[Archivesspace_Users_Group] ArchLight Documentation

Majewski, Steven Dennis (sdm7g) sdm7g at virginia.edu
Mon Jan 7 11:59:31 EST 2019

ArcLight project on GitHub:  https://github.com/sul-dlss/arclight <https://github.com/sul-dlss/arclight>

ArcLight is a Ruby/Rails+Solr Gem for searching and displaying finding aids. 
The display is somewhat similar in style to ArchivesSpace Public User Interface, but ArcLight is only for serving published finding aids — it has none of the authoring and management capability of the ArchivesSpace staff interface.  ArcLight imports EAD finding aids and indexes the pieces in Solr for fast retrieval, so it doesn’t have to parse an entire XML finding aid on each access.  

If all of your finding aids are in ArchivesSpace, there is not much to be gained from ArcLight over the ArchivesSpace PUI. 
However, if you’ve got legacy EAD finding aids that you cannot yet import into ArchivesSpace, or you are trying to build a union catalog with other institutions, then exporting EAD from different systems is probably the only common denominator.  

We are currently using XTF  https://xtf.cdlib.org <https://xtf.cdlib.org/>, https://github.com/cdlib/xtf.git <https://github.com/cdlib/xtf.git>  for displaying EAD finding aids online, however that technology stack has gotten a little long in the tooth, so we’ve been evaluating ArcLight as a replacement. 
My evaluation was based on the initial MVP release, which was a while ago, so they may have fixed some of the issues since then. The main issue I ran into was that ArcLight, like ArchivesSpace, had some restrictions and limitation on the EAD that it would import, particularly on the <eadid> values. I made an attempt to override and fix this, but it was not completely successful, so I had to resort to preprocessing the EAD to transform it to ArcLight’s restrictions. ( ArcLight uses eadid value to link all of the sub records  together in Solr index, so fixing this issue was less trivial than making some other mods to the application or EAD import process. I will likely make another attempt to dig deeper into this problem when I have the time. ) 

Several Virginia Heritage http://vaheritage.org <http://vaheritage.org/> members are also ArchivesSpace members and we have been testing using the ArchivesSpace OAI endpoints as a feed into our current XTF implementation, and if we do migrate to ArcLight, we will use the same method to feed updates. (  https://github.com/bloomonkey/oai-harvest.git <https://github.com/bloomonkey/oai-harvest.git> ) 

I had initially thought there might be some way to manage the entire union catalog in ArchivesSpace, but my experience with managing an ArchivesSpace instance with 4 different library repositories convinced me that trying to do the same for a much larger group would not be practical. There might be other ways to build a searchable union catalog of ArchivesSpace instances ( merging Solr records, for example ) however they would all require access to ArchivesSpace backend or Solr service, which are both likely to be restricted or firewalled. 

— Steve Majewski 

> On Jan 7, 2019, at 5:38 AM, Harm Jager <harmjager at ruerddevries.nl> wrote:
> Hello fellow Archivesspace users, 
> We are sending this mail out to you because we are currently in the process of doing research in to the best way to use the user-interface of Archivesspace. We would like to use the user-interface not only to present our finding-aids but also those of other institutions in the Netherlands that are complementary to our finding-aids and if possible provide extra information surrounding these Finding-Aids
> This brings me to our point. Namely the fact that we recently heard of ArchLight and someone said that would be a good fit for us and our objectives with the staff-interface. We are looking to expand our knowledge when it comes to ArcLight. Using Google to find Archlight brings us to a couple of DuraSpace pages, but that’s it.
> Therefore I share the following question/request. Does anyone of you have any experience with ArchLight and if so could you share with us your documentation surrounding ArchLight? We would like to know as much as possible about ArchLight before we start to fiddle around with it. Any links or documents would be greatly appreciated.
> Thank you very much for helping us along.
> Greetings,
> Harm Jager
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