Documentation Site Guide | Add and Edit Content

Add and Edit Content

Prior to adding or editing content, all additions and changes must be approved as specified in the Rockefeller Archive Center Documentation Site Content Approval Policy. All public content must be approved by the Director of Archives and President.

  1. Create a new RAC GitHub repository for the documentation if one does not exist using the docs-template repository template. Contact an RAC employee with administrative access to the RAC GitHub to enable this action. See Create a Repo.
  2. Create a branch called development in the target repository.
  3. Commit new content or changes to the development branch using short, descriptive commit messages that describe the changes like “add config values,” “fix typo,” or “change template text”. Use this descriptive commit message instead of the default “update [file]” message provided in GitHub.
  4. Review the changes on the RAC development server at When a repository is first created, it has to be manually added to the development server. See the Documentation Site Info Sheet or ask for help.
  5. Submit a pull request to merge development to the base branch of the GitHub repo.
  6. As per the Content Approval Policy, each pull request will be reviewed by the relevant Assistant Director and the Director of Archives, as necessary. If a determination is made to either convert documentation from public to private, or to remove it completely, the Assistant Director for Digital Strategies or any other RAC employee with administrative access to the RAC GitHub account should be notified to enable this action.
  7. Once a pull request is reviewed and approved, merge the branch into the base branch where it will be incorporated into See the Documentation Site Info Sheet for directions on adding the base branch to the production server or ask for help.

Required Files

  • _config.yml

Documentation will be created in or converted to the Markdown format (see Using Markdown) to be leveraged by Jekyll to build the website. Add simple documentation like a short policy or one-page informational sheet to the GitHub repository as a single Markdown file (named

Page Title and Layout

At the beginning of each Markdown file that is part of the documentation, include a title and the type of layout. This is the title that will be displayed as the title of the webpage.


layout: docs

title: "Guide to Processing Collections"


The title of the page is Header 1. Note that Header 2s (##) in Markdown appear as the side navigation display on the webpages.


Any institution or other’s work that we relied on in drafting our own documentation should be credited on the page.


Every GitHub repository requires a file that includes information about what is in the repo, how to access and use the content, and defines documentation authorship. The README should be formatted in Markdown and include a link to


All RAC documentation that is shared publicly on this platform will be made available under a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) public domain dedication, and all project-associated code is made available on the RAC organizational GitHub under an MIT License. For public content, choose a CC0 License for the GitHub repository. Do not include a license for private content.

The template repository already includes the CC0 License, but if the content is private (for internal RAC staff use only), remove and the reference to it in


Create a file called _config.yml. This configuration file includes whether the documentation will be public or private, title, associated tags, and pages information that is used to create the side navigation table of contents for each set of documentation. For guidance and an example of how to fill this out, see the “Documentation Repository Configuration” section of the docs-build README.

  • The title in the config file should match the title in, for example “Collection Policy” or “Guide to Processing Collections”.
  • Designate the documentation as private using public: false until it has been approved for public access by the Director of Archives and President.

Multiple Documentation Files

More complicated documentation might be more appropriately split into multiple files, which will translate into a corresponding number of web pages. In deciding how to divide the documentation, structure and present the content in a way that enhances navigation and use.

For example, in addition to an file, the Rockefeller Archive Center Guide to Processing Collections includes two other Markdown files that represent two different pages on Planning and Processing. All files should be in the root directory (no subfolders). The exception is if there are images, which should be in a subfolder titled img.

Filenames should be short with no special characters or spaces. Use a hyphen between words instead of spaces. The filename will be part of the url of the site, so simple and concise are best.

Note that Header 2s (##) in Markdown appear as the side navigation display on the webpages.

Add links between documents and sections using the format:

This is a link to [another section](#header-name) in the same document

This is a link to [another file](/repo-name/file-name) in the same repository

Additional Formatting

The docs-build repo contains the CSS stylesheets for However, it is possible to add HTML and CSS markup directly into a Markdown file.

To style text as an example that will be set apart from the other text, assign the block of text a <div> tag and css class “docs-example.” As specified in our custom CSS for the site, this will change the style to set the text apart.

<div class="docs-example"><p> This is some example text </p> </div>

This is some example text