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Archival Processing: ArchivesSpace

A guide to processing archival collections

Overview

ArchivesSpace is a replacement for our old Archival Content Management System, Archivist's Toolkit. An Archival Content Management System is software that provides integrated support for archival workflows including appraisal, accessioning, description, arrangement, publication of finding aids, collection management, and preservation.

 

Getting Started

ArchivesSpace is a web-based application and can be accessed from any computer in the department, as well as from laptops and other devices on a wireless connection.

To login, go to https://aspace.uflib.ufl.edu/staff

You will login using your username and password. Contact the Processing Archivist (Matt Kruse) if you do not have an account

The first time you log on, you should see a screen with the ArchivesSpace logo, “Welcome to ArchivesSpace” and you may see the message that you do not have access to any repositories. Please let the Processing Archivist (Matt Kruse) know when you have logged in if you don’t have access to the repository so you can be added to the appropriate access group.

Generating Reports

Reports can be generated in ArchivesSpace to compile a wide variety of useful data.

To generate a report, select the drop down arrow in the upper right corner of your screen to the right of the "SASC" repository box and below the box containing your username. Then select "Reports" from the drop down menu.

You will be presented with a variety of reports to choose from including reports on accessions, digital objects, locations, names, subjects, and resources. Select "Show Description" for more information on each report.

To generate a report click the "Select" button. Before pressing the blue "Queue Job" button to compile the report, select the format you desire from the dropdown menu under "Show Description." CSV will generate an excel file that is often the most useful way to display report data.

After the job has been queued it will generate the report. After the process is completed, select "Refresh Page" and download the report.

NOTE: "Reports" are still a work in progress and may take some tweaking to generate the information you desire. It may be easier to just consult the Processing Archivist (Matt Kruse) when generating reports. The Processing Archivist will also have access to additional reporting options not listed here.

ArchivesSpace Modules

ArchivesSpace contains ten different modules: Accessions, Resources, Digital Objects, Subjects, Agents, Locations, Events, Collection Management, Classifications, and Assessments. You can browse the modules by selecting browse and their respective module and then searching in the “filter by text” field.

  • The Accessions module is for recording accessions and basic collection data documenting new accessions or additions. At UF we use this module to record accession information that you submit to the Processing Archivist.
  • The Resources module is where the finding aid and description of a processed or preliminary collection can be found. At UF we currently export an EAD record from this module to display it publicly as an html finding aid. In the future we hope to refine this process so that the resource record in ArchivesSpace is pulled directly into a public display interface. See the information box to the right for more detailed information on using this module to create and edit resource records (finding aids).
  • The Digital Objects module is for describing a digital object or collection of digital objects. They are not required to be linked to a resource, but they can be. They can also be generated from within a resource record. Digital Object records also contain information on the location of the actual digital object (i.e., on the web or in a shared folder). Please note: the ArchivesSpace database does not store the digital object itself, only the location and metadata. At UF we are still determining how best to utilize these. Please speak with the processing archivist if you have a collection with digital objects in them.
  • The Subjects module is for describing topical terms associated with an accession, a resource, or a digital object. The subject records serve as subject headings in exports. We are currently in the process of a project to cleanup past subject headings and standardize them.
  • The Agents module is for recording the names (personal, corporate body, or family) associated with accessions, resources, and/or digital objects as a creator, source, or subject. ArchivesSpace users may also be considered “agents” and can be associated with accession, resource, digital object, and event records. The agent records serve as name headings in exports such as EAD. We are currently in the process of a project to cleanup agents and standardize them.
  • The Locations module is not currently being used at UF, but it is where we can tie our accessions and resource records to their physical locations including the use of barcodes. We may decided to utilize this module in the future.
  • The Events module is used to create records that document an action taken on another type of record. They can be used to denote a wide variety of actions from the sending and receipt of a deed of gift to the decryption of electronic records to the date on which a collection was processed or cataloged. Most of these events will be created by the Processing Archivist to track collections that have been processed and cataloged.
  • The Collection Management module can be used to better manage our collections. At UF we will primarily be using this module to track our unprocessed accessions, rank them by their processing priority, and track accessions that are currently in progress.
  • The Classifications module is not currently used by UF at this time.
  • The Assessments module is not currently used by UF at this time.

Creating and Editing Resource Records

Each new accession record will have an associated resource record (finding aid) linked to it. When an accession is processed you will be able to input new finding aid data into the linked PLACEHOLDER record (if none exists contact the Processing Archivist (Matt Kruse). If the record is an addition to a collection that already has a finding aid, you will need to edit the existing resource record.

  • See this guide for creating a new resource record (finding aid)
  • See this guide for editing an existing resource record (finding aid)

IMPORTANT: Remember to notify the Processing Archivist (Matt Kruse) anytime you make edits to a resource record or the edits will NOT be reflected in the public finding aid or catalog record.

Creating PDF Finding Aids

A useful feature in ArchivesSpace is the ability to create a PDF version of a resource record (finding aid).

  • Navigate to the "Browse" button in the top left corner of the screen
  • Select "Background Jobs" from the drop down menu
  • On the righthand side select "Create Job" and choose "Print to PDF" from the drop down menu
  • Search or browse for the resource record you would like a PDF version
  • Then press the blue "Queue Job" button
  • After the job completes, press the green refresh button and download the PDF

You can also generate a PDF by selecting "Print Resource to PDF" from the "Export" drop down menu while viewing a resource record.

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