[Archivesspace_Users_Group] Subject headings for type of material

Max Eckard eckardm at umich.edu
Fri Apr 24 13:29:53 EDT 2015

Hello everyone,

We're currently working through how to clean up and import our 2800+ legacy
EAD finding aids into ArchivesSpace, and making good progress!

We've run across a bit of a tricky issue, however, that we don't quite know
how to overcome. Our current practice is to divide our collection-level
subjects into different headings for type of material, such as Visual
Materials or Manuscripts (see this example
and there are a few other categories as well). We do this frequently.

Note: You'll see that we've also included Genre Terms, but I think we have
a good idea of how to handle these (perhaps by designating them by source
or type in ArchivesSpace).

If it helps these are <head> tags before the subjects inside of the
<controlaccess> tag in the EAD. For example:

  <head>Subjects - Visual Materials:</head>

How are people handling these categories for type of material (not to be
confused with Type of subject term), upon import? ASpace doesn't recognize
the <head> field.

We thought about using the Scope Note or External Source field, but neither
of those seem quite right, especially going forward. We thought about
indicating category based on source of subject term, but that won't always
work because of overlap. We also thought about moving subjects for Visual
Materials to the appropriate component, but there won't always be a clear
cut relationship between these subjects and a particular component.

These divisions are important for us to maintain, but just don't know how
to do it. I've searched the list archive without a lot of luck. We'd be
happy to hear how other people are handling this, or any ideas they might
have for how to import this information into ArchivesSpace (even if all it
did was visually replicate what we're doing).


*Max Eckard*
*Assistant Archivist for Digital Curation*

Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
734/763-7518 <734.763.7518>
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