Joining Archeion - FAQ for Archives

1. Why join Archeion?

  • Archeion is Ontario's Archival Information Network, an online research tool providing access to descriptions of archival records held by institutional members of the Archives Association of Ontario (AAO); it also provides information about the repositories that care for those archival records, as well as about the creators and collectors of the records
  • Archeion makes use of the Access to Memory (AtoM) multilingual, multi-repository, standards-based archival database software. The Archeion AtoM instance is hosted by the Canadian company Artefactual Systems Inc.
  • Archeion provides search and browse access to archival records documenting Ontario’s rich and diverse history. It is also a directory of Ontario memory organizations, connecting records from across institutions. This centralized access simplifies historical research and increases discovery and use of archives from all manner of repositories. Archeion fosters a sense of community amongst the many stewards of the province’s historical records
  • By joining Archeion, archives get access to the Access to Memory (AtoM) platform to better promote their institution and records
  • Archeion is just one provincial archival discovery portal. See this list, maintained by the Canadian Council of Archives, to view other provincial and territorial discovery portals in Canada

2. Do I have to be an AAO member to join Archeion?

3. Is there a set membership commitment length?

  • There is no commitment length
  • If your membership expires, your Archeion login is disabled and you are no longer able to edit or add to the system

4. What is the process for withdrawing from Archeion? How do I get my data out of Archeion?

  • Should your AAO institutional membership expire your Archeion login is disabled and a Maintenance Note added to your institutional profile stating: This institution is no longer a member of the Archives Association of Ontario. Their Archeion profile may be outdated.
  • Any archival description records, authority records, and your institutional record are all left as-is in the database - they are a public good and the AAO does not delete the data when an AAO membership expires
  • At any time you can also export your own description data and authority record data from Archeion via AtoM's Clipboard feature
  • You retain ownership and responsibility for the archival descriptions, authority records, and data you enter into Archeion. You are responsible for keeping this data up to date - see the Using Archeion page for more information

5. Are there extra costs associated with joining Archeion?

  • No, once you have an AAO institutional membership you can contact the Archeion Coordinator to get an Archeion login and begin making use of Archeion
  • The only potential extra cost is extra storage for digital objects. AAO Institutional members get 1 GB of free space when they sign up for Archeion. Additional Archeion Extra Storage for digital objects in 5 GB and 10 GB packages can be purchased for a fee and billed annually. Find out more in the Archeion Extra Storage Policy.

6. Do you have any price comparisons for other AtoM hosting my institution can look into?

Other AtoM hosting companies include:

The Archives Association of Ontario (AAO) does not endorse the experience or prices of the hosting companies listed above and will take no responsibility for the quality of work that may be provided. It is the responsibility of individuals to check the credentials and expertise of any hosting company hired.

It is also worth considering that choosing to set up your own AtoM instance or description database does not offer your researchers the benefit of searching your archival descriptions across the descriptions of other Ontario archives. If you have your own AtoM instance or own institutional description database it can be helpful to consider joining Archeion to add your archives institutional profile to Archeion to connect researchers to your institution. Archeion receives a high volume of traffic and relevancy in search engine rankings so simply adding an institutional profile for your archives into Archeion can increase your archives' reach.

In terms of annual costs, AAO institutional membership annual fees are a competitive price for accessing a hosted Access to Memory description database. Archeion is especially cost effective for community archives or smaller institutions.

7. What types of archival institutions or organizations can get an institutional record in Archeion?

After I have joined the AAO as an institutional member…

8. How many user accounts do I get?

You can:

  • A) use a single institutional user account and share this login/password amongst your staff or
  • B) you can have as many users in Archeion as your AAO membership level - for example, 1 Archeion user account for Volunteer level or 1-4 Archeion user account(s) for the- 1-4 employee(s) level

Note: if your membership level includes 10+ staff, it is not recommended to maintain user accounts for over 10 staff unless you will actively and consistently have a large number of staff contributing to Archeion.

Remember that your Archeion user account(s) is(are) a separate login from your AAO website membership login. The Archeion Coordinator can reset your password or change your institutional logins at any time.

9. What type of user account privileges do I get in the Archeion database?

  • Your Archeion user permissions are set to the editor level

10. I don’t like the idea of using a shared database. What type of restrictions are in place to prevent other editors from editing my descriptions?

  • For the Archeion AtoM instance it is not possible to restrict editor accounts to specific descriptions per archival institution - doing so would create too many permission levels in our AtoM instance and Artefactual Systems (our hosts) have recommended against it
  • It is possible to track description updates through AtoM's Description Updates feature and this offers institutions some control in knowing when their institution's descriptions are updated

11. How do I use the Archeion search to search only my records?

  • You can design your institutional page to help lead researchers to search only your descriptions. The Guelph Public Library Archives and other Archeion institutions have done a good job of modifying their institutional page to do this. The Archeion Coordinator can also provide more advice on this

12. Can my institution make its own updates and uploads to AtoM or does that have to be mediated by the AAO?

  • You are able to login and manually add/update your descriptions and authority records. The Archeion Coordinator can offer training and support documentation
  • Editor accounts are not enabled for batch csv ingests
  • csv ingests are facilitated through the Archeion Coordinator, who can also provide training and support documentation in preparing csv ingests or best practices for work flows around batch csv ingests if you are interested in the AtoM csv work flow

13. Can I make my archival descriptions private?

  • Yes, you are able to make your descriptions private by setting them to Draft in the Publication Status field. You can make the descriptions public by setting them to published. The Archeion Coordinator does not do this
  • Note that, to date, csv ingests have been default set to Draft (private) and then the institution is required to publish them after review - this can be discussed per csv ingest use case per institution

14. Can I upload digital objects?

  • Institutions who host their digital objects outside of Archeion can use the link to digital object AtoM feature to connect Archeion descriptions to externally hosted digital objects
  • You can also upload digital objects to your descriptions. However, you only get 1 GB of free storage in Archeion with your institutional membership. If you choose to upload digital objects into Archeion you may need to purchase Extra Storage, which results in an annual fee for storing digital objects in Archeion

15. Is support or training available to help me use the system?

  • Yes, this is one of the primary benefits of the Archeion program for AAO institutional members. With an active AAO institutional membership, you get free support from the AAO’s Archeion Coordinator staff member. The Archeion Coordinator works part time to assist institutions in using Archeion. There is also a Getting Started With Archeion training slide deck and an Archeion YouTube Playlist for asynchronous Archeion support and training.
  • see the Using Archeion page for more details about the Archeion Coordinator role and how they can support you.

Page last updated: 2023.09.07