- ArchivesSpace is an online archival information management system that supports the core functions of archival administration and increases the discoverability of archival information.
- In other words, ArchivesSpace acts as a searchable database that provides web access archival collection finding aids, therefore improving the navigability of collections.
- ArchivesSpace acts similarly to a catalog, but instead of searching for books, you search for unique historical collections.
What will I find in ArchivesSpace?
- You will find a lot of incredibly interesting archival collections through ArchivesSpace! Our archival collections include anything and everything from family papers, local history, military, school publications, local business, the arts, sports, and one-of-a-kind artifacts.
- Each archival collection is accompanied by a finding aid. A finding aid provides descriptive and administrative information about the collection, as well as an inventory of the contents included in the collection. Finding aids improve the navigability of a collection and enable patrons to conduct more effective and efficient research.
What will I not find in ArchivesSpace?
- You will not find digital or digitized objects in ArchivesSpace. ArchivesSpaces’ sole purpose is to provide collection information and grant access to archival inventories, also known as finding aids. Although ArchivesSpace does not house digital objects, it is possible to externally link to digital objects housed on a different platform. You will see descriptive metadata about the digital object, but you will not be able to see the actual digital object itself.
- You also won’t find any maps, the Library’s catalog, or any other non-archival materials. You can find links to these resources under the “Additional Resources” tab in the footer of the home page if you are interested in learning more about any of these subjects.
So…how can I view digital objects?
- The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Special Collections is in the process of gaining access to a digital repository, which is a management system designed to house digital objects. Once the system is in place, we can link digital objects from ArchivesSpace to the digital repository so you can view the digital objects of interest online.
- Until then, you can look through www.cmstory.com where you can find some digitized photographs and digital exhibits.
How do I conduct research using ArchivesSpace?
- It’s easy! Simply type keywords, subjects, or names into the search bar on the ArchivesSpace homepage to get started.
- ArchivesSpace will generate a search results page with the most relevant resources according to the search terms you entered in the search bar.
- You can filter the results further by using the “Additional Filters” side bar on the right side of the page.
How do I cite the materials I use in my research?
- [Collection Name], [Date associated with collection], Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
- The arrangement, description, and housing of archival materials for storage and use by patrons [Society of American Archivists]
- A collection of records housed in a repository authorized to appraise, preserve, and provide access to those records. [Society of American Archivists]
- A group of materials with some unifying characteristic; Materials assembled by a person, organization, or repository from a variety of sources; an artificial collection. [Society of American Archivists]
- Often used as a synonym of automated, computerized, electronic, or the prefix e-. [Society of American Archivists]
- Document created on paper that has been transformed into a digital format. [Society of American Archivists]
- Finding Aid
- A tool that facilitates discovery of information within a collection of records; A description of records that gives the repository physical and intellectual control over the materials and that assists users to gain access to and understand the materials. [Society of American Archivists]
- A thing that can be distinguished from a group and that is complete in itself. Items are generally considered to be the smallest archival unit. [Society of American Archivists]
- An item that is tangible, especially one with significant depth relative to its height and width; an artifact or specimen. [Society of American Archivists]
- A collection that an archivist has arranged and described that is usable for patrons.
- Refers to any type of organization that holds documents, including business, institutional, and government archives, manuscript collections, libraries, museums, and historical societies, and in any form, including manuscripts, photographs, moving image and sound materials, and their electronic equivalents. [Society of American Archivists]
- A subject may be a person, corporation, place, topic, or period of time. [Society of American Archivists]
- A collection that an archivist has not arranged or described. Sometimes an unprocessed collection is usable, but sometimes it is too unorganized to make sense of the information.