Light from the North: Reviving the Spirit of Archon through AtoM

  • Jeremy Brett (Cushing Memorial Library and Archives)
  • Colleen McFarland Rademaker (The Corning Museum of Glass)
  • Doris Cardenas (Claretian Missionaries Archives USA-Canada)
  • Anne Thomason (Lake Forest College)
  • Nancy Webster (Highland Park Library)


The 2009 vision to merge Archon and Archivists Toolkit into a single open source archives content management system was bold, optimistic, and well intentioned. However, the result of that merger, ArchivesSpace, left many Archon users feeling excluded. The technical complexities of hosting a local instance, the exhaustive descriptive possibilities, and the steep learning curve all presented significant barriers to repositories accustomed to Archon’s ease of use. Seeking a way forward, some US repositories have begun using Access to Memory (AtoM), a Canadian open source standards-based archival content management system created in 2007.

Archivists representing four different professional settings—a large university, a small college, a religious community, and a public library—will share their reasons for choosing AtoM over other systems and their experiences implementing AtoM. Addressing both the strengths and shortcomings of the software, presenters will discuss the technical requirements for installation and hosting, data migration, customization options, multilingual description, and AtoM’s capacity to display and store digital assets.

Presenters will also talk about their experiences with support and programming services offered by Artefactual Systems Inc., the software development company serving as lead developer for AtoM. You will learn about AtoM’s basic functionality and become familiar enough with the software to evaluate its suitability for your repository. The session requires no coding or systems management skills and is intended for professionals seeking to implement a user-friendly archival content management system.

How to Cite:

Brett, J., McFarland Rademaker, C., Cardenas, D., Thomason, A. & Webster, N., (2019) “Light from the North: Reviving the Spirit of Archon through AtoM”, MAC Annual Meeting Presentations 2019(1).



Published on
06 Apr 2019