ArchiveGrid is a collection of over two million archival material descriptions, including MARC records from WorldCat and finding aids harvested from the web. It's supported by OCLC Research as the basis for our experimentation and testing in text mining, data analysis, and discovery system applications and interfaces. Archival collections held by thousands of libraries, museums, historical societies, and archives are represented in ArchiveGrid.
ArchiveGrid provides access to detailed archival collection descriptions, making information available about historical documents, personal papers, family histories, and other archival materials. It also provides contact information for the institutions where the collections are kept.
ArchiveGrid data is primarily focused on archival material descriptions for institutions in the United States. This reflects the contribution patterns for descriptions of materials under archival control in WorldCat, which make up the majority of descriptions in ArchiveGrid. We may extend ArchiveGrid beyond its current scope if it is necessary to support OCLC Research experimental objectives.
ArchiveGrid illustrates OCLC's interest in advancing issues important to the archival community. Our work within ArchiveGrid gives OCLC Research a foundation for collaboration and interactions with others in the archival community. We expect to share the results of MARC and EAD tag analysis, provide discovery system analytics for contributors, document investigations of text mining and data visualization, participate in community working groups pursuing improvements to description and discovery, and more. To support those interests and objectives, we'll continue to build this extensive and current aggregation of archival material descriptions, within the constraints of OCLC Research's committed and on-going support for this project.
OCLC previously offered ArchiveGrid as a subscription-based discovery service. The subscription service was discontinued in 2012. While the new, freely-available OCLC Research ArchiveGrid interface is not a full production service, it shares some of the same attributes. Researchers can expect to use it for discovery of archival materials, and archives can work with OCLC Research to have their materials represented in the aggregation in a reliable and persistent way.