Archival Management System (AMS)


Archival Management System (AMS)

The Archival Management System (AMS) is a free and open source multi-functional tool for managing the digitization workflow, which is especially useful for projects involving multiple departments or organizations.


Existing functions in this open source software include:

  • Aggregation and normalization or refinement of collection inventories
    • Using tools such as Open Refine and MINT, data cleanup can be done analytically and in bulk, though the system also allows individual record-level editing
  • Prioritization and selection of items for digitization
  • Scheduling and system alerts to inform users when it is time to begin packing materials for shipping to digitization vendors, shipping dates, when the vendor has completed a batch, and when the materials will be shipped back
  • Record level search which includes an audio or video player for playback of the digitized item
  • Bulk ingest of technical and preservation metadata generated by the vendor
  • Dashboard reporting that tracks project progress, including number and types of items, percentage of project completed, departments/locations, and other pertinent information




Alerts & Reporting

AMS was originally developed for the American Archive of Public Broadcasting

AMS was originally developed to support the digitization of 40,000 hours of audiovisual materials from 120 public media stations as part of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting American Archive project. AVP has also customized an AMS for the Flemish Institute for Archiving (VIAA) to manage nationwide digitization from broadcasters, universities, and museums.

Development of AMS 2.0 will begin in Winter 2017 as a result of generous funding from the Mellon Foundation.

AMS 2.0 Development

The source code is available for download from GitHub, and AVP can also provide services to customize it for project particulars, including:

  • Organizational structure
  • Workflow specifics
  • Language
  • Other material types (such as newspapers)
  • Reporting
  • Systems integration

These tools help me to collect, describe and make accessible these valuable resources with little or no cost, and to support data-driven decision making about the curation needs of audiovisual materials in our institution. More than the technical workflow, AMS has helped us to identify and define gaps in our policies and workflows that have not been addressed.

Susan Barrett (Academic Library)

AMS is a key element of our workflow in the sense that it is our registration, logistics planning and track & trace tool. AMS gave us the ability to manage a massive digitization project across multiple organizations in a way that no other available application could have.

Brecht Declercq (VIAA, Flemish Audiovisual Archive)