[Archivesspace_Users_Group] Digital objects

Jason Loeffler j at minorscience.com
Tue Feb 9 16:48:11 EST 2016


We chose to follow the pattern you described in option 1. We've adopted an
explicit hierarchical relationship between resources, archival objects, and
digital objects described here
<https://gist.github.com/minorscience/cdc2ad64b8546fb36535>. Clearly a lot
more opportunity for granularity in one's descriptive system and/or finding

I tend to agree with Maureen apropos "form following function". That said,
how ArchivesSpace currently displays data is indeed problematic and I
assure you the public UI initiative are open-minded about new ideas. In the
meantime, we simply syndicate the data to a Drupal site via API which gives
us much more freedom and control over exactly how records and displayed.
Much easier for non-archivists to interpret, too.

Regarding the error in your post-script, there was an issue in the AR queue
here <https://archivesspace.atlassian.net/browse/AR-1314>. Though the issue
has closed, feel free to record the steps you took to reproduce the bug and
I'll see whether I can replicate. There's also a digital object tag in JIRA


Jason Loeffler
Technology Consultant
The American Academy in Rome
Minor Science | Application Development & Metadata Strategy
Brooklyn, New York

On Tue, Feb 9, 2016 at 4:13 PM, Callahan, Maureen <maureen.callahan at yale.edu
> wrote:

> Hi Angela,
> We’ve been talking a lot about digital objects too, so I’m happy to see
> this discussion.
> My first take is that ArchivesSpace will definitely accommodate whichever
> way you want to go, but this seems to me to be more of a question governed
> by DACS principle 7.3 — "Information provided at each level of description
> must be appropriate to that level." We’ve been thinking of the archival
> object as the place where description happens, regardless of format, and as
> instances (container or DO) to be a pointer to the thing described. By this
> way of thinking, I would absolutely want to associate the digital object
> with the archival object describing it.
> I can understand how the way ArchivesSpace currently *displays* this data
> could be confusing, but it’s important to remember that the decisions you
> make about structure and description will outlast decisions about display.
> I bet the folks working on the redesign for the public interface could
> address some of the display concerns you have.
> I also think that if you take all of those digital objects and put them
> into one series-level bucket, it’s going to take a lot of work to sort out
> which lower-level components describe which digital objects. You may decide
> to do less granular description (for instance, only describe at the series
> level) and associate a bunch of containers and digital objects with that
> series, which could be great, but I don’t know if I would do granular
> description and then associate the actual stuff described therein at a
> higher level.
> I’m eager to hear what others think.
> Maureen
> On Feb 9, 2016, at 3:52 PM, Angela Kroeger <akroeger at unomaha.edu> wrote:
> Greetings, fellow ArchivesSpacers,
> We have a spreadsheet full of digital objects (streaming videos digitized
> from VHS) to add to a resource record. There appear to be two ways to add
> them to component view:
> 1) Add an item-level archival object, then add a digital object as an
> instance on that archival object. (One-to-one correspondence between
> archival objects/components and digital objects.)
> 2) Add the digital object directly as an instance of a series-level
> component. (End result will be many item-level digital objects attached to
> a series-level component.)
> Some archival objects + digital objects were added to the record in a
> previous project. My director would prefer we do the new batch the second
> way, to eliminate a step, and then go back and convert those which were
> done the first way to match the second way. Part of the reasoning behind
> this is that having what appear to be two records (the archival object and
> the digital object) for the same thing seems to be confusing for some of
> our users.
> However, when we have multiple digital objects with the same title (i.e.:
> University of Nebraska at Omaha vs. University of Nebraska at Kearney
> Football Game) that are differentiated by date, archival objects will show
> the dates under components, but digital objects will NOT show the dates
> under instances.
> Example:
> http://unomaha-public.lyrasistechnology.org/repositories/4/archival_objects/32891
> If you follow the above link, you'll see a dozen components, which are the
> archival objects added in the earlier project. There is one instance which
> I have added so far for this new project. You can see how helpful the dates
> are in the component list. If I convert those components to instances as my
> director asked, then we will have three digital objects titled "University
> of Nebraska at Omaha vs. University of Nebraska at Kearney Football Game"
> and no easy way to tell them apart without the dates. Once I add in the
> rest of the many, many digital objects to come, the problem will be
> compounded.
> So my first question is, is there a setting or option to make the date
> (from the date subrecord in the digital object) display after the title in
> the link to the digital object record under instances? Otherwise, we may
> need to add the date to the title element itself.
> Conversely, is there a compelling reason why we should continue doing
> things the old way, adding item-level components with one and only one
> digital object attached to each? Would having multiple item-level digital
> objects attached to a series-level component be likely to cause some
> problem down the road?
> Thank you!
> P.S. -- Peripherally related issue: When I try to add a digital object to
> a component, and I have to create a new digital object record uswing the
> “create” option right next to the input/search box, it won’t let me save
> the new record. I have to create the digital object record separately as a
> standalone, and then go into the component record and link to the digital
> object. When searching for the digital object from the component, that list
> of multiple digital objects with the same title makes it difficult. Having
> dates display here would also be helpful.
> Angela Kroeger
> akroeger at unomaha.edu
> Archives and Special Collections Associate
> Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library
> University of Nebraska at Omaha
> (402) 554-4159
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