[Archivesspace_Users_Group] Pointer to choices for formatting the title of an archival object, such as an article title

Custer, Mark mark.custer at yale.edu
Thu Sep 7 16:49:15 EDT 2017

Kari, all:

I’d also add that even though the ArchivesSpace note fields look like they can support EAD markup (and proclaim to be “Mixed Content Enabled”), it’s not really full-blown support like you’d get with an XML editor or a WYSIWYG interface.  For example, if I use the current tag-suggestion feature to add a “title” element within a note, there’s no indication in the interface that I can then add an “emph” element child, or even an empty “lb” element child, etc.  If you do, fine, then you’ll still wind up with valid EAD 2002 exports.  But if you add a “persname” child here, ASpace isn’t going to say anything is wrong, but you’ve just invalided your EAD since EAD2002 doesn’t permit “persname” within a “title” element.  Or if I just make up a tag name, like “<whathaveidonenow></whathaveidonenow>”, everything will still look fine (and be highlighted in green) in ASpace.

All that said, as a literary archive, the Beinecke uses that “title” tag a lot, and it’s often used in the title fields of ASpace.  So, locally we do permit mixed  content for a few things that EAD allows, but definitely not everything (even though you could add “title” element to container elements in EAD2002, that is definitely not allowed by our best practices!!! ☺).  That said, we don’t currently rely on ASpace to ensure that we’re following those best practices right now since we don’t (yet) have a local-best-practices-validation button in ASpace, so for now we still ensure that our best practices are being followed by having EAD files exported and validated against a Schematron file.

So Kari, I guess that’s a longwinded way of saying two things:

  *   At Yale, we’re moving toward restricting the elements that are allowed in ASpace’s title fields, most likely down to just two:  “title” and “emph”, even though ASpace does not encourage entering any data there.  Before ASpace, we permitted 16 different elements here, although most of those were rarely if ever used.
  *   Be wary of adding mixed-content elements to the ASpace notes, as well!  The wrap feature is limited, and it doesn’t preclude folks from typing in anything they want (including HTML, MODS, PREMIS, whatever their poison), including just made up stuff that will still look like it’s valid as long as the start tag name matches the end tag.  Usually that’s pretty harmless… but typos.  I haven’t yet figured out what limited elements of EAD that we should support within ASpace notes moving forward, but that’s likely going to depend on the work that Noah is doing with Trevor to enable EAD3 support, since I’d like to start exporting valid EAD3 ASAP.


p.s. here’s a sample EAD export that illustrates the point about notes + the Mixed Content Enable feature in ASpace:

          <head>Scope and Contents</head>
          <p><title>title with an <emph>emph</emph></title>; all legal</p>
          <p>type and then a <title>title and a <persname>persname</persname></title>; not so fast, 'cause that's invalid according to EAD2002.</p>
          <p><whathaveidonenow>but seriously, someone might type in a tag name that looks like EAD, even though it’s not; and everything looks fine and valid in ASpace.</whathaveidonenow</p>

From: archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org [mailto:archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org] On Behalf Of Noah Huffman
Sent: Thursday, 07 September, 2017 4:13 PM
To: Archivesspace Users Group <archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org>
Subject: Re: [Archivesspace_Users_Group] Pointer to choices for formatting the title of an archival object, such as an article title

Hi Kari,

Just to add to Dave’s comments.  We’ve been doing some testing of a new EAD3 exporter for ArchivesSpace and mixed content tagging creates all sorts or complications for producing valid EAD3 exports when tags stored in ArchivesSpace note fields and title fields are valid EAD2002 but not valid EAD3.


Noah Huffman
Archivist for Metadata, Systems, and Digital Records
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Duke University | 919-660-5982

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 Mayo, Dave
Sent: Thursday, September 07, 2017 3:59 PM
To: Archivesspace Users Group <archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org<mailto:archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org>>
Subject: Re: [Archivesspace_Users_Group] Pointer to choices for formatting the title of an archival object, such as an article title

Hi Kari,

I’m on the techy side of things, so I may be out in “strictly accurate but not practical” land, but fundamentally, mixed content is more “allowed in by accident” than “explicitly supported” in ArchivesSpace.  Markup in title fields isn’t handled specially, and, in the case of EAD markup, only works in cases where it _accidentally_ overlaps with HTML.  So, I think in an ideal world, the dos and don’ts would be “please don’t.”  I realize that isn’t necessarily practical for all use cases. Bobbi Fox (and others) have done some mitigation work in the new PUI, but there’s not really a “safe” subset of markup that’s guaranteed to be ok.

- Dave Mayo
Senior Digital Library Software Engineer
Harvard University > HUIT > LTS > OSC Dev Team

From: <archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org<mailto:archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org>> on behalf of Kari R Smith <smithkr at mit.edu<mailto:smithkr at mit.edu>>
Reply-To: Archivesspace Users Group <archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org<mailto:archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org>>
Date: Thursday, September 7, 2017 at 3:03 PM
To: "Archivesspace Users Group (archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org<mailto:archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org>)" <archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org<mailto:archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org>>
Subject: [Archivesspace_Users_Group] Pointer to choices for formatting the title of an archival object, such as an article title

Is there guidance about the dos and don’ts for formatting (markup) of titles of archival objects?  We are trying to find information about adding markup in a title field like when we want to have it formatted with italics or underlining, as we might for a bibliography or to include an “article title” as part of a folder title.

I see that within Note fields you can wrap EAD markup but not in the archival objects.

Thanks for help pointing to AS user info or organizational specific user manuals.


Kari R. Smith
Digital Archivist and Program Head for Born-digital Archives
Institute Archives and Special Collections
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries, Cambridge, Massachusetts
617.253.5690   smithkr at mit.edu   http://libraries.mit.edu/archives/<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__libraries.mit.edu_archives_&d=DwMFAg&c=WO-RGvefibhHBZq3fL85hQ&r=_Mv1dY22K7jvT5MD7xjbvGVzRDOUMhx4WYcnPSIzYnE&m=lCWyETDpjXsDuRKUPzUu6UlKN4EfDV3HJDtojFHzBFo&s=Vf0Wcti9niQaLMt_ONXZuzSLySf664w67xSRgVVIv4k&e=>  @karirene69

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