[Archivesspace_Users_Group] Question about adding digital material inforamation in ArchivesSpace

Hand, Sarit shand at ap.org
Wed Oct 22 10:44:24 EDT 2014

Hi Kari,

I am looking at these very same functionalities of AS and am finding that it is not very clear of the full intended use of these aspects (my one concern being when it comes time to create reports and how this information will be displayed.)  While I find it easy enough to create a workflow using these mods on the surface I am curious what the relational aspect is with the rest of the record.  For example, the "Instance" mod seems clear enough and directly incorporated within the resource it belongs to, whereas the DO appears to be an independent entity easily associated with multiple resources/records.  However, an Instance can just as easily be a DO and if you are describing a collection which contains a DO why is it treated as a separate entity when an Instance is clearly not?  Again, it comes down to the relational aspect of these mods to the rest of the record, resource and repository.  This would be much clearer if AS had been released with a report module from the beginning or a means to see more clearly the relationship and organizational structure of the fields, Of course I may have missed the documentation that explains all this.

With that said...
As it stands right now and from what I can make of AS, your first point seems to perfectly sensibly.  I am assuming these distinct DOs are part of a larger resource and then will be linked to them within the resource record.

Second, the "bulk digital material", does that mean you will not be ingesting them into a digital repository?  Are they remaining on the medium as you found them? Or do you mean you will describe the bulk objects but then create a separate digital object for the actual instance (file/DO) which exists on the medium?

Third, Linking the AIP as the Do may be premature, It is possible that once AS is established you will find that the systems available for creating the AIPS and DIPS will make available a module for AS for just this purpose.  Might take a look at BitCurator or Archivematica who I think may be looking at that prospect. And if they are not, they should be.  If anything it would be the DIP that would be incorporated as the DO especially if you plan to use the public interface of AS.  Truly, the best scenario would be an AIP and a DIP module with the "publishing" option.  That would certainly tie in the OASIS model.

Just my thoughts as I too am trying to reason out the workflow.  I would like to see more granular control over options for describing the material.

Please let keep me posted on what you figure out.

[cid:image001.jpg at 01CFEDDE.77FE2260]


Sarit Hand
Multimedia Archivist
AP Corporate Archives

shand at ap.org<mailto:shand at ap.org>

450 West 33rd Street
New York, NY 10001
T 212.621.7035
F 212.621.1723

Hello collective wisdom of digital archivists using ArchivesSpace.

As we are assessing how we will use ArchivesSpace we are considering ways to denote the digital material in our collections.  I see two, maybe three ways forward.  I'll list them here and I would love to hear your responses and learn from what others have already tried.

One.  For things that are actually digital objects like a completely digital book, an access copy PDF of some material, etc. I plan to use the Digital Object module.  This would be a call out to specific items within collections (Resources).  They may be linked to an access system that provides ready access or they may point to a local server from which reference staff can select a copy to make available locally.  [This is an option that I plan to implement - basically looking for other thoughts on this but not to get rid of this.]

Two.  For bulk digital material, I'd like to use an Instance that is a bucket for undistinguished, aggregate digital material.  The difference here is that they are not discrete by title or individual object.  We're thinking about using the Instance to add this into the Finding Aid [Faculty Policy Committee, Meeting Minutes, 2013-2014. Digital.]

Three.  In addition to #2, I'm thinking about adding a Digital Object for the AIP that is created for the aggregate material and would like to link this DO (because it allows for the extra metadata I want to capture in AS) to the Instance.

If you have done this or are currently modeling how to do this, please let me know.


Kari R. Smith, Digital Archivist
MIT Libraries, Institute Archives and Special Collections
617-258-5568  |   smithkr (at) mit.edu

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