Access to Memory (AtoM) Repository Profile: Great American Songbook Foundation

Question responses provided by Lisa Lobdell, Archivist at the Great American Songbook Foundation on October 31, 2018.


Tool and version, if applicable

Access to Memory (AtoM)

How did your institution select this archival collection management tool?

We looked at 2 or 3 options after dropping out of ArchivesSpace before deciding on AtoM.

When and why did you adopt this tool? What system did it replace (if any)?

Originally, we were using Archivist's Toolkit. With the announcement that it would no longer be supported, we moved to ArchivesSpace. ArchivesSpace didn't work for us so we chose AtoM.

Briefly explain how this tool functions at your institution (e.g. do you only use it for accessioning, or does it fill all the functions from accessioning to public access?)

It fills all the functions from accessioning to public access, although we are still learning how to create finding aids in AtoM. 

What pre-installation/migration preparations were taken to facilitate implementation of this tool?

AtoM's support staff created an instance for us and provided support along the way. Our intern and a volunteer migrated data from AT to AtoM. 

What degree of IT support was needed to implement and migrate into this tool?


Is your collection management tool hosted on-site and in-house or off-site by a vendor?

AtoM hosts the site. 

Please describe significant post-implementation challenges using the administrative and/or public interfaces.

There were no significant challenges. 

Is your institution integrating this tool with other automated request, preservation, or digital asset management systems?


In what ways has using this tool been an improvement over your previous tool or finding aid access strategy?

We never implemented the public interface of Archivist's Toolkit so that is a great improvement for us. 

What is your most favorite feature of this tool?

It's Web-based.

What is your least favorite feature of this tool?

There's no place to indicate when deeds of gift are mailed or received. The physical location is not as user-friendly as it could be. 

Lessons learned, or tips for prospective users?

I do not have IT staff or even other archivists or librarians to assist with implementation and migration of a CMS. Determine up-front how much support you'll need. Don't choose a brand new CMS that is still in development if you need something that will function well out-of-the-box.