Using ICA-AtoM v1.3.0 to create EAD/XML finding aids

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It is not the intention of this page to provide a full manual on all possibilities of ICA-AtoM. For that: please take a look at the official user manual of the software over here: https://www.ica-atom.org/doc/User_manual. The purpose of this page is to show how ICA-AtoM can be used to create finding aids in EAD/XML which subsequently can be uploaded to the Archives Portal Europe. Therefore this page will focus on how to start the software and - after a brief overview of the interface - on how to configure an archival institution/repository and how to create finding aids in EAD/XML for it.


Starting ICA-AtoM

Once you have installed Wamp server v2.2 and ICA-AtoM v1.3.0, you can start ICA-AtoM by first activating Wamp server on your computer via double clicking on the Wamp server desktop icon:

Wamp server desktop icon


Then you can use two ways to start ICA-AtoM:

  • 1) go to the Wamp server interface by clicking on the green "W"-icon on the right of the taskbar, then choose "Localhost" and click in the screen that opens on the link "icaatom-1.3.0" in the section "Your Projects", or
  • 2) open your webbrowser and type "localhost/icaatom-1.3.0" directly in the url bar

Both ways will lead you to the start screen of ICA AtoM (figure 1):

Using ICA-AtoM, figure 1


This is actually the front-end of ICA-AtoM via which information on archival material is published for end-users. If you want to enter information in ICA-AtoM to be published, you have to login and you can do that using the email address and password you provided for the administrator account when configuring ICA-AtoM (figure 2):

Using ICA-AtoM, figure 2



The ICA-AtoM user interface

Once logged in you have access to more menu options, such as: Add, with as suboptions the possibility to add Accession records, Archival descriptions, Authority records, Archival institutions, Terms and Functions (figure 3):

Using ICA-AtoM, figure 3


The menu option: Manage, has as suboptions the possibility to manage Accessions, Donors, Physical storage, Rights holders and Taxonomies (figure 4):

Using ICA-AtoM, figure 4


The menu option: Import, has as suboptions the possibility to import data as XML and CSV (figure 5):

Using ICA-AtoM, figure 5


The menu option: Admin, has as suboptions a variety of options to configure the software any further: Users, Groups, Static pages, Menus, Plugins, Themes, Settings, Description updates, Global search/replace and Visible elements (figure 5):

Using ICA-AtoM, figure 6


Furthermore it is important to know that the Language of the interface can be changed into the languages: French, Spanish, Dutch and Portugese (figure 7):

Using ICA-AtoM, figure 7


Finally the menu option Quick links gives access to some basic information about the software, the user's profile and the log out option (figure 8):

Using ICA-AtoM, figure 8


And the last two options of the Quick links menu option are doubled for the Admin menu option (figure 9):

Using ICA-AtoM, figure 9



Creating an Archival institution

Before we can create a finding aid, we have to define the archival institution to which is belongs, because ICA-AtoM is actually designed to act as a portal to publish information on archival material from several archival institutions. However for this tutorial, to show how you can use ICA-AtoM to create finding aids in EAD/XML which you can subsequently upload in the Archives Portal Europe, we only create one archival institution and when doing that we also just stick to the basics, so only enter the information in the mandatory fields.


  • Once logged in, you can create an archival institution via the main menu option: Add and the submenu option: Archival institutions. The screen will show all options for entering information collapsed. Following the ISDIAH standard, these options are: Identity area, Contact area, Description area, Access area, Services area and Control area (figure 10):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 10


  • Clicking on the name of an area, it will expand and show all fields that can contain information. When you 'mouse-over' a field, an info box with an explanation of the information needed in that field is shown. Within the Identity area, the field Identifier is mandatory (figure 11):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 11


  • and also the field Authorized form of name (figure 12):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 12


  • Within the Contact area it is mandatory to at least enter the information of one contact person. Click on the Add new link to enter the information of a contact person (figure 13):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 13


  • a pop-up screen will be opened (figure 14):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 14


  • in which you can enter the information of the contact person (figure 15):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 15


  • Clicking on the Submit-button will save the information, close the pop-up window and return you to the Contact area where you will see that the contact person has been added. The Description area, Access area, Services area and Control area don't have mandatory fields, so you can now create the archival institution and save the information you have just entered by clicking on the Create-button (figure 16):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 16


  • You now get an overview of the information of the archival institution you have just created. This information will be available whenever you click on Archival institutions in the Browse-navigation. If necessary you can add or change information by using the Pencil icon-buttons (figure 17):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 17


Creating a Record creator

Before we can create a finding aid, we also have to define one or more creators for the archival fonds it describes. In ICA-AtoM the information on creators of archival material are called Authority records.

Once logged in you can create a record for a creator of archival material via the main menu option: Add and the submenu option: Authority records. The screen will show all options for entering information collapsed. Following the ISAAR standard, these options are: Identity area, Description area, Relationships area and Control area (figure 18):

Using ICA-AtoM, figure 18


  • Clicking on the name of an area, it will expand and show all fields that can contain information. Again, when you 'mouse-over' a field, an info box with an explanation of the information needed is shown. Within the Identity area, the field Type of entity is mandatory which provides a dropdown box with the values Corporate body, Family and Person to choose from (figure 19):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 19


  • and also the field Authorized form of name is mandatory (figure 20):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 20


  • Within the Description area the field Dates of existence is mandatory (figure 21):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 21


  • Within the Control area the field Description identifier is mandatory (figure 22):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 22


  • The Relationships area and Control area don't have mandatory fields, so you can now create the authority records and save the information you have just entered by clicking on the Create-button (figure 23):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 23


  • You now get an overview of the information of the authority record, i.e. the record creator, you have just entered. This information will be available whenever you click on Authority records in the Browse-navigation. If necessary you can add or change information by using the Pencil icon-buttons (figure 24):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 24


Creating a Finding Aid

Now you can start creating a finding aid and you can do that via the main menu option: Add and the submenu option: Archival descriptions. The screen will show all options for entering information collapsed. Following the ISAD standard, these options are: Identity area, Context area, Content and structure area, Conditions of access and use area, Allied materials area, Notes area, Access points, Description control area, Rights area and Administration area (figure 25):

Using ICA-AtoM, figure 25


  • Within the Identity area there are several mandatory fields: the Identifier of the archival fonds (figure 26):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 26


  • the Title or name of the archival fonds, which will also be the title of the finding aid (figure 27):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 27


  • the Date(s) information (figure 28):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 28


  • the Level of description which can be derived from a dropdown list (figure 29):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 29


  • within the Level of description it is possible to Add new child levels (figure 30):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 30


  • via which a flat list or a hierarchical tree can be build (figure 31):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 31


  • and finally the Extent and medium information, which can be entered as free text, is also mandatory (figure 32):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 32


  • Within the Context area you can choose the record creator(s) and of course you can pick here the one you entered before (figure 33):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 33


  • Within the Context area you can also choose the repository the archival fonds you describe belongs too en of course you can pick here the archival institution you created before (figure 34):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 34


  • The Content and structure area, Conditions of access and use area, Allied materials area, Notes area, Access points, Description control area, Rights area and Administration area don't have mandatory fields, so yu can now create the finding aid and save the information you have just entered by clicking on the Create-button (figure 35):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 35


  • You now get an overview of the information of the finding aid you have just created. This information will be available whenever you click on Archival descriptions in the Browse-navigation. If necessary you can add or change information by using the Pencil icon-buttons (figure 36):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 36


  • If you click on the arrow in front of the finding aid's identifier and title in the Fonds-navigation, the tree with descriptive units will expand and their information will be displayed in the right part of the screen accordingly. Over there you can add or change information if necessary using the Pencil icon-buttons (figure 37):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 37


  • In the same overview screen of the whole archival fonds description you can create an EAD/XML version of the finding aid by clicking on the EAD 2002 XML link in the Export-navigation (figure 38):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 38


  • The EAD/XML file will be opened in your browser (figure 39):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 39


  • and if you scroll down (figure 40):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 40


  • you can see the whole EAD/XML code (figure 41):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 41


  • By using the Save Page functionality of your browser, you can download the EAD/XML code to your harddrive (figure 42):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 42


  • This EAD/XML file can be uploaded to the Archives Portal Europe (figure 43):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 43


  • and can already be looked at via the Preview function of the Archives Portal Europe's Dashboard (figure 44):
Using ICA-AtoM, figure 44