[Archivesspace_Users_Group] "Source" definitions

Olivia S Solis livsolis at utexas.edu
Fri Jun 30 16:43:20 EDT 2017

Hello all,

We at the Briscoe are in the budding but soon to be live ASpace
implementation point. Yay and at last! Documentation and staff training are
big priorities for us right now. One thing that I think might be a bit
confusing for staff still getting used to the term "Agent" or "Archival
Object" is what we mean by "Source".

I've noted at least 3 different senses of "source" in ASpace:

   - Resource/Accession records: Linked agent  role ("Source", "Creator",
   - Event record: Record links/role: ("Source", "Transfer", "Outcome")
   - Names/Subjects: the external authority for the controlled vocab term

It actually took a bit of time for me to understand the logic behind the
first and last second bullet points above (and I may not fully still, but
we've got a system in place). Have any of you struggled with explaining the
idea of "source" to staff? Ideally I like to provide definitions for terms,
but there are different use cases here.

For us, agent link sources will only pop up in accessions, where the agent
is a "Source", with a relator of seller (for purchases), former owner (for
transfers), or donor (most common). All of our events presume the
resource/accession is the source of the event (we're using a number of
human-initiated events but our digital repository lies outside of ASpace
and so we won't use a lot of the default events). And of course, I'm using
"Source" to specify external authorities when entering names and subject
terms pulled from VIAF, GeoNames, FAST etc.

So far, I've not found definitions for "source" in some other institutions'
documentation I've looked at. Has anyone else struggled with this? Has the
notion of "source" confused staff? We could provide rote instructions for
processors/ etc. to follow that bypass any definition of "source", and
perhaps that's all we need.. Has just giving processors steps 1, 2, and 3
been sufficient for your ASpace needs?


Olivia Solis, MSIS
Metadata Coordinator
Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
The University of Texas at Austin
2300 Red River St. Stop D1100
Austin TX, 78712-1426
(512) 232-8013 <(512)%20232-8013>
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