[Archivesspace_Users_Group] ASpace's PDF view of finding aids

Jacqueline Morin morinj at usc.edu
Thu Jun 23 11:53:46 EDT 2016

Hi Helen, Mark, et al,

That is a style issue that bothers me visually also—the note label being more prominent than the title of the folder or the note itself.  It’s not just the Scope and Contents note label, but General Note and probably all of the notes.  (Those are just the two that I use the most often in processing a collection).  It would be great not to have to display the Scope and Content label or General Note label at least at the folder folder level, and reserve those headings for series or sub-series notes.


Jacqueline Morin, M.L.I.S.
Processing Archivist, Special Collections
Doheny Memorial Library
University of Southern California
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, CA  90089-0182
Tel: 213-821-0488    Fax: 213-740-6668

From: archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org [mailto:archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org] On Behalf Of Helen Thomas
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2016 8:18 AM
To: Archivesspace Users Group
Subject: Re: [Archivesspace_Users_Group] ASpace's PDF view of finding aids

Hi Mark,

The main style issue I have with the PDF output (aside from the aforementioned publishing of unpublished components) is how it displays note titles at the folder or item level. Attached is a screenshot from the PDF output for one of our finding aids. The folder title here is "Economic Review Committee." The title for the scope and contents note is bold and I think a larger font than the title of the folder. I believe this emphasis looks confusing for the user, and I would like for the title of the note to be either less conspicuous than the folder title or not appear at all. If we could opt out of displaying the "Scope and Contents" title line at the folder level, since I think it's pretty apparent that this description relates to the folder listed immediately above it, it could shorten the finding aids quite a bit for those who choose to include folder or item level description.​

Thanks for looking into this!


On Thu, Jun 23, 2016 at 9:49 AM, Custer, Mark <mark.custer at yale.edu<mailto:mark.custer at yale.edu>> wrote:
Wow, Lora, thanks!  That is really helpful.

I can’t do anything about the export process in the staff interface, but I can look into the issue of unpublished notes showing up (that’s no good) as well as fixing how container labels display for version 1.5 (I don’t remember anyone reporting that before, but I’ll look to make see if it’s in the ASpace Jira).  I think I can replicate those issues based on your description, but if I need any example data, I’ll let you know.

Thanks again.

From: archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org<mailto:archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org> [mailto:archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org<mailto:archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org>] On Behalf Of Lora Davis
Sent: Thursday, 23 June, 2016 10:26 AM
To: Archivesspace Users Group
Subject: Re: [Archivesspace_Users_Group] ASpace's PDF view of finding aids

Hi Mark,

I, like you, haven’t really looked at the PDF XSL-FO.  At my prior institution we maintained our export EAD -> local XSLT -> HTML workflow (and we were hosted so couldn’t access the application anyway), and, at my current institution, we’ve only been live in ASpace for about a month.  That said, as we start kicking the tires here, our team has been generating a running list of PDF issues/concerns in our local JIRA instance.

PDF exports are low-ish on my priority list right now, but I’m happy to pass these tickets along in case they’re of use to you.  I’m just copying/pasting these out from our JIRA where they’ve been recorded by users other than myself, so I expect you might need to follow up with me for more clarity off list.

-          (Not a stylesheet issue, just general comment about the process) Exporting to PDF still necessitates a lot of click-through! Can we streamline this?  Also, when exporting as PDF, search only works with text title. Can't search as MS.0545 for example.

-          (You’ve addressed this.  Thanks!) PDF export fails entirely when inline coding present in ToC.

-          When exporting to PDF, public and unpublished notes show up.

-          (Guessing this stems from the XSL-FO predating the container management plugin/1.5.0) For collection level finding aids (e.g. no dsc exists) instance information is presented in “Summary Information” in a confusing fashion.  For example, the label reads “Mixed Materials [31151030059731] [box]:” and value reads “1.”  This makes no sense to users.

Again, feel free to follow up directly and I can get better examples/screenshots/etc. from the team.

Thanks for taking this on,


Lora J. Davis
Digital Archivist
The Sheridan Libraries
Johns Hopkins University
3400 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD     21228
(410) 516-5898<tel:%28410%29%20516-5898>
ljdavis at jhu.edu<mailto:ljdavis at jhu.edu>

From: archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org<mailto:archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org> [mailto:archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org] On Behalf Of Custer, Mark
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2016 9:45 AM
To: Archivesspace Users Group <archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org<mailto:archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org>>
Subject: [Archivesspace_Users_Group] ASpace's PDF view of finding aids


I haven’t really looked too much at the PDF that ASpace provides since we’re still using our local PDF transformation process, so I’m curious what folks think of that output in general?  I feel like most of the feedback that I’ve heard has been positive, with a few requests to change things like font sizes in certain places.

For those of you who are using the PDFs, what are the things you’d like to see changed, if anything?



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Helen Thomas
Assistant Archivist
Ellender Library, Nicholls State University
helen.thomas at nicholls.edu<mailto:helen.thomas at nicholls.edu> | (985) 448-4644
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