Archeion, Ontario's Archival Information Network, is a publicly available, bilingual gateway to descriptions of archival records located in Ontario. There are currently over 20,000 descriptions available for searching and browsing. Archeion also provides contact information and locations of archives where documents can be accessed.

Archeion was built with funding from the Canadian Culture Online Program of Canadian Heritage, the Government of Ontario, Library and Archives Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the EMC Heritage Trust.

Archeion Coordinator

The Archeion Coordinator is available to give advice to archives about descriptive standards, can help with the writing of descriptions, and answer technical concerns, along with any other questions you may have about participating in Ontario's Archival Information Network.

Contact the Coordinator, Lisa Snider, by email at archeion@aao-archivists.ca. You can also follow her on Twitter @AAOArcheion.

Archeion Assistant

The 2016-2017 AAO Archeion Assistant DHCP funded training project has ended. Please see more information about this project on the Archeion Assistant web page.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Archeion do?

Archeion brings together information about archival materials held all over Ontario. By contributing information to Archeion, archives allow researchers to easily discover their collections and to make connections between holdings of more than one hundred archival institutions across the province, saving them time and effort. Descriptions in Archeion are exposed to search engines like Google, which means that they are easily found even if researchers are unaware of the Archeion site.

How do I contribute information about my archives to Archeion?

Institutional members of the Archives Association of Ontario are eligible for inclusion in Archeion. Once you have joined the AAO, you will need to contact the Archeion Coordinator at archeion@aao-archivists.ca to receive a username and password for Archeion. The Coordinator will create a basic page in Archeion for your institution and is available to give advice on how to create descriptions of archival materials within the site.

What sort of information does Archeion hold?

Archeion can hold full archival descriptions, right down to digitized images of the records. It can also hold audio and video files and PDF versions of full finding aids. Each institutional member of the AAO is provided with 1 gigabyte of free storage space on Archeion. That's enough for about 2,000 digital images.

Is there a manual for Archeion?

Yes! Archeion uses the AtoM (Access to Memory) platform for describing archive-holding institutions, archives creators and archives. You can download the Archeion manual in English or in French.

How does Archeion link up with other Canadian resources?

Descriptions in Archeion are regularly added to the national catalogue for archival descriptions, Archives Canada, a database managed by the Canadian Council of Archives.

  • 03 Jan 2013 10:39 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    It has been just over a year since the new ICA-AtoM version of Archeion was launched and it seems like a good moment to take a look at what the AAO's institutional members have achieved with the new site during 2012. Here are a few statistics:

     Archival descriptions published  3,771
     Archival descriptions revised  6,570
     Authority records created  1,378
     Authority records revised  2,039
     Digital objects added  229
     Visitors to Archeion  38,529

    The most viewed description on Archeion last year was the record for the Kydd Memorial Presbyterian Church, Montreal fonds (held by the Archives of The Presbyterian Church in Canada).

    Ninety five institutions have a page in Archeion describing their repository according to the ISDIAH international repository standard. This allows institutions to describe their opening hours, location and contact details in a consistent way. The screenshot shows the ISDIAH information on Wilfrid Laurier University Archives:

    ISDIAH record

    You don't need to have archival descriptions in Archeion in order to have a repository page, although your institution does need to be a member of the AAO. Please contact the Archeion Coordinator at archeion@aao-archivists.ca if you would like to add information about your institution to Archeion.

    Archeion now supports description of archives at the level of series or item as well as fonds or collection. This allows users to navigate the full hierarchy of an archival description, as can be seen in the screenshot of the University Health Network record group below:

    Record hierarchy

     

    The other new option supported by the AtoM software is the ability to upload digital materials to Archeion. Each institutional member of the AAO has a gigabyte of space on the service which they can use to hold images, videos or textual materials such as PDF files. Among the 229 files added to Archeion this year is this portrait from Elgin County Archives of Private George Searle, who died at the battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917.

    Private George_Searle

    We're hoping to see more digital materials added to Archeion in 2013: do get in touch if you need any help or advice about the best way of sharing your descriptions online through Archeion.

  • 17 Sep 2012 10:43 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    An enthusiastic group of volunteers, ably led by Ruta Klicius (Vice-President, Culture, of the Lithuanian-Canadian Community, National Executive), met at the Lithuanian Museum-Archives in Mississauga last Saturday. This institution collects materials relating to Lithuanian Canadians from all over the country, but is currently without a dedicated member of staff. As a consequence, the work of the Museum-Archives falls on to the shoulders of volunteers. This group are fully aware of the significance of the materials they look after and understand the importance of making their existence more widely known. Nearly 50 of their collections are already described on Archeion and the event on Saturday was organized to prepare draft fonds- and collection-level descriptions for other materials held there.

    Collage of Lithuanian Museum-Archives description bee

    It was a pleasure to work with such a keen and dedicated group of people, all with their own areas of interest and expertise in relation to the records. For example, Giedra Rinkūnaitė-Paulionienė, pictured bottom left, was formerly the Principal of the Toronto Lithuanian School 'Maironis', whose records she was helping to describe. The picture in the centre shows the two Rutas and Giedra examining a photograph in the Scouts fonds of the Ruta on the left when she was a young woman. In the same fonds Ruta had the strange experience of recognizing her own handwriting in a thank-you letter that she had written in 1962!

    With community records like these, it is vital to have the help of people who really understand the language of records and the context of their creation. It was wonderful to be involved with the process, listening to the group help each other out with the translation of Lithuanian words into English equivalents for the descriptions, sharing their memories and their delight at finding old friends and family members in amongst the records they were examining. Congratulations to Ruta for organizing the event and for her determination to share the stories of Lithuanians in Canada.

  • 17 Jul 2012 10:47 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    The 'Archeion for Archivists' manual has been translated into French by Hélène Caron and is now available here.

  • 11 Jul 2012 10:50 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    The Association of Canadian Archivists' annual conference was held in Whitehorse this year and I was lucky enough to be able to take part.

    The conference keynote was given by Ken Coates, Professor of History at the University of Waterloo. His theme was the lack of historical awareness among Canadians and he called upon historians and archivists to do a better job of popularizing history and explaining our role in making it accessible.

    The conference was packed with interesting sessions (see the programme [PDF]) several of which were shared by an active contingent of Twitter users (you can see the nearly 1,500 tweets which came out of the conference as a whole in this Google spreadsheet).

    As Archeion Coordinator, some of the sessions that were of most relevance to me were those covering digital infrastructure and digital preservation activities. One of the sessions focused on the development of a Trusted Digital Repository for Canadian institutions, with the suggestion that a membership organization might be the best way of achieving such a system, given doubts over the future of Library and Archives Canada's ability to lead the community in creating one. Provincial and territorial archives bodies could have a key role to play in this area in the future.

    I took part in the session that described the experiences of the provincial networks who have moved their old databases over to use the ICA-AtoM platform. After hearing from British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario, Peter Van Garderen of Artefactual Systems talked about future plans for the software. These include the ability to refine searches by 'facets' such as repository, subject and place, and also for individual institutions to be able to create a more personalized view of their repository's descriptions within multi-repository instances of AtoM (as the software will be known in future). The new version of ArchivesCanada will use AtoM and is it is due to be launched in September 2012.

    On the Friday of the conference we heard from Cecilia Muir, Chief Operating Officer of Library and Archives Canada. Ms. Muir made it clear that the funding for the National Archival Development Program was over and that digitization priorities for LAC in the future would be determined by the requirements of government commemoration programs. She said that this could also be a source of funding for other archives.

    Thanks to the AAO for funding my trip to Whitehorse: it's certainly an interesting time to be working in archives!

  • 24 Apr 2012 10:51 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    quilting-beeWe will be running an Archeion workshop at Victoria University Library in Toronto on Tuesday, June 5th between 9.30am and 1pm.

    The workshop provides an introduction to the new Archeion system and a chance to try it out in a hands-on session.

    The workshop is free: to book a place please email Amanda Hill at archeion@aao-archivists.ca.

    With thanks to Carmen Königsreuther Socknat for providing the venue.

  • 02 Apr 2012 10:56 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    quilting-beeWe will be running an Archeion workshop at the City of Ottawa Archives on Monday, April 16th between 1pm and 4pm.

    The workshop provides an introduction to the new Archeion system and a chance to try it out in a hands-on session (note that you'll need to bring your own laptop for this part: the venue has a wifi network).

    The workshop is free: to book a place please email Amanda Hill at archeion@aao-archivists.ca.

    With thanks to Paul Henry and the City of Ottawa Archives for providing the venue.

  • 23 Mar 2012 4:27 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    Archeion_workshopArchivists around the province have been attending the 'Archeion for Archivists' workshops this month. More than 60 people have been introduced to the process of uploading information to the new Archeion system through these events, which were made possible by funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

    One of the immediate results of the workshops has been a small explosion of content in the Archeion site: the new system is much easier to update than the old one and archivists have enthusiastically seized the oppurtunity of updating their old descriptions and adding new ones.

    The new Archeion also allows for the upload of digital objects and there are already a fair number of images associated with archival descriptions on the site, including city coats of arms, portraits of individuals, and street scenes, such as this postcard of the Canadian Pacific Railway station in Woodbridge, Ontario, from the Vaughan Township Historical Society fonds of the City of Vaughan Archives.

    CPR Station, Woodbridge, Ontario

     

    If you attended one of the Archeion workshops, we'd be grateful if you could fill in a short (only 6 questions!) feedback form to help us plan for future Archeion training events.

  • 05 Feb 2012 4:29 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    Slides from the Introduction to Arrangement and Description workshop are available from SlideShare.

  • 05 Feb 2012 4:28 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    An enthusiastic group of people gave up their weekend to attend the AAO's Introduction to Arrangement and Description course. After a morning hearing about the theory behind arranging and describing archival materials, the delegates headed to the University of Guelph Archival and Special Collections' Reading Room for some hands on experience of dealing with three recent accessions, kindly made available to us by Jan Brett and Paul Stack, members of the University of Guelph's archival staff.

    Here are the delegates in action:

    Sorting accessions

    On the second day, the group devised authority records for the creators of these accessions and also developed RAD-compliant descriptions at the fonds and series levels for their chosen set of materials. They then had a chance to try out the new Archeion system by entering their newly-minted descriptions into the database. 

    The slides from this event are available from SlideShare. The Archeion manual used in the description part of the workshop is available on this site.

  • 30 Jan 2012 4:30 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    Help build our community resource!barn-raising

    During March we held a number of workshops which explained how to contribute information to the new Archeion system.

    The workshops were held at the following times and places:

    Wednesday, March 7, 9am-1pm: Victoria University Library, Toronto (Fully booked)

    Thursday, March 8, 9.30am-12pm: St. Michael's College School, Toronto (AISA members only)

    Thursday, March 15, 1pm-5pm: McMaster University, Hamilton

    Friday, March 16, 1pm-5pm: City Hall, Kitchener

    Saturday, March 17, 1pm-5pm: Elgin County Archives, St. Thomas (SWOC event )

    Monday, March 19, 1pm-4.30pm: Victoriaville Civic Centre, Thunder Bay (NOAA event)

    Saturday, March 24, 12pm-4pm: Queen's University, Kingston

    quilting-beeSlides presented at this workshops are available online

    Grateful thanks to all the archivists who have provided training facilities for these workshops.

    Barn-raising image courtesy of City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1568, f1568_it0177 (Farm of Joseph Bales, Lansing, North York Township, 1900-1919)

    Quilting-bee image courtesy of Elgin County Archives, St. Thomas Times-Journal fonds, C8 Sh2 B1 F32 2 (McBride's Christian Fellowship Church Quilting Bee, 1971)

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Phone: 647-343-3334 | Email: aao@aao-archivists.ca

     

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