ArchivesSpace Repository Profile: University of California, Irvine

Institution Description

Special Collections and Archives houses the UC Irvine Libraries' collections of rare books, manuscripts, archives, photographs, and other rare and special materials. Question responses provided by Kelly Spring, Archivist for Special Collections (March 2016).


How did your assessment of collection management tools lead to your institution’s decision to implement ArchivesSpace?

When I joined UCI in February of 2015, the decision to transition to AS had already been made. Beginning in June of 2015, I steadily tested the AS program and evaluated whether or not it truly was feasible for UCI to use the program. Even though AS still suffers a few bugs, we felt it was in our best interest to implement AS in order to align with the California Digital Library and our peers in the UC system. 

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

We decided to have a separate, fresh server for this project. We installed java, mysql and set up a database for AS. Then we ran updates, took a snapshot, and installed AS (initially version 1.3.0). Finally we set up backup plans for the new server and imported our data from AT.

What degree of IT support was needed to install ArchivesSpace and/or migrate from an existing system into ArchivesSpace? 

We relied HEAVILY on our library IT department. They’re the best!

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

MARCXML export errors:

  • converted MARC has an extra url in the xsi:schema location.
  • all fields lead with "marc" (similar to ns2 issue).
  • leader numbers odd.
  • controlfield tag 001 in MARC is not in AS.
  • tag 008 numbers differ.
  • tag 040 AS a CU-I, c UC-I, no 'd'. 

Validating EAD exports directly from AS:

  • Attribute 'actuate' is not allowed to appear in element 'extref'.
  • Attribute 'href' is not allowed to appear in element 'extref'.
  • Attribute 'show' is not allowed to appear in element 'extref'.          
  • (These errors are in pointing to other finding aids and UCI Space.)

Exporting a PDF finding aid:

  • Takes you to a background job from which you have to re-search for your resource record. Then queue your job. Then look for the pdf and download. The out of the box file naming convention is "job_7_file_7.pdf"

Location will not render (fixed in latest version)

And, of course, JIRA AS-76:

  • Eliminated the processing status from collection management records and moved processing status and associated date to “event” records. 

Is your institution integrating ArchivesSpace with other collection management, preservation, or access systems?


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

It has not yet been an improvement, but we’re an optimistic bunch.