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NARA Outgrows ARC: Researching New Catalog Software Options

ARC Logo [1]The Archival Research Catalog [1] (ARC) of the US National Archives and Records Administration [2] (NARA) needs to be replaced [3]. NARA has put out an official Request for Information (RFI) [4] and plans a “Vendor Day” for April 6th with final responses required by April 24th, 2009.

This is exciting for two very different reasons:

  1. New catalog software!
  2. Getting to read all the gory details about ARC!

If this makes you curious, then go give the RFI [4] a read, but here are some juicy ARC tidbits to consider:

The RFI states: “NARA has outgrown the existing ARC system and requires a more robust solution that’s capable of scaling to support at least 250 million archival descriptions and links to upwards of 500 million digital copies over the next 4-7 years.” Why so many records? Because all of NARA’s partners are digitizing records so quickly that they are creating a massive backlog of documents and the future only holds more of the same.

This RFI is only for planning purposes, but I will definitely be following this story as it unfolds.

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#1 Comment By Ben Brumfield On March 19, 2009 @ 8:43 am

I’m with you on the data model — it’s pretty cool!