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.