ArchivesSpace is community-supported software. But what does that mean? With a current program staff of only 3.75 FTE, ArchivesSpace owes its dynamic growth primarily to the active user community, currently over 300 members strong.
Without this community, the progress ArchivesSpace has made since its first release in 2013 could not be possible. So how do we all work together? This series of posts will highlight the many moving parts within our community, and feature how we all work towards the common goal of preserving permanently valuable records and providing access to our researchers.
Our ecosystem relies on the active participation of our members, many of whom contribute through various organized groups. We’ll take a closer look at each of these groups to highlight their major accomplishments and activities.
- Governance Board: The Governance Board provides leadership for the ArchivesSpace community and advises LYRASIS, the ArchivesSpace organizational home, on the ongoing development and support of ArchivesSpace. The board sets membership policies, reviews and approves budgets and resource allocation, and advises on program initiatives, always with a focus on meeting the needs of a broad and diverse spectrum of archival institutions in a balanced and equitable manner. Each year a Nominating Committee is appointed by the Board to solicit nominations and run elections for the elected member positions.
- Technical Advisory Council: TAC is a Governance group whose members are appointed by the Governance Board from nominations. This council provides technical guidance and encourages an active community of developers. TAC oversees several teams that focus on the variety of aspects of technical growth, including Integrations, Migration, and Technical Documentation.
- User Advisory Council: UAC is also a Governance group whose members are appointed by the Governance Board from nominations. This council facilitates community engagement and serves as a communication conduit between the Governance Board, the program team, and ArchivesSpace users. UAC’s sub-teams pay special attention to Reports and User Documentation.
- Sub-teams and cross-council teams: In addition to the sub-teams listed above, there are currently two cross-council units that consist of members from both TAC and UAC. These teams are the Testing and Development Prioritization groups.
- Working Groups: From time to time, ad-hoc working groups are convened to address special projects and activities. Many are based in the membership community, but some include participants from outside. Past and present member working groups include the Public User Interface Enhancement, the Staff Interface Enhancement, the Digital Objects Exports, and the ArchivesSpace Member Forum Planning Group. Past and present cross-community working groups include the Python Library Working Group, ArchivesSpace/Archivematica integrations group, ArchivesSpace/Aeon integrations group, and the ArchivesSpace Training group.
- Program team: The program team works closely with the community to foster and implement development, user support, and user engagement activities. With a geographically dispersed community comprised of people with varying needs, open and regular communication is the key.
- LYRASIS (organizational home): As the Organizational Home, LYRASIS provides many resources and services to help grow, support and amplify the community contributions. These include staff, technology, financial services and logistics support. An Organizational Home allows the community to stay nimble, participative and collaborative, yet also remain responsive. This partnership allows the ArchivesSpace communities to focus on program priorities, free from the burden of building organizational infrastructure which is critical to long term success and sustainability.
- Community as a whole: ArchivesSpace is a diverse community of institutions holding archives — including small, independent historical archives; academic institutions; state, local, and national governance archives; and private and corporate archives. The community contributes in many ways, including submitting bug fix requests, sharing user stories, creating plugins, and answering questions on listservs.
We appreciate all the contributions of our community that make ArchivesSpace thrive! Stay tuned as we highlight the many teams that play such a huge role to improve ArchivesSpace for the greater community.
All About Community is a blog series that highlights the many teams and groups that contribute to the growth and development of ArchivesSpace. This series aims to provide insight on how our diverse community comes together with a shared vision to preserve permanently valuable records and provide access to our researchers.