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Archon to ArchivesSpace Migration: Home

Migration process

Migration process:  Here are the steps in order:
  • FLVC has sent an initial export to Lyrasis. (This is complete for all institutions.)
  • Lyrasis has sent back a report of data clean up, if any.  (This is complete for all institutions.  The email from Lyrasis had the subject line "XXX  Archon To ArchivesSpace Migration Review" where XXX is the name of your institution.  If you need this report resent you can contact Lyrasis or and be sure to include the name of your institution and the phrase Archon to ArchivesSpace in your request.)
  • Each institution closely compares the Archon site versus the ArchivesSpace test load site.
    • The table below has links to the Archon versus ArchivesSpace sites.
    • You have a login to your ArchivesSpace test site.  This login was included in the email from Lyrasis with the subject line "XXX  Archon To ArchivesSpace Migration Review" where XXX is the name of your institution.
    • If any clean up is needed, then do this clean up on the Archon site.
  • Meanwhile, begin training on ArchivesSpace.  Links to training resources are located in the "Training" section of this LibGuide below.
  • After you have compared the Archon site versus the ArchivesSpace test load site, FLVC will send a final export to Lyrasis.  At this point you will freeze activity on the Archon site, because edits made after the export will not be carried over to ArchivesSpace.  Ideally that export will be loaded to ArchivesSpace and after a thorough review by the institution, the ArchivesSpace site will go live.  Then going forward activity will be on the ArchivesSpace site.
    • All URLs from the Archon site will be redirected to the homepage of the newly launched ArchivesSpace site.
    • Any PURLs through the FCLA/FLVC PURL server which used to point to an Archon finding aid will be redirected to point to the new location of the finding aid in ArchivesSpace.


Launch process:  To be completed quickly in the weeks after Lyrasis runs the final load to ArchivesSpace:

  • Compare records on Archon versus ArchivesSpace:  This comparison does not need to be at the same level as the prelaunch comparison.  Instead, what you are looking for is any major unexpected problems.  Check that all your finding aids came over and closely compare a few.  Verify what cleanup of records in needed, and if you notice new problems, then now is the time to raise the issue.
  • Change passwords on the ArchivesSpace site.  Ensure that each person at your institution has logged in and has changed their password on the site from Lyrasis's default password.  FALSC will also do a review of any accounts issued to FALSC employees, and will email you to let you know that passwords have been changed from the default.  FALSC will also touch base with you about any accounts with generic names, such as "admin", to ensure that we are both on the same page regarding whether that's a person at your institution versus someone at FALSC.
    • Instructions to change your password:
      • 1) Login to ArchivesSpace and go to the staff view ( click the link at the bottom of all public pages to "Staff Interface").
      • 2) In the top right corner, click the drop down arrow next to "System", then click to "Manage Users".  Find your own user account in the list, and next to it, click the "Edit" button.
      • 3) Change your password and save changes.
    • Make sure everyone working at your institution changes their password.
    • Look through the list of accounts on your site.  If you notice accounts issued to employees who no longer work there, then you are able to delete their accounts.
  • Update contact info on your ArchivesSpace site.
    • Instructions to update contact info (must be done on a repository by repository basis):
      • 1)  Login to ArchivesSpace and go to the staff view ( click the link at the bottom of all public pages to "Staff Interface").
      • 2)  In the top right corner, click the drop down arrow next to "System", then click to "Manage Repositories".
      • 3)  Next to each repository, click "Edit".  Check contact info including "Home Page URL",  "Address", "Telephone Numbers", and "E-mail".  This information shows up at the top of every PDF printout of every finding aid within that repository, so inaccurate information will display to the public.  Make any needed changes and click to "Save Repository".
  • Set up redirects from the old Archon site.
    • If you are using Archon / ArchivesSpace to store location information, then it is a known issue that this information comes across in a problematic way.  FALSC recommends you to request redirects, but to pick a few IP addresses which the library can use to compare records while doing post migration clean up.  All Archon sites are scheduled to be taken down and become permanently and completely unavailable by the last week of March 2019.
    • FALSC is able to provide a web archive of the Archon site public interface, but not of any logged in views (ie. not able to provide you a web archive of the Archon view of the location information which is only available to logged in Archon users).
  • Connect with FALSC regarding any PURLs pointing to Archon resources.  FALSC will coordinate with Lyrasis to update all PURLs to finding aids which were in Archon and update the new target to point to the new location in ArchivesSpace.

Links to Archon and ArchivesSpace sites

Institution Archon Link Launched ArchivesSpace site

Login page:



Login page:



Login page:



Login page:


New College‚Äč

Login page:



Login page:



(FFAF used to stage records for migration)

Login page:



(IP restricted so not accessible out of UWF library)

Login page:



Training materials for ArchivesSpace Training center

  • Training center:
  • All institutions have a login to this.  The login was sent from Lyrasis with the subject line, "Access to the ArchivesSpace Help Center (training materials)".

ArchivesSpace's sandbox

  • ( login: username: admin password: admin )
  • This site is wiped on a schedule.
  • This site has the same basic configuration that Lyrasis will use for the Lyrasis hosted ArchivesSpace sites.

Comparing Archon records to ArchivesSpace records

This is a list of issues reported so far as institutions compare Archon records against the ArchivesSpace test load sites.


Differences/issues people have noticed in Archon vs ArchivesSpace:


1.  Line and paragraph breaks missing


2.  When Archon is used to locate the physical item, check that range/shelf/box has come over in such a way that you can still go into your stacks and locate the item.

  • FSU has noted that when using Archon / ArchivesSpace to locate physical objects, it's important to look at range/shelf/box and make sure that the info is connected well enough to locate a physical item.  FIU mentioned hearing that the College of William and Mary had had a similar problem and might have a workflow for getting this info straight.


3.  Automatically inserted container names may be worded oddly

  • In ArchivesSpace each collection that didn't have any containers will have inserted into it several "Physical Storage Information" notes. These are basically "Container: 1 (Text) Container: 2 (Text) Container: 3 (Text)".  It looks like a list, "1, 2, 3, 4, etc."  Example: .  Not all sites have this.  Some sites have something like "Box 1, Box 2, Box 3, etc." which maybe makes more sense for someone using the site.


4.  "Dummy date"

  • Records which didn't have a date in Archon now in ArchivesSpace test sites have the words "dummy date" inserted into the record.  You can search by "dummy date".
  • Example of keyword searching "dummy date":
  • Example of "Dummy date" showing up visible to the public:
  • Suggested fix:  Solution might be to request Lyrasis put in a different value than "dummy".  For example, Lyrasis could put in year 9999 or could put in "unknown date".  When thinking about what value to insert, also think about also being able to search on that value if you plan to go through ArchivesSpace later and do clean up (ie. maybe "unknown date" is too generic to search on, even though it looks professional when the public looks at your records).


5.  “Archon Finding Aid Title” 

  • Finding Aids Title default fills to “Archon Finding Aid Title”.  This appears to affect every finding aid on every site.  If anyone else wants to see it in your records, go to your ArchivesSpace test load site, then click to any Collection finding aid, then click to telescope open the menu for “Finding Aid & Administrative Information”, and that will show you the Title = “Archon Finding Aid Title”.
  • Suggested fix:  Lyrasis may be able to not fill any info for this field and leave it blank.  As of Nov. 19, 2018, this is not confirmed/finalized.


6.  Potential clean up needed:  Sort order of numbered folders/boxes/etc.

  • File folders may not sort in order.  File folders in ArchivesSpace may go something like 1, 10, 11, 12, 2, 3, 4 etc.
  • Suggested fix:  Go in manually on your records (before the final export is sent to Lyrasis for your site, edits should be made in Archon) and redo numbers like 001, 002, 003, etc. - make the numbers to where they will sort.


7.  Resolved:  Archon URLs showing up in finding aids printed out of the ArchivesSpace sites

  • In ArchivesSpace, when you click to print a record to PDF, the contact info on the printout will have the Archon URL.
  • Example: (click "Print" in the top right corner; this will make a PDF with links to the Archon site in the PDF).
  • How to fix:  This is pulling from a contact info setting on the site.  Anyone experiencing this on record should find the contact info in ArchivesSpace, change the contact info setting on the whole site, verify that the printouts now have the correct URL on them, then write down exactly how you changed the setting and put it on a checklist for taking you site live (remember the ArchivesSpace test load sites will not go live, so clean up there will not carry over; instead a second load to ArchivesSpace will be made and that will go live).


8.  Custom Container Names

  • When items have a custom container name in Archon, the custom container name is displayed as “other level” in ArchivesSpace.
  • For example, in the William R. Maples Collection ( ), several items were labeled as "Slide Box" in Archon, and this has mapped to "other level" in ArchivesSpace.  The green text reading "other level" doesn't look as clear when displayed to the public, as a label like "Slide Box" would be..
  • The manual fix is to edit each item in ArchivesSpace, and use a drop down menu to change "other level" to "Other Level" (yes they are different, because of the capitalization).  After you select "Other Level", a new field will appear for you to enter the name that will appear to the public, and you can type in "Slide Box" or any other label that you'd like to provide.  Because this involves manually editing each container, it is potentially labor intensive, if a site has used a custom container in Archon.
  • FLVC  plans to ask whether Lyrasis is able to modify the migration script to map custom container names in Archon.

9. Problems printing records

  • On many of the ArchivesSpace sites, the "Print" button in the top right corner of each finding aid will give an error message for some but not all of the finding aids.
  • This is caused by some characters in the records.  For example, and ampersand, and colon, etc.
  • As of January 2019, the planned approach is to report the problem record, and focus on submitting the issue to the open source community.  Having the open source community handle each problem character in a systematic way means that going forward, you won't have to worry about what characters  you are using as you edit your record.
  • As of January 2019, a fix to the issue of ampersands in metadata making it to where the finding aid will not print to PDF is fixed in the open source code.  Lyrasis plans to implement this fix in a routine software upgrade, likely to occur in Feb. or March 2019.
  • Immediately following launch, FALSC has compiled a list of problem PDFs on each site, and submitted it to Lyrasis.  Institutions please feel free to express how significant an issue the printing problems are, because that helps Lyrasis to represent you to the open source community.