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Do you use Android or Apple for your electronic ecosystem? When upgrading to a smart phone, I had a difficult time choosing which environment to virtually live in. I own a Mac, but use an IBM at work. I love the design and utility of Apple products, but use my Google account as if it were my personal assistant. My thinking was: If I am going to invest my time and money in this electronic world, I want to make sure what I get makes sense with all the other electronic stuff that I use on a daily basis, so that it’s useful and productive instead of time-consuming and frustrating. I’m an Android … I mean, I own an Android (a couple, actually). But the decision wasn’t obvious or easy to come by. Mainly because neither would have been a bad choice. (Sorry, Windows, you never made the running).
This is similar to the way we felt here at the AMNH Library about ArchivesSpace and AtoM. The two are solidly comparable content management systems for archives, but different flavors. In testing, they both met our basic requirements for creating, managing, and publishing finding aids; they just handled them differently. In terms of cost-efficiency, both are open-source applications freely available to use, but support and/or customization have a price tag. We preferred the look and feel of AtoM over ArchivesSpace, but ASpace was easier to navigate and made sense to those of us who were already familiar with Archivists’ Toolkit. AtoM was developed by Artefactual Systems (also behind Archivematica and Binder); ArchivesSpace boasts a large U.S. membership base whose many charter members include the Smithsonian, Yale, Harvard, and NYPL. Are you following me on this see-saw?
Well, the devil is in the details, as they say. And as the Metadata Analyst on this project, I was very eager to investigate the details behind the details. We chose ArchivesSpace for those who wish to skip the rest.
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Last month I described how we grew our Excel worksheet to support gathering descriptions for AMNH expeditions and personnel in data fields mapped to EAC-CPF. Today I will explain how this basic worksheet developed, and how it became an invaluable tool for creating EAC-CPF XML as well.
I know… nothing that can be done in a spread sheet is as cool as riding to camp on the back of a camel, but allow me to tell you how we got our records from XLS to XML. Nudge-nudge, in case you aren’t aware, the AMNH Library recently launched its collection of digitized images online where I found this fabulous photograph.
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TagsAinu AMNH library catalog Anthropology Archives Archbold Archival Arrangement archives Authority Names CAT Cataloging CLIR 2010 clir 2012 Correspondence Crocker Land Department of Preparation and Installation Department Records EAC-CPF expeditions Fall 2011 Field Notes Finding Aid finding aids Hayden Planetarium Herpetology Archives hidden connections IMLS LARA linked data Mammalogy Archives Manuscript Collection Museum History Non-Curatorial Field Notes Ornithology Archives Paleontology Archives Phase 2 photographs Photo Print Collection Processing Research Library Risk Assessment Slide Collection Spring 2011 Spring 2012 Summer 2011 Summer 2012 T. Don Carter
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