Resources for Institutional Members

University of Northern BC RAD Physical Description Builder

MemorySask - SAIN merger

MemorySask - SAIN Public launch!!!

It is with great pleasure that SCAA and the U of S announce the launch of the new MemorySask - SAIN database. It may look similar, but now searches of the full shared content of SCAA member institutions can be made in one place, including the ability to search within different photograph collections making MemorySask - SAIN a powerful tool for research.

As part of the SCAA's mission to promote the use of Archives, we have maintained the Saskatchewan Archival Information Network (SAIN) with the help of the University of Saskatchewan. SAIN initially was established in 2000 and has gone through many transformations since. It is a network of information about archival holdings in Saskatchewan and currently consists of two databases, one containing descriptions of archival collections and the other descriptions and digital scans of photographs in our members' collections.

One of the most significant transformations was the deployment of the software platform "Access to Memory" or AtoM.  This piece of software is open-source, developed by Artefactual Systems in British Columbia, and has been implemented by most provinces and territories including Archives Canada at the national level. AtoM allows our members to directly enter their descriptions into the database, with minimal help of SCAA staff.  The ability to handle all the differing levels in archival description with the AtoM software has made it possible to merge SCAA's two SAIN databases into one.

In late 2019, U of S, with funding and staff support from SCAA, contracted Artefactual Systems to merge the two databases. This was a major undertaking involving both custom programming and manual review of descriptions. The work on the SAIN merger project was completed in March. Since then, several contributing institutions have been adding and updating entries through a temporary hosting arrangement. This arrangement was facilitated by U of S, which hosts the public database, to minimize further downtime as their IT staff were focused on support required due to the pandemic.

Now with the U of S able to take-on the hosting duties from Artefactual the public launch is on the horizon. Research and searches of the full content of both databases at once will be possible, including the ability to search within different photograph collections making MemorySask - SAIN a powerful tool for research.

AtoM is being used provincially and nationally;

British Columbia,; Alberta,; Manitoba,; Ontario,; New Brunswick,; Nova Scotia,; Prince Edward Island,; Newfoundland,