ArchivesSpace Member Forum 2018


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ArchivesSpace 4th Annual Member Forum

ArchivesSpace will be holding its fourth annual Member Forum on August 14, 2018 at the Josephine Butler Parks Center in Washington, DC.  Just as in previous years, this will be a free opportunity for staff from ArchivesSpace member institutions to meet and share information with each other and the program team about all things ArchivesSpace.

If you have any questions or other suggestions, please feel free to email Christine Kim at

Livestreaming access information

The slides are posted here:

All sessions in the Ballroom can be accessed through GoTo Training:

  • Note: You will need to register at this link:
  • Upon registration, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to join the forum remotely.
  • This livestream will allow you to participate in all sessions occurring in the Ballroom only.

All sessions in the South Gallery can be accessed through Zoom:

  • Note: No registration required. Use the information below to access the livestream.
  • Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:
  • This livestream will allow you to participate in all sessions occurring in the South Gallery only.
  • We apologize that due to technical difficulties, we are unable to livestream the Zoom sessions in the South Gallery. Recordings to these sessions will be linked as soon as they are available. Thank you!
 Call-in information

Or iPhone one-tap :

    US: +16468769923,,346127758#  or +16699006833,,346127758# 

Or Telephone:

    Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): 

        US: +1 646 876 9923  or +1 669 900 6833 

    Meeting ID: 346 127 758

    International numbers available:


Date:  (Tuesday)

Time: 9am - 4:30pm

Location: Josephine Butler Parks Center

On-site volunteer signup:


Connecting to WiFi

We encourage tweets and chatter using our suggested hashtag: #aspace2018

Photography, Recording, & Livestreaming

Special thanks to Atlas Systems for providing recording services for this event. Recordings of presentation from the Annual Member Forum on August 14, 2018 are now available through this playlist.

Special thanks to LYRASIS for providing livestreaming services. Select sessions will be livestreamed to facilitate remote participation. Access links to the livestreaming will be posted on the program wiki page.

Photographs will be taken throughout the forum and may be used for ArchivesSpace outreach and communications. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Morning program

Activities occurring in conjunction.


Presentations - Room: Ballroom - Livestreaming: GoTo Training

8:30 am - 9:00 amCheck-in and morning refreshments
9:00 am - 9:05 amWelcome and Code of Conduct / Christine Kim, ArchivesSpace
9:05 am - 9:15 am

Welcome message from Program Team / Christine Di Bella, ArchivesSpace

9:15 am - 10:30 am

Plenary: Lightning Talks | Notes from all lightning talk sessions

Q&A to follow.

10:30 am - 10:45 amBREAK

Presentations - Room: Ballroom (2nd floor) - Livestreaming: GoTo Training

Demonstrations - Room: South Gallery (2nd floor) - Livestreaming: ZOOMOffice Hours - Room: Library (1st floor)
10:45 am - 11:20 am

Panel & Discussion: Integrating with Discovery Layers

Exporting Resource Records to Primo / Benn Joseph (Northwestern University Libraries)


Not sure if this has been discussed somewhere already, but it's something we've been doing for a while and haven't really mentioned. Someone asked about Alma integrations on the ASpace list recently and there was a response about the University of Denver's Alma plugin. That is useful, but we are doing something that I think is even easier and does not require a plugin. Better still, the finding aid record gets into Primo and is full text searchable, even though the entire finding aid doesn't actually display in the record. Alma isn't required, the record shows up in Primo, and ArchivesSpace remains the system of record for finding aids. I'd like to go over this workflow as a lightning talk.

Discovering Archives: Integrating ArchivesSpace Records in EDS / Sarah Ponichtera (Seton Hall University)


Seton Hall recently used the new OAI functionality of Archivesspace to integrate Archivesspace records into the discovery layer of the university libraries, namely EDS, Ebsco's discovery layer. This will make archival collections much easier to find for the majority of library users, who simply search the library catalog in their research rather than going to the Special Collections page and finding Archivesspace. However, there are some problems: notably, duplicate records with collections that had previously been cataloged on a piecemeal basis, and folder records that made no sense out of context. Also, certain fields that were automatically imported by the harvester designed by Ebsco are not useful in a library catalog. I will discuss our process and our plans to improve the end result.

ArchivesSpace Integrations: A case study with Alma / Kevin Clair (University of Denver)

The University of Denver uses ArchivesSpace as its primary collection management system for archival collections, but uses Alma and Primo for discovery and access. As such we had a need for integrating descriptive metadata from ArchivesSpace to Alma to allow for circulation. This presentation will outline our process for developing an Alma Integrations plugin within ArchivesSpace to push metadata out to Alma, including data modeling considerations, tricks we used at DU to enable integration, and potential next steps for the plugin.

Each presentation is 15 minutes.

Open discussion period of 30 minutes to follow.

Demonstration A: ArchivesSpace Reporting and MySQL (10:45 - 11:20am)

Presenter: Alicia Detelich (Yale University)

Office Hours – 30 minute sessions

10:45 - 11:15am: Christine Di Bella

11:00 - 11:30am: Core Committers Group

11:00 - 11:30am: Valerie Addonizio: Anything about using ArchivesSpace

11:30am - noon: Brittany Newberry: Testing subteam

11:20 am - 11:25 amBREAK (5 min)
11:25 am - noon

Demonstration B: Assessments Module (11:25am - noon)

Presenters: Christine Di Bella (ArchivesSpace)

TimeLunch - Room: Conservatory (2nd floor)
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Lunch is generously sponsored by LYRASIS. Please feel free to mingle, chat, and connect with each other!

Afternoon program

Activities occurring in conjunction.

TimeDiscussions - Room: Ballroom (2nd floor) - Livestreaming: GoTo TrainingDiscussions - Room: South Gallery (2nd floor) - Livestreaming: ZOOMWorkshop - Room: North Gallery (1st floor)
1:00 pm -  2:00 pm

Discussion A-1: Asking the User: Incorporating user-centered customizations and features into Yale’s ArchivesSpace PUI

Presentation slides | Recording | Notes


We would like to present a case study of Yale University Library’s experience using DIY usability testing to identify and prioritize customizations to the out-of-the-box ArchivesSpace Public User Interface (PUI). In preparing Yale University Library’s PUI for launch, an implementation team was formed to identify custom settings and enhancements to meet user needs. Replacing the current Yale Finding Aid Database (YFAD), the PUI presents archival description in a very different way than Yale’s current, static, document-like online finding aids. Yale staff wanted the PUI to provide the same service as YFAD and improve on that service, all while creating a smooth transition between discovery platforms. However, an open source software designed to be be customized in-house and an internal lack of IT developer resources created challenges. To set priorities and make decisions about visuals, data display, site structure, and other enhancements, we conducted qualitative usability tests with users from our target audiences and tested the site for WCAG 2.0 compliance. Test results were compiled in a report with recommendations to address user confusions and frustrations. As is often the case, usability and accessibility issues overlapped, providing a stronger argument for key changes. After analyzing user feedback, we prioritized customizations and consulted with developers at Lyrasis to create a customized Yale PUI that meets our users’ needs while also contributing several enhancements to the PUI core code. Through iterative testing and prioritization, we’ve created a scalable method for capturing and incorporating user needs into our PUI customization.


  • Stephanie Bredbenner (Yale University)
  • Alison Clemens (Yale University)
  • Eve Neiger (Yale University)

Discussion B-1: Legacy Migrations into ASpace

Presentation slides | Recordings | Notes


All aboard! It’s time to get your legacy data into ArchivesSpace. But where does your data live, what format is it in, and how in the heck can you clean it up and wrangle it into ArchivesSpace? This session will explore strategies for planning and executing migrations from a variety of formats and repository perspectives: from data mapping and coming up with a workplan; how to use software like oXygen, OpenRefine, and STEAD; and deploying languages like RegEx and XPath to assist in data cleanup. We will focus on accession and resource data in CSV, EAD, and MARC, but many of the tools and strategies we will discuss will be applicable to a variety of other forms.


  • Bria Parker (University of Maryland)
  • John Rees (National Library of Medicine)
  • Celia Caust-Ellenbogen (Swarthmore College)

Workshop: Intro to the API using ArchivesSnake

Please note: There are 25 seats available for this workshop. You may guarantee your spot through registration.

 Workshop Description

This brief workshop will have content for both beginner and already experienced users of the AS API. Attendees should expect to review some basic functionality of the API using Python3 scripts written with the ASnake client library. A dedicated section on ArchivesSnake will follow the basic portion of the workshop.  No command line experience is necessary, but attendees will be using the command line in the workshop. Attendees will be required to follow pre-workshop set-up instructions on their own laptops, and technical assistance will be available.


  • Valerie Addonizio (Johns Hopkins University)
  • Dave Mayo (Harvard University)
  • Lora Woodford (LYRASIS)

2:00 pm - 2:15 pmBREAK
2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

Discussion A-2: Library-style authority control in AS

Presentation slides | Recording | Notes


Columbia plans to have a library vendor perform regular authority work on exported bib records. We are exploring workflows and scripts that we are going to share out the community, but would also love to discuss how others are approaching authority control in a mixed library/archival description environment.


  • Kevin Schlottmann (Columbia University)

Discussion B-2: Roundtable for Very Small/Small Members

Recording | Notes


Since smaller institutions can face different challenges from those seen by larger institutions and often have one or a few people that work in ArchivesSpace, we thought it might be beneficial for these users to get to know one another and talk about how we use ArchivesSpace and what can be done to improve the program for smaller sites. This informal session will take the shape of a moderated discussion with all attendees encouraged to participate, and is also intended to introduce members to one another so that we can work collectively on issues that arise in the future. We plan on discussing some initiatives that are in the works to help small and very small institutions hit the ground running and then keep the software working smoothly.


  • Nick Zmijewski (Industrial Archives & Library)
  • Taylor McNeilly (University of Richmond)
3:15 pm - 3:45 pm

BREAK: Celebrate 5 years of ArchivesSpace! - Room: Ballroom (2nd floor)

3:45 pm - 4:30 pm

Open Discussion on the Future of ArchivesSpace - Room: Ballroom (2nd floor) - Livestreaming: GoTo Training

Presentation slides | Notes

This is a community-wide discussion on the future of ArchivesSpace.

Do you have a topic you would like to suggest for this discussion? This can address any interest, concern, feedback, or idea you have with the perspective of the application’s future in mind. We would like for this conversation to represent the variety of topics, interests, and concerns that come from all of our users, institutions, and stakeholders. In-person attendance is not required to participate; this discussion will be available remotely via livestreaming.

Please suggest a discussion topic here:

Facilitators will continue to take suggestions for discussion topics at the forum.

Facilitators: Laurie Arp (LYRASIS), Gordon Daines (Brigham Young University), and Nick Zmijewski (Industrial Archives & Library)

4:30 pm - 4:35 pmClosing remarks from the program - Room: Ballroom (2nd floor)

We are thrilled to share an update on our upcoming Annual Member Forum!

This year we’re excited to join forces with our friends at Archive-It to co-host a reception that will bring our partner communities together. Join us at the Conservation Pavilion at the National Zoo from 5-7 PM for drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and good times!

The Conservation Pavilion is a new building at the National Zoo – so new that it’s yet to have made a print on Google Maps. It is close to the Mane Grill, and represented as #11 on the map here: The reception is located central to the conference hotel as well as the member forum site, approximately 1.0 miles between each location.

Code of Conduct

This forum adheres to Code4Lib’s CodeofConduct4Lib. We seek to provide a welcoming, fun, and safe community and conference experience for everyone. (The full text of the code of conduct is available at:

Working group members: