[Archivesspace_Users_Group] Best Practices for Accession Numbers

Rush, Michael michael.rush at yale.edu
Mon Jul 13 09:13:03 EDT 2015

Hi Jacky,

I’m not sure that there is much in the way of agreed-upon best practices for accession identifiers in the community. The bottom line – which is enforced by ArchivesSpace – is that they need to be unique. I can tell you, in case it is helpful, how we have chosen to do things at Yale.

In Yale’s ArchivesSpace we run a plugin the enforces our accession identifier scheme. The code for the plugin is available here: https://github.com/hudmol/aspace_yale_accessions.

The first segment of the accession identifier is the fiscal year of the accession. This is automatically assigned based on the accession date.
The second segment of the accession identifier is a department code. The plugin creates a drop-down menu specific to each repository of the permissible codes, from which we select the appropriate department. In most cases the “department” code corresponds to a curatorial area, e.g. “ycal” for the Yale Collection of American Literature.
The third segment is a four digit number assigned by the plugin at the time the accession is first saved. The number is assigned in a separate numerical sequence for each department, and restarts every fiscal year.
The fourth segment is not used.

Some examples of accession numbers: 2016.ycal.0001; 2016.genm.0016; 2015.osb.0025, etc.

If you have any further questions, I’m happy to give further detail.


Michael Rush
Accessioning Archivist
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Yale University

The Beinecke Library’s building is closed for renovation until September 2016.  We have opened a temporary reading room in Sterling Memorial Library, but access to some collections may be limited during the renovation. For more information, visit our renovation website at http://beineckelibraryrenovation.yale.edu/.

From: archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org [mailto:archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org] On Behalf Of Johnson, Jacqueline
Sent: Wednesday, July 08, 2015 10:49 AM
To: archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org
Subject: [Archivesspace_Users_Group] Best Practices for Accession Numbers


This is Jacky Johnson from Miami University.  We are transferring records from Filemaker Pro to ArchiesSpace.

We have to create new accession numbers. Does anyone know the best practices for creating Accession Numbers.

Any ideas how to automate the numbers and use the record group.

It would be nice to have accession numbers based on collections.

I would appreciate any assistance that anyone could provide.

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