Archipelago Commons: Using the Archipelago and AMI Software to Provide Access to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Engineering Drawings, a Pilot Project




In this paper we examine practical applications of the Archipelago Commons software for science and technology libraries through the lens of a pilot project conducted within the Libraries at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2021. This pilot project uses Archipelago for data curation, demonstrates Archipelago’s value for sci-tech library applications, and highlights the technology experimentation that occurs during system migrations. The pilot involved deployment of a local installation of Archipelago and use of the Archipelago Multi-Importer (AMI) to create a digital collection of engineering drawings.

The pilot results demonstrate the value of Archipelago as a quick and lightweight “app” for any small sci-tech library that wants to showcase their digital collections or needs to quickly replace a legacy system. After this pilot we used the same approach detailed in this paper to migrate all 4,168 images from our old database to Archipelago.  We conclude that Archipelago has value to sci-tech libraries and can be scaled to GLAM institutions of any size, with data as simple or robust as necessary for an institution’s local needs.


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Author Biography

Brenden McCarthy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Librarian III

Library Information Services

Division of the Chief Information Officer


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How to Cite

McCarthy, B. (2022). Archipelago Commons: Using the Archipelago and AMI Software to Provide Access to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Engineering Drawings, a Pilot Project. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, (101).



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