Access to Memory (AtoM) is an archival management system, originally designed and maintained by archivists, and intended for use by archivists to create standards-based descriptions of their holdings and provide access to them online. It was originally sponsored in part by the International Council on Archives (ICA
) as a way for small to medium institutions to create archival resources that follow the ICA's international archival standards and make them available on the public web. Because of these origins, its focus, structure, and much of the language used throughout the application come directly from the archival profession.
By definition, archival records tend to be those no longer in active use that have been deemed worthy of long-term preservation. AtoM is not typically used to support the ongoing activities of an organization in its day to day work.
I'm not a SharePoint user myself, but from my understanding, SharePoint is a cloud-based Enterprise content and document management system that makes creating shared sites and sharing documents and resources internally in an organization much easier.
While AtoM does have some basic abilities to create static pages
(empty pages you can customize with Markdown or HTML to add text, images, etc), this functionality is limited, and is intended mainly to add related resources (such as help pages, links to the related institutional homepage of an organization, information about the holdings and related policies and procedures, or basic exhibition materials, etc) in support of the ongoing efforts to arrange and describe archival resources. Depending on your needs, a content management system (CMS) or a Digital Asset Management System (DAMS) may be more suited to your goals.
Despite this, AtoM is a flexible system, and many users have applied its functionality creatively, often stretching its use beyond the original vision. I will include some general links and resources below so you can learn more about AtoM and determine if it's a good fit for what you intend.
General project resources
You can find all of the AtoM project documentation here:
We also have a detailed introductory information sheet on AtoM on the Artefactual website, here:
If you would like to explore some publicly accessible AtoM sites that are being used in production by other institutions, you might find our example Users list on the AtoM wiki useful:
Many of these sites have added their own custom themes - some developed by Artefactual, some created in-house - so this is also a great way to get a sense of how you can customize AtoM’s look and feel to match your institution’s branding. You might also find the following slide deck of interest - it's a bit dated, but it outlines some community AtoM sites who are using AtoM in interesting ways. See:
You'll find a number of other slide decks from past AtoM Camps, conference presentations, or webinars, on our SlideShare account
The easiest way to get a sense of what you can do with AtoM is to play around with it yourself - why not take a look at our public demo site? See:
The login credentials are listed right on the homepage. The site is loaded with sample data, and you are free to make whatever modifications you like - the site’s contents will automatically reset on an hourly basis. Please note that for security purposes, all uploads and imports have been disabled.
Hope this helps!