[Archivesspace_Users_Group] Resource identifier field punctuation

Cyndi.Shein at unlv.edu Cyndi.Shein at unlv.edu
Thu Sep 11 17:28:59 EDT 2014

Hello List,

In regard to the resource identifier field, are there plans to replace the
period in the XML output with a dash?  I ask because we have to change the
file names of everything ArchivesSpace outputs before uploading them to the
server that is home to the XML and PDF that display to our users on our
website.  Many (most? all?) file servers do not accept periods in file
names.  Best practice is not to include periods in digital file names.
(Machines reading the files are expecting the file extension to follow a
period.)  We also replace the periods with dashes wherever the identifiers
appear within the EAD, so none of our identifiers contain periods when they
appear to users.

I recall a discussion on this list regarding the difference in punctuation
between the identifier fields in the resource numbers and accession numbers
in the EAD output from ArchivesSpace.  Currently the accession identifier
fields export with a dash between them, while the resource identifiers
export with a period between them.  Punctuation between the fields makes
the ID easier for both humans and machines to read (such as MS-00698,
PH-00342, etc.), so we have opted to split our alphanumeric collection ID
numbers into two fields.  The dash or period is part of the XML file name
exported by ASpace and (when taking the path of least resistance in
transforming XML to PDF) this punctuation is also part of the PDF file

I'm familiar with batch file renaming tools.  I'm also familiar with how to
change the punctuation in the XML to PDF transformation scenario.

I'm aware that many archives and museums have traditionally used periods in
their collection numbers/identifiers and may retain periods to be
consistent with legacy practices that were established prior to the
electronic era.  I'm also aware that different legacy information systems
have different file naming protocols.  We have legacy collection numbers at
UNLV as well.  We view the implementation of ArchivesSpace as an
opportunity to systematically normalize collection numbers.  It's a real
pain, but we're trying to look forward--we're formulating collection IDs
and file names that can play nicely in the digital environment.

All that to ask... in regard to the resource identifier field, is there
community support for replacing the period in the XML output with a dash,
or is this an issue we will have to resolve locally?


Cyndi Shein
Head, Special Collections Technical Services
University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
cyndi.shein at unlv.edu             (702) 895-2223
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