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 (txarchives.org), 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 (c.alvarez@austin.utexas.edu).

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.

Introducing…The New TARO Logo!

By Robert Weaver

Greetings, TARO colleagues!

The TARO Steering Committee has some excellent news. TARO has a new logo!

For the last several months, Rebecca Romanchuk (TARO’s Immediate Past Chair) led a group of archivists from the TARO Steering Committee, various TARO subcommittees, and members of UT Libraries through a maze of almost a dozen concepts and color palettes. Ideas varied wildly, ranging from off-beat, mid-century-modern circles and diamonds framing the TARO acronym to a magnifying glass replacing the ‘O’ in TARO. But at last, the group’s hard work paid off. Without further ado, here it is!

Much thanks goes to graphic designer Neil Barrett. He poured hours of work into crafting and refining many, many potential images, all the while guiding us toward the best decision with his keen aesthetic eye. This was no easy task with a group of archivists passionate about making TARO look its best. He deserves as much credit as we can give him.

We hope you love the logo as much as we do! It was a crucial element of the requested support generously afforded to TARO through the NEH Implementation Grant, and for good reason. This logo will be the centerpiece of TARO 2.0’s new aesthetic, tying together redesigned and vastly more patron-friendly searching and browsing, reorganized finding aid web pages, and other bells and whistles. The logo was a big step toward making the site what we dreamed it could be nearly three years ago.

The new website, dubbed TARO 2.0, is scheduled to debut on September 28, 2021. If you’re curious about the work going into it thus far, how repositories can help to make their finding aids work their absolute best with the site, and a host of other information, please view this YouTube video of our recent TARO 2.0 Kickoff.

As always, don’t hesitate to contact Carla Alvarez (c.alvarez@austin.utexas.edu), the TARO Product Owner, or myself (robert.g.weaver@ttu.edu) with questions or comments. Also, keep an eye out for messages from the TARO listserv for updates or opportunities to interact with the site should they become available.

Robert Weaver
2021 TARO Steering Committee Chair


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.