Category:Setup and Configuration/en

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Documentation relating to set up and configuration of CollectiveAccess

CollectiveAccess is a web-based suite of applications providing a framework for cataloging and discovery. The two main components of CollectiveAccess are Providence, a "back-end" cataloging interface, and Pawtucket, a "front-end" publication and discovery platform. An additional module called Tiverton can be used for geospatially-oriented projects that incorporate mapping into their front-end presentation.


Providence is highly configurable and can be used to catalog almost anything. There are no hardcoded fields and all fields system-wide are customizable programmatically or through the user interface. Adding new fields, deleting fields and even reorganizing fields can be done easily at any stage of a project.

These configurable fields can carry a variety of settings and support many different data types such as text, date ranges, numbers and predefined lists, to name a few. This means that the software recognizes and normalizes data values, facilitating data conversion and enhancing search and browse functions.

Providence is non-object-centric meaning that object and authority items (such as people, geographic places, events) can be given equal importance allowing for flexibility and adaptability. Any authority can be the central focus of a project—entities, exhibitions, collections, etc.

The CA schema library includes many pre-configured standards such as PBCore, DublinCore, VRA, DarwinCore, CDWA Lite, SPECTRUM, MARC and others. The library also includes a selection of use-specific custom schemas, such as a location-based photo archive, documentary archive, exhibition archive.

If you are installing a system for the first time, and are familiar with XML markup, you may consider developing a metadata profile based off one of the standards listed above. Detailed instructions for configuring an installation profiled and be found here. Before you get started you'll need to set up a server with Apache (1.3, 2.0 or 2.2), MySQL (5.0, 5.1 or 5.5) and PHP (5.3.6+). A full list of required and suggested support software and modules can be found here.


Pawtucket draws from the Providence database to display data in a read-only website. The visual design of Pawtucket can be manipulated by creating a new theme. The default theme is aesthetically simple but can be easily modified through CSS and the navigation files.

The default site architecture includes the following pages: Home, About, Browse, Advanced Search, and Gallery (where users can explore curated sets of records). lt also includes detail pages for each record table/type where metadata and media (if relevant) is presented, plus a quick search, quick browse box and variable layout result views. Plugins and features allow for more expanded site functionality.

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