2019 Aeon Symposium (Boston)

by Valerie Addonizio

Hello, world! My name is Valerie Addonizio, and I joined the Atlas team in June 2019 as their Special Collections & Archives Technical Consultant. I was happy to spend my first days on the job attending the logistically impressive Aeon Symposium in Boston (and Cambridge). As an Aeon user myself it was interesting to see what institutions are up to, and as a new Atlas employee, it was great to see this community of users informing each other (and us!) about how they use Aeon in their repositories.

The symposium started with a reception at Harvard’s Smith Center, where we got to watch a storm front from our beautiful view over Cambridge. I spent this time getting to know some users with common interests (birding anyone?) and taking it all in.

The next day the symposium began at Harvard’s Lamont Library, where we settled in a for a day of presentations. We started with a great history of archival description (a favorite topic of mine) by keynote speaker Bill Landis. This was followed by presentations from the staff at The Huntington, NYU, UC-San Diego, Harvard, the Bentley, Indiana University, and the Archives of American Art. You can check out recordings of these sessions here: https://training.atlas-sys.com/Course/Details/4333

Aeon Symposium dinner - photo by Cassandra Norman

Aeon Symposium dinner - photo by Cassandra Norman

The next day was a logistics ballet! Attendees got to choose from presentations given at Boston College, Tufts University, or the Massachusetts Historical Society. I followed my Atlas colleagues to the Historical Society and enjoyed a presentation about AtlasBI given by Stephanie Spires, Katie Gillespie, and Genie Powell. I have never used AtlasBI, so I was very impressed by the reporting functionality. Thanks very much to the staff at the MA Historical Society for the lovely tour afterward.

All attendees reconvened at the Boston Athenaeum for the final sessions of the symposium. Since ArchivesSpace is my focus at Atlas, I was looking forward to the ArchivesSpace/Aeon sessions that afternoon, which did not disappoint. Integration with ArchivesSpace is vital for a lot of repositories using Aeon, and listening to presentations by the University of Maryland, Yale, and Harvard showed different ways and different pain-points for those integrations. I took a lot of notes and will continue thinking about these sessions, especially the creation of additional ArchivesSpace add-ons for Aeon.

The day ended with a presentation by Katie Gillespie on what’s next for Atlas and Aeon, and with that, the very successful 2019 Aeon Symposium came to an end. I hope you’ll join us in Georgia for 2020!