Tell Us What You Think!

Dear TARO colleagues,

For the past few months, the TARO Website & Technology Subcommittee has been busy testing the new TARO website and regularly giving our feedback to the awesome Valkyrie Squad.

The time has come to collect the input of the TARO community: our staff and our patrons. What does the new TARO website do well? What is working for you? What is not working as well? Is there anything that you are less excited about?  We are inviting the TARO community to visit the website, interact with it, and fill out a short survey questionnaire.

But wait… there’s more! If you have an extra minute or two, we have prepared a slightly more detailed questionnaire that asks you to perform a few basic tasks and record your experience: click here.

The choice is yours, whether you have time to fill out either questionnaire or both. Please feel free to include the invitation to the survey in your institution’s newsletter, website, email blast, and the like:

Feedback from a variety of user types is highly appreciated: students of any level (undergraduate, graduate, K-12), teachers, faculty, researchers of any kind, archivists and librarians, the more, the merrier!

We are looking forward to learning what everyone thinks about the new TARO website.

Ada Negraru

Chair, Website & Technology Subcommittee

TARO 2.0 beta site testing concluded!

TARO colleagues:
Thank you to everyone who participated and provided feedback during the testing phase (May 18 to August 16) for the new TARO website. This post includes important date information that was previously sent to the taro-list and information about next steps.

Here is a recap of important dates
Key dates and expected activity timelines for stakeholders and the development team are listed below. These dates are subject to change.

  • May 18th, 2021: BETA launch part 1: new TARO administrative website.
  • July 19th, 2021: BETA launch part 2: new TARO public website.
  • August 2nd, 2021: Deadline for Stakeholder feedback on BETA administrative site.
  • August 16th, 2021: Deadline for Stakeholder feedback on BETA public site.
  • September 1st, 2021: Legacy site activity and uploads frozen.
  • September 15th, 2021: Final migration of data from legacy to the new site.
  • September 29th, 2021: Hard launch of the new TARO site, release 1.0. Legacy site redirects to new public site.
  • December 31st, 2021: End of development. Return to <5% developer maintenance time.

Here is a list of feedback reminders that were sent to the taro-list.

  • BETA Admin site: 3 reminders were sent to the list (June 09, June 30, July 26)
  • BETA Public site: 3 reminders were sent to the list (July 27, August 3, August 9)
  • Browse terms testing reminders included as part of BETA Public site reminders

Next steps for TARO members

  • Continue editing your finding aids, as needed, based on the last available migration report you have. You can use the Admin site until you hear otherwise and after that you can use the Qual site to double check that your finding aids meet the TARO 2.0 site requirements. Qual site instructions are here.
  • You can continue to update and add new finding aids to the Legacy site through the end of August. Beginning in September the file upload will be frozen/not allowed (similar to the end of year processing freeze before the winter break holidays).

Between now and the official launch at the end of September the development team will be busy wrapping work. The launch of the new website is a big endeavor and has involved the work of many people – including all you who are editing your finding aids.

This is a big milestone for TARO – we are starting to use our new URL (, the new logo, and, of course, the redesigned website. Thank you all for your hard work!

Stay tuned to the taro-list for future updates.


The TARO 2.0 implementation project has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.

Control Access Terms/Browse List release!

We are excited to release the TARO Control Access List created by Devon Murphy, former TARO Metadata Analyst. This list will be used by repositories to update and create search terms for their finding aids within TARO. The Control Access Master List is in two parts:

A Browse List: Used for the “Browse” section of the website. This is a short list of broad search terms for geographic places and subject topics. To have your finding aids appear in the “Browse” section of the website, we strongly encourage you to use these terms. Terms that closely match are expected to also appear in Browse search results. We will be actively testing this list from July 13th-August 16th, when the search features of TARO 2.0 will be available. We encourage you all to add these terms to your finding aids or to create dummy finding aids to aid us in testing! Feedback should be submitted to Carla Alvarez (

An Advanced Search List: Used for Advanced/keyword search options. This is a large list of all control access terms entered into TARO as of August 2020; items have been standardized in terms of punctuation, spelling, and syntax. Finding aids do not need to use anything on this list to appear in Advanced/keyword search, but it is encouraged to update one’s terms to provide users with more consistent search results. This list is complete.


  • Documentation explaining how to use the list, as well as a description of testing needs was shared via email.
  • You can also find the documentation in the TARO wiki here.


  • Stay tuned to the taro-list for an announcement to attend a browsing and subject headings training opportunity later in the summer. The date is TBD, but will be after repositories have had a chance to see how browse works during the Public site soft launch (after July 13).

This is an important part of the subject standardization work conducted during the NEH implementation grant.


The TARO 2.0 implementation project has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.