Searching the New Archives Catalogue

Searching the New Archives Catalogue

With the launch of our new website, you will notice a new archives catalogue, a searchable database called Access to Memory (AtoM). AtoM is a web-based, open source application for standards-based archival description and access that makes it easy for archival institutions worldwide to put their archival holdings online. AtoM, developed and implemented by local developer Artefactual, is used by most provincial and national archives, NATO, UNESCO, the World Bank and many other leading institutions. The Jewish Museum & Archives of BC now joins this professional archives community that shares the same value of access to memory.

An improvement on the old JMABC website, AtoM is the ideal platform for sharing digitized multimedia materials in our archives. Now, for the first time ever, we will be able to upload not only a full finding aid for the Oral History Collection, but also the interviews themselves, ready to be heard in their entirety by researchers worldwide. We will also be able to upload images, text, and video.

The old JMABC website lacked the necessary functionality for sharing hierarchical finding aids of the collections within our archives, nor did it allow for uploading the digital objects within those collections. It was also not a web-based application, which meant that we had to catalogue everything twice: once in our in-house database, and again to produce an access copy online. With our new AtoM site, we simply have to catalogue an item once, click publish and it will be accessible online.

It is a time-consuming and expensive process to migrate material from our old catalogue to AtoM, so unfortunately some images that had been available on our old website are not yet uploaded to our AtoM site. However, there is a significant amount of material available on our AtoM site that was not on our old website, now available online for the first time ever. In time, our full collection will be available online.

On our old website, we had 8783 images, 48 text, 8 videos, and 0 audio. Currently, our AtoM site hosts 8102 images, 1291 text, 53 videos, and 43 audio. We are adding new content daily, so I encourage you to visit the site often! We’ll be featuring selections of newly uploaded material here in our blog, and via our email newsletter. Subscribe to get the latest on our collection’s ongoing growth!

Please see the archives page for instructions on using the new AtoM site. If you have any questions or have any caption information for unidentified photographs, please contact


Jennifer Yuhasz