The Archive has used computers for information control and retrieval from its inception in 1987, and has adopted other digital equipment and digital functions as technology became available.
Field and studio recording, cataloguing, indexing, audio and video storage, music engraving, book design and layout, audio editing, web publishing, administration and accounts, etc., are all carried out digitally.
Visitors to the ITMA library can access the Archive's databases on its computer network via a web-based interface. They can now search and browse the catalogues, and in addition listen to CDs and watch DVDs, on computer workstations. The ITMA catalogues are also being made available on the Internet as part of an ongoing development project (see Catalogues and Databases).
The Archive uses the programme DB/ Textworks for its primary databases. Staff use this program to catalogue new entries and edit existing entries. The software is a networked version of Inmagic, the original DOS based software that was in use in the archive from 1987. All data has been transported to the new system and is available for consultation. DB/Textworks has an inbuilt web-based interface called WebPublisher Pro which has been configured to give users in the library the ability to browse the catalogue. This is a windows-based interface which is user-friendly and which also gives the user the advantage of searching through multiple databases at the same time. This platform is also being used to make the Archive catalogues available on the Internet. The Archive website runs on the Expression Engine Content Management System.
Digitisation is the ITMA’s main preservation strategy, one which also facilitates easier public access to materials. An ongoing programme of digitisation of sound recordings and printed and visual materials is being carried out to international standards by staff in Dublin, Mayo and Donegal.