The core feature of the M2A application is the Archives Descriptive Database containing the holdings of the archives from fonds or collection level down to items. Auxiliary databases are also available for accessions, name/authorities, and donors, as well as (optionally) lists and shelf location information. Multiple linkages are provided between and within these databases for both data entry and display. For instance, ADD records at different levels are linked hierarchically to provide a comprehensive view of the entire fonds or collection, while these records are also linked laterally to their respective name authorities and accessions. An approvals process is provided that includes a senior descriptive standards officer profile allowing the officer to review and note required changes to new records in M2A before they become permanent records in the system. Other profiles exist to allow archivists to edit and delete only the records that they have created.
M2A permits clients to document their collections in two primary classifications; government records at a series level description or private records at a fonds/ collection level description. The M2A system supports the comprehensive documentation for any archival record.
M2A has been designed to allow the client to decide the most appropriate level of classification to be applied. For example, users can specify the series as the highest level of arrangement for government records whereas for private or non-government records, those of an association or family, the fonds or collection level is the highest level of arrangement. The key to this flexible approach is the MINISIS toolkit which enables users to adapt M2A to meet their specific needs. As well, a complete web interface add-on enables publication of data on the web.
No other application in the world offers M2A’s possibilities, flexibility, and ease of control enabling archivists to make their own choices as to how they will manage their physical and electronic data.
M2A is compliant with RAD (Rules for Archival Description), DACs (Documenting Archival Collections) and ISAD(G) Standards. It also has EAD compliancy along with MARC outputs for data transfer.