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A Jekyll static site generator for archival description serialized in JSON, generated via the ArchivesSpace REST API, or by other modular backends which can be added to the system.

The Adlib backend is currently unmaintained and tested, and may not work. If you're an Adlib user, and are interested in helping out, please get in touch!

Quick Start

Install git and clone the repository.

$ git clone

Install Docker and build the image using docker-compose.

$ cd staticAid
$ docker-compose build -t staticaid .

Start the container.

$ docker-compose up

The site will build, and the staticAid interface built using sample data will then be available at http://localhost:4000 in your browser. Any changes to the templates in the site/ directory or the python files in the static_aid/ directory will result in a rebuild of the site or a reinstallation of the staticAid scripts, respectively.



staticAid comes with bash scripts which will build the site in three different ways. In the Docker container in this repository, those scripts are installed in /usr/local/bin. If staticAid is deployed differently, you will need to find a way to make these scripts executable on the system.

staticAid can produce either full HTML pages, or HTML snippets (page content without enclosing html or body tags) which can be embedded in existing pages. To generate embedded content, use the *-embedded version of the commands below.

There are three options for building the HTML site using Jekyll. In all cases, Jekyll will place the generated site in build/site/.

Build without updating data

Running static-aid-build or static-aid-build-embedded will build the site based on the data currently in the build/data directory.

Update data then build site

Running static-aid-update or static-aid-update-embedded will fetch JSON for resource records, resource record trees and archival objects from ArchivesSpace using static_aid/ and save it in your build/data directory, then will build the site based on that data.

WARNING: Depending on the amount of data in of your ArchivesSpace instance, it could take quite a while for this script to loop through all resource records and components. Be patient!

Clean Build

Running static-aid-rebuild or static-aid-rebuild-embedded will wipe out the existing data, fetch new data, and build the site from scratch.

WARNING: Depending on the amount of data in of your ArchivesSpace instance, it could take quite a while for this script to loop through all resource records and components. Be patient!

JSON-LD Structured Data

By default, StaticAid is set up to generate structured data in your HTML in the form of JSON-LD objects, coded according to the conventions of JSON-LD is Google's recommended method of delivering structured data for its indexing algorithms. (More information here.)

Currently, JSON-LD objects are formed on three kinds of pages:

  • Main index page, describing the holding archive (Schema)
  • Collection pages (Schema)
  • Persona and Corporate Agent detail pages (Schemas)

Variables used in the JSON-LD objects (as well as a few others in building your site) are stored in local_settings.cfg. If you don't want JSON-LD generated, you can leave those variables undefined. The JSON-LD will be broken, but it will not affect the display of the web pages.


Pull requests accepted! Feel free to file issues on this repository as well.


Hillel Arnold / @helrond
Kevin Clair / @jackflaps
Luke Scott / @v-lukes
Erin O'Meara / @diplomaticaerin
Scott Carlson / @scottythered


staticAid is released under the MIT License. See for more information.


A Jekyll-based static site generator for archival description in JSON.




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