Archiving software or archival software?

Lindsay Greene, NYU to make archive software, Washington Square News, September 22, 2004. Excerpt: „NYU’s library system has announced plans to develop software for an intercollegiate database that will make archival processing more efficient, a library official said. The system, called ‚The Archivists‘ Toolkit,‘ will allow universities and other research institutions to compile their archives into a online database, making the scholarship available worldwide….NYU, which is developing the project with assistance from the University of California at San Diego, decided to pursue the project after several researchers expressed an interest in a more accessible archive, Dean of Libraries Carol Mandel said. ‚Our archivists were frustrated with the lack of software available, so they got together and kind of said „let’s do this,“‚ she said. The archivists went to the Andrew W. Mellon foundation where they were paired up with the University of California. Both universities received a collaborative, two-year grant for $847,000. The project is expected to last from two to four years, and NYU hopes to renew the grant, Mandel said.“ (PS: The article doesn’t say so, but the toolkit web site makes clear that the software will be both OAI-compliant and open-source. However, I’m still curious about what the project leaders found deficient in the nine existing systems of OAI-compliant, open-source archiving software.)
Posted by Peter Suber

An explanation might be that archiving software for eprint archives is not the same as archival software used by archivists for cataloging archival records.

Excerpt from the toolkit’s website:

The objective is a digital tool set, primarily database in
character, that will:
• satisfy and integrate key functions in the archival descriptive cycle, including
accessioning, provenance, authority, locating, finding aid construction and
encoding, and, digital surrogate / single item description;
• allow small to medium-sized archives and special collections to ingest metadata
about collections into a centralized repository, along with digital asset
management, accession, reference, and workflow information;
• use a relational database management system with a Web-based user interface
to support all aspects and functions of archival administration and description,
(including components for digital- and media-asset tracking and management);
• be deployable in a range of archival repositories from historical societies, college
archives, museum archives, commercial archives, and other archives
specializing in non-textual materials (sound or video archives, for example) on
the one hand, and, on the other, in archives with a single staff member or in
multi-repository consortia such as the Five Colleges, Inc. or the Online Archive of


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