ArchivesSpace Workshop: Implementation Choices

Your institution plans to implement ArchivesSpace, either anew or through a migration from Archivist’s Toolkit, soon. But how will you implement? AS, like any tool, should work for you and make your work easier–not the other way around.

The workshop is discussion based and requires preparation, active participation, and a follow-up homework assignment in order to fully engage the material.

Signup for Workshop

  • Sept 24 @ 2 pm


  • Rachel Thomas, George Fox University
  • Conor Casey, University of Washington


Before attending the workshop, please do the following:

Scenario: College of the Pines

The College of the Pines is a small liberal-arts institution that serves mostly undergraduates. They have a small but significant special collections and archives department in the library that has three sub-collections focusing on the history of forestry, regional studies, and the history of the College. The archives is staffed by one full-time professional archivist, 0.25 FTE paraprofessional (the remainder of the position is in tech services), and about 40 hours/week of student labor. The collection (2,000 linear feet) is stored in a small room on the second floor, with another portion stored in the basement. The archivist does a lot of liaison work and classroom support and events to support fundraising; the paraprofessional does cataloguing and reference; and the students do processing, shelving, and other tasks.

The archives has Archivist’s Toolkit, which they will be migrating to ArchivesSpace. To date, they have used the accession records module of AT only; students do data entry and the paraprofessional reviews their work. The paraprofessional creates finding aids by hand in Oxygen, but is unable to get very many done in the small amount of time that he has; he’s also not wanted to invest the time in using the resource records module. The archives staff shelves collections by collection number, with a few exceptions for oversize materials. They contribute finding aids to Archives West and work with NUCMC to get MARC records, which they put in their library catalog (and NUCMC makes them available through WorldCat). They have a digital asset management system with about 2,000 digital objects selected from the archive’s collections.

Questions to answer for the workshop

Question 1: Should College of the Pines Use the Resource Records, Agents, and Subjects Modules in ArchivesSpace? This would mean using AS to produce EAD and MARCXML. Why would you do or not do this?

Question 2: Should College of the Pines Use the Accessions Module in ArchivesSpace? Why would you do or not do this?

Question 3: Should College of the Pines Use Containers and Locations in ArchivesSpace? Why would you do or not do this?

Question 4: Should College of the Pines Use the Digital Objects Module in ArchivesSpace? Why would you do or not do this?

Question 5: Should College of the Pines create more than one repository? Why would you do or not do this?


  • Answer questions 1-5 above for your own institution.
  • Email your answers to your instructors.