"How do I know if I’m ready?"

We get this question all the time.

Many institutions mistakenly believe they have to “have it all together” in the digital department before they can contribute to the OAC and Calisphere. But in fact, we work with libraries, archives, and museums at all stages and with a variety of goals and technical setups. Some have a small amount of collections they’re still getting to know; others have lots of collections and full-blown digital programs.

Jumping in

Below are some scenarios we typically see, and what we’d recommend are the first steps for jumping in. Does one of these scenarios apply to you?

I’m at a small shop with no tools or training for describing our collections.

No problem. We have a quick-and-easy tool called RecordEXPRESS that will help you get the word out. If you can fill out a form, you can create a collection guide on the OAC. Learn more about RecordEXPRESS...

I’ve got finding aids galore, but they’re not in EAD.

RecordEXPRESS to the rescue again. Add a little front matter, upload a PDF, and you’re all set. Learn more about RecordEXPRESS...

I have a system that can export finding aids in EAD or MARC21.

We’ve seen every system you can imagine, from ArchivesSpace to manual XML markup and everything in between. We can provide guides and consultation to help you format and export your EAD and MARC21 records so they look great on the OAC. Learn more about submitting EAD and MARC21 records...

Some of my collections are digitized; I want more visibility for those.

Great! There are two options for surfacing your digital content through the OAC and Calisphere. One approach is to simply insert links to your items in your OAC collection guides. Learn more… Or we could harvest your content to Calisphere. This takes a bit more work up front, but has a huge payoff: access to your collections through Calisphere and the Digital Public Library of America. Learn more about sharing your collections with Calisphere and DPLA...

We're here to help

We are standing by every first Wednesday at 1:00pm to chat with anyone who wants to get to know us. We’ll provide overviews of Calisphere and OAC, share resources available to contributors, and info on how to get started. This overview session welcomes prospective contributing organizations interested in participating in OAC and Calisphere. New staff, interns, volunteers, and student assistants from current partner organizations are also welcome to attend. Learn more about our upcoming overview sessions.

Feel free to also contact us directly if you have any questions.