ArchivesSpace Member Forum 2017

Now in its third year, the annual ArchivesSpace Member Forum is a free event open to all staff from ArchivesSpace member institutions. Come to share and learn about experiences implementing, using, and developing for ArchivesSpace. 

Date: July 25, 2017

Location: Smith Memorial Student Union, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon  

This site is within walking distance of the Hilton Portland and accessible via light rail from the Oregon Convention Center and other Portland site. More information on getting to campus is available on Portland State's website.

Planning Committee

  • Lisa Calahan, University of Minnesota
  • Johanna Carll, Harvard University
  • Celia Caust-Ellenbogen, Swarthmore College
  • Maggie Hughes, UCLA
  • Sue Luftschein, University of Southern California
  • Jaime Margalotti, University of Delaware
  • Jenny Mitchell, Louisiana State University
  • Elizabeth Russell, University of Maine
  • Linda Sellars, North Carolina State University
  • Mariella Soprano, Caltech
  • Kelly Spring, UC Irvine
  • Christine Di Bella, ArchivesSpace

Schedule Overview

Morning Program


Recording available for streaming at: 

9:00-9:30 a.m.355

Welcome and Program Update

  • ArchivesSpace Program Team
  • Recording available

Notes (including Q&A)


9:30-10:00 a.m.355Q&A 
10:00-10:30 a.m.355

Overview of the New Public User Interface

  • Mark Custer, Yale University; Susan Pyzynski, Harvard University
  • Recording available:



10:30-10:45 a.m. BREAK

Updates and Focus Groups On Different Areas of the Application - 

Recording available for streaming at: 

10:45-11:00 a.m.355

Staff Interface Enhancement Effort

  • Led by Lydia Tang, Michigan State University

Notes (for all three updates)


11:00-11:15 a.m.355

Agents Module Redesign

  • Led by Cory Nimer, Brigham Young University, Brad Westbrook, and Sue Luftschein, University of Southern California
11:15-11:30 a.m.355

Integrations with Other Applications

  • Led by Patrick Galligan, Rockefeller Archive Center, and Max Eckard, University of Michigan 
11:30-noon355Focus groups on these topics

Staff Interface Enhancement Effort - focus group notes

Agents Module Redesign - focus group notes

Integrations with Other Applications - focus group notes

noon-1:00 p.m. LUNCH - take in Portland State's eateries or food carts on your own - more information on options

Afternoon Program


Introduction to Working with the ArchivesSpace API, part 1

Rolling Out the New PUI, part 1

How to Get Involved in the ArchivesSpace Community/Ask an Expert

Better Collection Control with ArchivesSpace


Introduction to Working with the ArchivesSpace API, part 2

Rolling Out the New PUI, part 2

Migration and Data Cleanup

Reports and Report Workarounds


Lightning Round - ArchivesSpace Tips, Tricks, and Ideas


Wrap Up

  • Room 355

Workshop Descriptions

(please bring a laptop if you would like to participate in hands on activities; more information will be provided to workshop registrants closer to the time of the Forum)

1:00-3:40 Workshop: Introduction to Working with the ArchivesSpace API (pre-registration required)

  • Instructor: Lora Woodford, Johns Hopkins University
  • Have you ever heard the phrase, "Use the API for that!" and wished you actually could? This workshop will familiarize participants with Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) in general, and illustrate salient points with a deep dive into the ArchivesSpace API in particular. After presenting a brief history of APIs, participants will be led through several hands-on exercises illustrating how APIs can aid you in your archival work. This workshop is intended for novice users of web applications with APIs (such as ArchivesSpace). No command line or programming experience is necessary.
  • Share your API Workshop notes
  • Presentation
  • Workshop materials

1:00-3:40 Workshop: Rolling Out the New Public User Interface with Staff and Researchers (pre-registration required)

  • Instructors: Mark Custer, Yale University; Susan Pyzynski, Harvard University
  • Beginning with ArchivesSpace 2.1, the Public User Interface (PUI) for ArchivesSpace has been completely redesigned. Following on from the morning's overview, this deep dive session will examine some of the new PUI's advanced features, show you how to configure various options and customize it for your institution, and offer strategies for rolling it out with staff and researchers.
  • Share your PUI workshop notes

Concurrent Session Descriptions

1:00-2:15 Getting Involved in the ArchivesSpace Community/Ask an Expert

  • Speakers: ArchivesSpace Program Staff and Advisory Council Members
  • Are you wondering where to start with ArchivesSpace? Get oriented to the different groups leading ArchivesSpace activities and the tools we use to share and communicate. Get your questions about the community and the application answered by power users. This session may be especially useful for those new to the ArchivesSpace community, but all are welcome to join, to either ask or answer questions. 
  • Share your session notes
  • Presentation
  • Recording available:

1:00-2:15 Better Collection Control with ArchivesSpace

  • Speakers: Maureen Callahan, Smith College; Alicia Detelich, Yale University; Rachel Searcy, New York University
  • ArchivesSpace is an “archives information management application,” and much more than a finding aid maker. The system includes a number of pieces of functionality - some original to the predecessor applications and others newly developed and incorporated into the core code - that support better collections control. In this session, we will (re-)introduce some of these features, share our use cases for applying them to real situations that impact the user experience, share ideas about how to remediate existing data to make it compatible with these functions, and start talking about a shared toolbox of fixes to help with issues that many of us have. We also want to hear your use cases, the challenges you are facing, and the solutions you might explore. We hope that this session will help empower users to look at this functionality and the system more broadly as a tool to work with in order to achieve the ultimate goals of improved collections care and increased accessibility. Make the system work for you, not the other way around.
  • Share your session notes
  • Presentation

2:25-3:40 Migration and Data Cleanup

  • Speakers: Benn Joseph, Northwestern University; Miloche Kottman, University of Kansas; Caitlin Wells, University of Michigan
  • Come learn about different projects and workflows people have undertaken to migrate their data to ArchivesSpace and clean it up once it's there. Speakers will address Archon and PastPerfect migrations, and a project to cleanup subject and agent records for better authority control.
  • Share your session notes
  • Presentation: Benn Joseph
  • Presentation: Miloche Kottman
  • Presentation: Caitlin Wells

2:25-3:40 Reports and Report Workarounds

  • Speakers: Nancy Enneking, Getty Research Institute; Laney McGlohon, ArchivesSpace
  • Join two people who have been deeply engaged with the reports functionality of ArchivesSpace in this 75-minute session covering functionality available in the current release, a discussion of the process through which the reports are being revised, and a preview of coming functionality (~20 min); a  brief demonstration of other methods of extracting data from the system (establishing an ODBC connection to connect external reporting tools) and a few things to know about the tables (~30 min); and a group discussion on how the existing reports are working and what else the participants would like to see in terms of core functionality, additional canned reports, etc.. (~20 min).
  • Share your session notes
  • Presentation

Accessibility and Accommodations

If you need any physical accommodations to take full advantage of the meeting, please contact Christine (


Staying Connected

The Union has free wi-fi and you’re welcome to bring any devices you’d like to connect. We encourage people to tweet any portion of the meeting - or to tweet questions for the meeting sessions from afar - using our suggested hashtag: #aspace17 (some tweets and photos from the Member Forum are available at )



We have prepared a space on Google Docs to make it easy to share and collaborate on notes. We encourage you to open the docs and type away! The notes will be posted to the ArchivesSpace wiki soon after the event. All notes are available here:


Please fill out the evaluation for the Member Forum at to let us know about your experience at this year’s Forum and what you’d like for future Member Forums and other ArchivesSpace events.

If You Can’t Attend in Person

  • If you have registered and find you now cannot attend, please email Christine so that we know not to expect you.

  • The morning presentations (9:00-11:30 a.m. PDT) and the concluding lightning round and wrap up (4:00-5:30 p.m. PDT) will be livestreamed at (the livestream will be available at the time of the event).

  • Selected sessions will be recorded. The recordings will be posted to the ArchivesSpace wiki soon after the event.

Post Forum Mixer

Graciously co-hosted by Atlas Systems and LYRASIS, ArchivesSpace Registered Service Providers 

Hilton Portland Downtown – Skyline Room, 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Extend your conversations from the Member Forum, or, if you weren’t able to join us for the Forum, come for light food and drink and to catch up with other ArchivesSpace users as a warmup to your evening in Portland. An RSVP to from those not registered for the Forum is appreciated so that we are sure to have enough on hand.