[Archivesspace_Users_Group] barcodes and EAD export/import

Custer, Mark mark.custer at yale.edu
Wed Aug 5 17:45:07 EDT 2015


I think that exporting barcodes in the EAD is a sensible default (especially since EAD3 has a new @containerid attribute for storing barcodes).  If folks don’t want to include those in their EAD, though, then there should be an option to turn that off, as you mention.  Barcodes exported by default in the AT, so I think that the expectation has been set.

As for the Yale Container management plugin (and the Dartmouth one, by extension, which is 1.3 compatible), barcodes are supported in the EAD export… and the imports!  Better yet, distinct barcodes are stored only once in the database, instead of every single time the same box is referenced.  Additionally, container profiles are also included in the EAD imports and exports, tucked away in @altrender attributes.  Locations aren’t included, which I think is sensible (i.e. not something for a public finding aid), but it would be possible for someone to write a plugin that would put that information into an EAD physloc tag once the container management work is integrated into the ArchivesSpace core code.  Either way, just think of the cool visualizations that could be done with all of this container data ☺.  Not only can you show the researcher a flattened box listing, but you can show them how big the entire collection would be – and what sorts of boxes they’d see – if they were able to request everything at once into the reading room.


From: archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org [mailto:archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org] On Behalf Of Steven Majewski
Sent: Wednesday, August 05, 2015 12:26 AM
To: Archivesspace Users Group
Subject: [Archivesspace_Users_Group] barcodes and EAD export/import

We made an initial attempt to migrate EAD from our test server onto a production server by exporting with ead_export.sh script on the test server and importing on production server. Everything appeared to work OK, but on further inspection we found that the barcodes were not imported. Further inspection showed that the barcodes are not exported in EAD.

Looking at the export/import mappings spreadsheet, I see that a mapping is given for barcodes in ArchivesSpace to EAD, but not in EAD to ArchivesSpace mappings.

Looking further, I find a Jira issue reporting this:

pointing me to the Yale-ead-exporter plugin:


I downloaded and installed the yale-ead-exporter.
ArchivesSpace fails to restart do to a syntax error.

I fixed and reported syntax error:

and restarted successfully.
I installed plugin on both servers and did another export and import cycle.

This appeared to mostly work, except that instances of Type "Graphic Materials” with a barcode were imported as Type “Graphic” with a barcode of “Materials” . I changed the delimiter in both the export and import methods of the plugin from a space (“ “ ) to a bar ( “|” ). So far this seems to work.

The main reason I bring this up in detail rather than just forking and fixing it is that my impression from the export/import mappings, JIRA thread, etc. is that these issues were unresolved due to a lack of consensus on how (or even whether) barcodes should be encoded. I’m hoping for some discussion and consensus on that issue now.

I also understand that barcodes and location information might be something that some may not want published. Typically, one might use an @audience attribute to  tag things in the EAD that shouldn’t be published, but that’s not available when encoding the barcode itself as an attribute. However, if we’re using EAD as the standard for transmission and archiving we need to include that info. Perhaps we need an export option that turns this feature off and on ( like the :use_numbered_c_tags or :include_daos flags ): this would need more extensive changes than the current plugin.

I’m also wondering if this is either addressed by the Yale Container Management work or if any changes here might conflict with that. I see many mentions of barcodes, but I didn’t see anything that looked like the export/import changes in the yale-ead-exporter plugin.

BTW: Is this the best and current repo for that work:

I also see a container_management_dartmouth and a container branch on archivespace/archivesspace.

— Steve Majewski

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