Boston Regional Forum - May 2018


Goals, outcomes, objectives of regional forums

  • Connecting people in their region
  • Opportunities to hear how others are using ASpace
  • Opportunities to learn new skills in using ASpace
  • Opportunities to work together
  • To meet more people and learn tips and tricks from each other


Morning program

  • Morning snacks/refreshments – sponsored by LYRASIS




Time allocation

9:00 am - 9:08 am

Welcome remarks

Welcome message from Tufts University

  • Dan Santamaria, Director, Digital Collections & Archives

5-10 minutes

9:09 am - 9:15 am

Welcome message

Welcome message from the program team

  • Christine Di Bella

Include updates/news

5-10 minutes

9:15 am - 9:45 am

Invited speaker presentation

Staff Interface enhancement recommendations

  • Lynn Moulton, Boston College
  • Johanna Carll, Harvard University
  • Betsy Baldwin, MIT



20 minutes for speakers; 10 minutes for questions

9:45 am - 10:15 am

Invited speaker conversation

Technology, Development, Collaboration, etc

  • Bobbi Fox and Dave Mayo, Harvard University



20 minutes for speakers; 10 minutes for questions

10:15 am - 10:30 am


15 minutes

10:30 am - 11:10 am

Lightning rounds

Taming a two-headed monster: ArchivesSpace at Harvard / Kate Donovan, Harvard University


This will be a lightning update on the status of ArchivesSpace in the Harvard Library: using the staff interface while launching the public interface.

Customizing the Digital Object Manager Plug-inMargaret Peachy, Tufts University


At Tufts we did work to customize the Digital Object Manager (DOM) so that we could use it to batch update metadata on digital object records. I'll talk about how I worked with an in-house developer to customize the plug-in and demo how it functions and fits into our workflows.

Road-testing the PUI: How DIY Usability Testing taught us about users’ mental models for online archival research – Part 1 / Eve Neiger, Yale University

Road-testing the PUI: How DIY Usability Testing taught us about users’ mental models for online archival research – Part 2 / Tracy MacMath, Yale University


As part of the ArchivesSpace Public User Interface implementation at Yale University Library, a Usability and Accessibility Workgroup was formed and tasked with assessing the usability and accessibility of the new ArchivesSpace PUI. Set to replace the current Yale Finding Aid Database (YFAD), the PUI presents archival description in a very different way than current static online finding aids. To set priorities and make decisions about visuals, data display, site structure, settings, and other enhancements, our team conducted qualitative facilitated usability tests with users from our target audience. Working with representatives from five user groups – undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, library staff, and outside researchers - we conducted 16 usability tests between February 1, 2018 and February 16, 2018 in a test instance of the PUI. We also tested the site for compatibility with screen readers and for WCAG 2.0 compliance. Results of the tests were compiled in a report with recommendations that address confusions, road blocks, and frustrations faced by users. As is often the case, usability and accessibility issues overlapped, providing a stronger argument for some key changes. We would like to present our process for usability testing along with a few findings from our report.

Ah! ASnake! What do I do?Dave Mayo, Harvard University


A short introduction to the ArchivesSnake client library, with examples. ArchivesSnake is a Python library meant to make working with the API simpler and reduce the duplication of effort around scripting the ArchivesSpace API.



40 minutes

(5 min each speaker)

11:10 am - 11:20 am

Lightning round q&a

For all speakers

10 minutes

11:20 am - 11:30 am


10 minutes

11:30 am - 12:00

Break-out sessions

  • Open discussions on a variety of topics (e.g. technical, description, access; development; community)
    • Collection management enhancements (Kate Bowers)
    • ArchivesSpace Development Sprint Process (Christine Di Bella)
    • Digital Objects (Adrienne Pruitt, Margaret Peachy)
    • Yale ASpace PUI Implementation Process (Eve Neiger, Tracy MacMath, Alicia Detelich)
    • ArchivesSnake (Dave Mayo)

30 minutes

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Break for lunch on your own

Host institution will provide a list of nearby options for lunch.

90 minutes

Afternoon program

  • Afternoon snacks/refreshments – sponsored by Atlas




Time allocation

1:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Afternoon activity

Afternoon program/workshop

  • ArchivesSpace plugins
  • Activity was chosen through a community poll during registration.
  • Breaks embedded as needed
  • Slides

2.5 hours

4:00 pm - 4:15 pm

Closing remarks/wrap-up

Closing remarks from the program

  • Christine Di Bella

5-10 minutes

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Happy hour/mixer


After forum mixer/reception/happy hour

  • Selection of appetizers – sponsored by Boston Library Consortium
  • Five Horses Tavern - Davis Square
    • Five Horses Tavern is conveniently located in Davis Square, walking distance of Tufts University. They serve modern American comfort food, incorporating locally sourced ingredients, with many vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. Their bar also offers a wide variety of craft beers from around the world, boasting 37 draft beers, 120 bottles, signature cocktails and a thoughtfully selected wine list.
  • Transportation options:
  • Open to everyone.


Thank you for attending the Boston Regional Forum. Please take a moment to provide your feedback and help us improve our future programs by submitting this survey:


Notes from the morning presentation are in this google drive folder. Special thanks to Anne Marie Lyons (Training and Library Solutions Consultant, Atlas Systems) for sharing these notes!


Do you have photos from the forum you'd like to share? Please upload them to this shared google drive folder