Open Archives


Open Archives

With these settings, you can:

  • Add a new search index for digital archives, local history collections, and more


Aspen Discovery can connect with any online archive that complies with OAI-PMH metadata standards, such as ContentDM or Omeka.


Enable Open Archives

In Aspen Administration > System Administration > Modules > Open Archives > Enabled? checked and Save

Make sure to assign the correct permissions in Aspen Administration > System Administration > Permissions > Administer Open Archives - Allows the user to administer integration with Open Archives repositories for all libraries.

You will now see an Open Archives menu.

Add and Define Collections

Go to Aspen Administration > Open Archives > Collections > Add New.

  1. Name your collection.
  2. Add the Base URL of the Open Archives site. 
    For Omeka archives, the URL should usually have /oai-pmh-repository/request at the end. Other archives (such as ContentDM) often end with /oai/oai.php. There is sometimes a checkbox of plugin that must be enabled on your end to have the OAI URL generate correctly. If you're unsure of the correct URL, contact the archive provider or submit a support ticket.
  3. Optional: to only show certain sets, add the set name(s). If there are multiple sets, separate each set name with commas and no spaces. To see a list of your archive's available sets, try adding ?verb=ListSets to the end of your OAI URL.
  4. Available Subjects: This section will automatically populate after saving the setting and Aspen has had a chance to fetch data from the archive.
  5. Optional: to only show certain subjects, add Subject Filters. If there are multiple subjects, enter each subject on its own line.
  6. Optional: to extract thumbnail images, you can add an Image Regular Expression (regex). The regex needed may vary depending on the metadata available from your archive.
    Example:  <meta\s+property="og:image"\s+content="(.*?)"\s?/>
  7. Set the Frequency to Fetch. The default fetch frequency is "Daily," but if your archive has infrequent updates, you may set it to a different frequency.
  8. Select the applicable Libraries and Locations for this archive.


After saving, go into your Primary Configuration > Library Systems > scroll to the bottom to Open Archives Results and check Allow Searching Open Archives.

You'll now see a new search index available. Switch the search index from in Library Catalog to in History & Archives to search through the collection once the records have been indexed.



Updated 2023-05-22 md bws
Indexing Log

To see the status of your loaded collections, go to Aspen Administration > Open Archives > Indexing Log

Open Archives Dashboard

In Aspen Administration > Open Archives > Dashboard you have access to some reporting statistics. These statistics reflect usage through Aspen and not the user accessing the collections through the archive domains themselves. 

This dashboard will show statistics for both all collections and individual collections you have added.

Unique Records View - How many unique views the record has had per individual (i.e. 2 seperate users viewed the record for a total of 2)

Unique Records Used - How many times the individual record has been clicked on; these are unique so one per individual per record despite how many times they clicked on it (i.e. 2 seperate users clicked on the record for a total of 2)

Total Views - This could include views from Explore More or Combined Results; where in Aspen the information is shown to the user within Aspen (i.e. while navigating the catalog, I saw this record 4 times for a total views of 4)

Total Clicks - How many times the resource was clicked on in total; this could include one user clicking on the record multiple times (i.e. 2 users clicked on the record 3 times, for a total clicks of 6)

Searching Open Archives


Once enabled, a in History & Archives option will appear in your Aspen search bar.


Performing a search in History & Archives (this example is a keyword search for Colorado) will show you a number of related search facets to your Open Archive collections. An Explore More box will appear to show users other related options in Aspen.

Explore More

Once enabled, Open Archives results will begin to appear in related catalog searches in the Explore More box.

Combined Results

If you are using Combined Results, you can add Open Archives to the results in Aspen Administration > Primary Configuration > Library Systems > Combined Results.

Add the Open Archives source from the dropdown to include these results in Combined Results.


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