Aeon at Harvard

Aeon is a request and workflow management system specifically designed for special collections, archives, and other mediated-access library materials.  Aeon is designed to integrate with other library and archives systems to support more efficient service to patrons and special collections workflow management.

Aeon replaces paper registration forms, callslips, visit logs, and other paperwork associated with providing researcher access to staff-mediated collections – such as rare books, archives, maps, and manuscripts. Through a website, researchers can register and place requests to use materials ahead of a visit, eliminating the need to fill out paper forms upon arrival at the library and allowing staff to better prepare for researcher visits. In addition, researchers can register and make requests for scans and other types of photoduplication through the website.

The system also allows staff to track materials in use by patrons and staff.  Materials requested by patrons can be placed on hold, checked out for use in a reading room, or placed in a photoduplication workflow.  Materials used by staff can be tracked during use for classes, exhibits, and other activiites. The system can also track materials as they receive conservation or preservation treatment and as they go through digitization workflows.

Aeon was first implemented in some Harvard libraries for patron registration and reading room requesting in 2010 and 2011.  Since that time, Imaging Services has also begun using the system to manage photoduplication orders.  In the next two years, the use of Aeon at Harvard will be expanded as additional libraries begin using the system to manage access to special collections and other mediated-access materials.