[Archivesspace_Users_Group] Four questions on Containers

Christine Di Bella christine.dibella at lyrasis.org
Wed Apr 20 15:06:46 EDT 2016

Hi Valerie,

1.       The container conversion works on instance records, so no instance record, no container conversion. (The resource record itself will still be there in ArchivesSpace as expected, of course.) But you can just create instances, and top containers to go with those instances, on the records once they're in ArchivesSpace, if you prefer.

2.       Ranges in a single instance are currently converted to a single top container. You can go back later and create individual top containers out of them if you wish. (There's also been some discussion of creating a tool that would automate breaking out those ranges into individual top containers, but it hasn't been prioritized for development at this point due to other priorities. If someone in the community wanted to take that on, I'm sure there'd be some people interested in using it.)

3.       You'll be able to add barcodes to records in ArchivesSpace at any point. The conversion is a snapshot in time; you'll still be able to add/update/delete your records in ArchivesSpace however you wish.

4.       Barcodes only make the conversion a little easier because they make it easier to uniquely identify the top containers. There are other strategies to identify top containers, though, so it's certainly not crazy to convert without them. You just need to be aware of your data and how you number your containers within resources in particular. If you do have parallel numbering sequences within the same resource, you'll want to use the barcoder plugin or another tool (or good old fashioned manual cleanup) that will enable the converter to figure out your different Box 1s and which archival objects belong with which.

Hope that helps. Your questions are going to help others, I'm sure, so please feel free to keep asking if this doesn't make it clearer and/or as you get further into this!


Christine Di Bella
Community Outreach Manager
christine.dibella at lyrasis.org<mailto:christine.dibella at lyrasis.org>
800.999.8558 x2905
cdibella13 (Skype)
[cid:image003.png at 01CE734E.FD759D30]

From: archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org [mailto:archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org] On Behalf Of Valerie Addonizio
Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2016 2:41 PM
To: archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org
Subject: [Archivesspace_Users_Group] Four questions on Containers

It may be a bit early to be asking these, but I do have some questions about the modeling of containers.

Our situation: Hopkins is still in AT. We do not have barcodes associated with our boxes, but we are working towards that in the future. Our Box 1's do repeat. We know to use the barcoder plugin. We haven't stood up a test of the release yet.


1.       We have Collection-level resources in AT for which we have no Instance information at all (no containers). Without that information, it is clear these will not model. Is it suggested that we put a single Instance in such a resource record? That Instance would read something like Box 1 - 35 (1 through 35)

2.       On that same note, how are ranges modeled? Will "Box 1-35" create 35 containers? Will the range suffice for creating the top container?

3.       Will we be able to add barcodes later? I think so, but I also bet there's something I should know about that.

4.       Is it, frankly, crazy to do this without barcodes if we intend on adding them in the future? (It's an honest question that I hope you'll answer just as honestly!)

Many thanks.


Valerie Addonizio
The Sheridan Libraries
Johns Hopkins University
vaddoniz at jhu.edu<mailto:vaddoniz at jhu.edu>

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