in Archives Space 2.2.0″, focusing on a particular feature of the new interface: Reorder Mode. If you want to get a head start on learning how this feature works in version 2.2.0, you can try it out in the test instance of the ArchivesSpace PUI, which has already been upgraded. See Christy’s post for links to the test instance.

For more information about the ArchivesSpace project, visit the YAMS LibGuide or the ArchivesSpace blog. 


November Tech Talks

Come listen to your fellow Library IT colleagues and partners present tech-related projects from around the Library.

This month’s Tech Talks will be Wednesday, November 15th from 3pm-4pm in Bass L01 AB.
The agenda includes:

  • Qualtrics [Sarah Tudesco]
  •  GeoComputation, Big Data & open source GIS [Giuseppe Amatulli, PhD ]
  • Better Collection Control with ArchivesSpace [Alicia Detelich]
  • “Simple things we all can do to make shared documents more accessible” [David Hirsch]

For those who cannot join us in person, the session will be streamed via Zoom (note the new URL):

Slides and recordings of the Tech Talk sessions will be archived in

All Library staff are welcome to present at the Tech Talks!  Please send topic suggestions to Lise Gazzillo at

See you there!

Update on ArchivesSpace PUI

Many of you may be familiar with YFAD, the Yale Finding Aids Database. The Library developed YFAD locally several years ago, and the system is showing its age. After a few years of intense technical development, a new discovery interface for ArchivesSpace is available for implementation. Yale implemented ArchivesSpace as an archival management tool for staff several years ago, and with it for the first time, a standard tool used across almost all libraries, museums, and galleries on campus with archival materials. The extension of the ArchivesSpace platform to include a public user interface will provide new opportunities for systems integration, more seamless staff workflows, and an improved user experience for researchers.

The project at Yale to implement the ArchivesSpace discovery had a three month preplanning process, involving the project sponsors and administrative stakeholders. Melissa Wisner, Senior Systems Librarian in Library IT, serves as the Project Manager. Mark Custer, Archivist and Metadata Coordinator at Beinecke, serves as an ex officio member due to his role as Project Manager for the technical development and design phase. The project is sponsored by E.C. Schroeder, Director of Beinecke Library and Associate University Librarian, and Chris Weideman, Director of the Department of Manuscripts and Archives, and has a roster of approximately 30 staff members, and a larger number of stakeholders.

There is significant work to accomplish along with preparations for changes before the debut of the new service to users. The plan is to begin with a soft-rollout of the new discovery interface, while continuing to keep YFAD available. There will be a period when both tools are available through the Library website as final adjustments are made for the transition from YFAD to ArchivesSpace. As of today, the project team anticipates an early 2018 soft-launch.

The following working groups comprise the ArchivesSpace project team:

  • Public User Interface Enhancements & Ideas, led by Alison Clemens
  • Data Cleanup & Enhancement, led by Alicia Detelich and Christy Tomecek
  • Staff Training & Documentation, led by Emily DiLeo
  • Technical Integrations, led by Steve Wieda
  • Usability & Accessibility, led by Jenn Nolte
  • Marketing & Branding, led by Mike Morand

Several different tools to organize and manage the work and communication of the project are being used: Asana for the project plan, a Slack channel for day-to-day project team communication, Google Drive for file sharing, GitHub, and the local Yale ArchivesSpace email distribution list. Monthly updates on progress will be sent to Yulib. Project team members will post details about the project and aspects of project management to the Yale ArchivesSpace blog on a regular basis.

The monthly All Project Member/Stakeholder meetings are open to everyone with an interest in the new user interface, special collections, or an interest in teaching users about finding aids, archives, and special collections at Yale. The meeting for October is Tuesday Oct. 31 in Bass Library L01 & L02 from 3-4pm.

For more information about the ArchivesSpace project, visit the YAMS LibGuide or the ArchivesSpace blog. This month’s post by Melissa Wisner focuses on project management: Implementing the ArchivesSpace PUI: A Before Action Review.

LIT and partners Tech Talk | Wednesday May 18th 2016

Next Wednesday May 18th, from 2:30pm-3:30pm in Bass L06, join Library IT and partners in our monthly discussion of tech-related projects around the Library and beyond.

Our agenda includes:

  • Adding/migrating collections to Findit (George Ouellette)
  • Tour of Software at Yale (ITS web site) (Beatrice Richardson)
  • Google Cultural Institute (Jenn Nolte)
  • ArchivesSpace updates (Matthew Gorham)

For those who cannot join us in person, the session will be streamed via Adobe Connect: [sign in as a guest]

Slides and recordings of the Tech Talk sessions will be archived in 

See you there!

ArchivesSpace Passes SDR

Yale University Library is implementing an exciting new open source platform for describing and managing special collection materials called ArchivesSpace.

Part of the implementation included working with Yale’s Information Security department to complete a Security Design Review of the application and infrastructure. Working with John Lee from InfoSec is always a great experience. The SDR process, recently improved, is required for any new service or application brought up on the Yale network. It begins with a comprehensive questionnaire about the application, data, and users of the system. InfoSec runs a series of scans (Accunetix, Nessus, etc.) to suss out any vulnerabilities that could compromise the application and Yale network.

The reports detail the vulnerabilities and rank them as High, Med or Low risk. Application owners then work with InfoSec on remediation. Once all High and Med risks are resolved, and Low-level risks remedied or accepted as is, the application receives final security approval. The process is informative and keeps the Library in compliance with Yale security standards.