Archivists' Toolkit Receives Society Of American Archivists' Award

First open-source archival data-management system lauded for "tremendous impact"

B. Westbrook

August 1, 2008 – The Archivists' Toolkit (AT), an innovative open-source archival data-management system developed through a collaboration among University of California, San Diego Libraries, New York University Libraries, and the Five Colleges, Inc. Libraries, has received the C.F.W. Coker Award from the Society of American Archivists.

The AT, the first open-source archival data-management system to provide broad, integrated support for the management of archives, is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. AT project manager Brad Westbrook, head of the Metadata Analysis and Specification Unit at UC San Diego Libraries, will accept the award on behalf of the project team at the Society of American Archivists' annual meeting in San Francisco on August 29, 2008. Brian E.C. Schottlaender, the Audrey Geisel University Librarian at UCSD Libraries served as co-principal investigator for the project, along with Carol Mandel, Dean of Libraries at NYU.

"The Archivists' Toolkit has already made a tremendous impact on archival practice and the promotion and adoption of descriptive standards," said Chris Burns, chair of the SAA's C.F.W. Coker Award Committee. "It has been rapidly adopted by archivists, and serves as a truly wonderful model of collaborative design, testing, and implementation process."

The C.F.W. Coker Award recognizes finding aids, finding aid systems, innovative development in archival description, or descriptive tools that enable archivists to produce more effective finding aids. To merit consideration for the award, nominees must set national standards, represent a model for archival description, or otherwise have a substantial impact on national descriptive practice.

Established in 1984, the award honors the memory of SAA Fellow C.F.W. Coker. Previous recipients include: Greg Bradsher of the National Archives and Records Administration; the Walt Whitman Archive; and the Online Archive of California. Ranked among the nation's top academic research libraries, the UC San Diego Libraries play an integral role in advancing and supporting the university's research and teaching missions. As the intellectual heart of the UC San Diego campus, the 9 university libraries provide access to more than 7 million digital and print volumes, journals, and multimedia materials to meet the knowledge and information needs of scholars, students, and the public.

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