Spokes: Memorandum of Understanding

We provide a Memorandum of Understanding for institutions to clarify the roles and responsibilities invovled in running a Spoke:

Memorandum of Understanding between Mimas and [name of institution]

This memorandum is entered into as of [date] by and between Mimas at the University of Manchester and [name of institution].


Mimas, a National Data Centre at the University of Manchester, provides access to descriptions of archive collections for education and research through the Archives Hub. The descriptions are made freely available to view via the Archives Hub website and machine-to-machine interfaces.

Cheshire for Archives software

[name of institution] is using the free software provided by the Archives Hub (‘Cheshire for Archives’) to create and maintain its own ‘Spoke’. This software was developed by the University of Liverpool specifically for EAD descriptions. [name of institution] will store Encoded Archival Description (EAD) files locally. It will make its archival descriptions available to the Archives Hub by means of a remote connection to the central Archives Hub service. This memorandum sets out the common understanding between Mimas and [name of institution] regarding the way in which this remote provision will operate.


1. Security of remote server
[name of institution] will ensure that the server used to deliver archival descriptions is kept secure and updated with the latest security patches.

2. Hardware
[name of institution] will ensure that suitable hardware is used to host their Spoke. Mimas recommends that hardware is upgraded periodically (estimate every 4-5 years).

3. Operating System
Mimas recommends using Fedora, a Linux-based operating system, or the Unix-based Solaris operating system. Whilst [name of institution] may choose to adopt other Linux-based operating systems, it is important to be aware that different systems may require different configurations, and whilst the Archives Hub team will endeavour to provide support for different set-ups within the resources that are available, we cannot guarantee that the software will work for all variations of operating systems.

4. Software
a) Support
Mimas will provide technical support for the Spokes software (this may be more limited if the Spoke is using a non-recommended operating system). This support will be provided as long as the data on the Spoke forms part of the Archives Hub service.
b) Upgrades
[name of institution] will upgrade the operating system and the Spokes software as required by Mimas. This will ensure continued interoperability between the Spoke and the central Archives Hub and provide improved functionality. If upgrades are not performed, it may not be possible for the Spoke's data to form part of the Archives Hub service. Mimas will endeavour to minimise the number of upgrades required.

5. Data
a) Quality
[name of institution] will endeavour to ensure that descriptions made available through the Spokes software meet the minimum standards for Archives Hub data in terms of mandatory data elements. These are the six ISAD(G) mandatory elements together with Language, Access Conditions and Scope & Content.
Mimas will continue to offer training and support for data creation, and can provide validation and feedback on EAD descriptions should [name of institution] with to take advantage of this additional assurance check.
The Spokes software includes an EAD Editor, to facilitate the creation and editing of EAD descriptions.
b) Backups
[name of institution] will make regular local copies of their EAD files and keep them on a different machine from that used for the Spoke.
[name of institution] will periodically provide Mimas with a copy of their data, as an off-site backup.
c) File sizes
In order to avoid performance problems, individual data files on the Spoke should be a maximum of five megabytes (5Mb).

6. Availability
Mimas has a commitment to provide access to the Archives Hub for 99% of its scheduled uptime. [name of institution] will endeavour to match this figure.
Mimas will inform [name of institution] of any periods of scheduled downtime, and work with the Spoke's administrators in the case of any connection problems between the Archives Hub and the Spoke. The copy of the data held at Mimas may be used as an alternative source of data for the central Hub in case of temporary connection problems with the Spoke.
[name of institution] will inform Mimas of any anticipated downtime of their Spoke.

7. Branding
Spokes are requested to display the JISC logo on the homepage of their Spoke website. This is to acknowledge the support given by JISC, which enables the Archives Hub to provide the free software and support.

8. Nature of this agreement
This non-binding memorandum of understanding is not a legally enforceable agreement and does not give rise to any legal obligations, but rather describes the actions that Mimas and [name of institution] intend to take in relation to the provision of archival descriptions by [name of institution] to Mimas.


Memorandum as a PDF file

Memorandum as a Word file



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