[Archivesspace_Users_Group] Top Container Issues

Christine Di Bella christine.dibella at lyrasis.org
Tue Apr 11 16:44:34 EDT 2017

Dear Marcus,

There’s a good deal of information available about top containers and the various container management changes that came in beginning with ArchivesSpace 1.5.0. A few resources to check out:

·         The container management screencasts and container management section of the user manual linked from http://docs.archivesspace.org

·         Version 1.5.0 preview webinar: http://lyrasis.adobeconnect.com/p4viu8qixrh/

·         Yale commissioned the original plugin and they’ve written the most about the issues they wanted to address and the ways they’ve used the features. They have fairly extensive documentation and screencasts at http://guides.library.yale.edu/archivesspace/ASpaceContainerManagement.

One of the advantages of a top container is that you do not have to update multiple records when a box shifts from one place to another in the stacks. You just update the location in the one top container record, so it might help to hear more about what you’re doing now. In general, it might be useful to think of the top container as the highest level container or the external container - the one that holds everything else. It’s somewhat equivalent to Container 1 in previous versions of ArchivesSpace, except it is uniquely identified and identifiable within your database – which means you can perform bulk operations on containers and even share containers across resources, which you couldn’t easily do before. (The Child and Grandchild fields are equivalent to Container 2 and Container 3 and still operate the same way.) Information such as the barcode, dimensions of the container or its location are stored in the top container record, rather than many different instance records, the way they might have been with the Container 1 model before.

I hope this helps. Please feel free to ask more questions if it doesn’t or if you want to know more.


Christine Di Bella
ArchivesSpace Program Manager
christine.dibella at lyrasis.org<mailto:christine.dibella at lyrasis.org>
800.999.8558 x2905
cdibella13 (Skype)


From: archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org [mailto:archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org] On Behalf Of Ladd, Marcus
Sent: Friday, April 7, 2017 8:30 AM
To: Archivesspace Users Group <archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org>
Subject: [Archivesspace_Users_Group] Top Container Issues

We have just recently upgraded to the most recent version, and we're having problems with how Top Container has merged both Container information and the Location information. For example, our some of our materials move between locations when they are on loan, and with the new structure this would mean we have to recreate the Top Container information every time, rather than just changing the location.

Has anyone else encountered similar problems and found a way to make the new structure work? Also, is there specific documentation in one of the updates that explains the Top Container field and what it replaces?


Marcus Ladd
Special Collections Digital Librarian
Miami University, Oxford, OH

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