[Archivesspace_Users_Group] Migrating and maintaining item-level records in ILS and/or ASpace

Erin Faulder eef46 at cornell.edu
Mon Sep 11 14:31:07 EDT 2017

RMC at Cornell is in the weeds identifying bib records to migrate from our ILS into ASpace. Our practice, historically, has been to catalog collections and occasionally items within the collection in our ILS to better facilitate discovery. As we move into ASpace, we are cognizant that we should incorporate those item records within the context of the collection by including them as archival objects in ASpace under the appropriate resource record.

We have three primary choices to do this, each with serious trade offs:
-          Leaving the item-level records in our ILS without representing them in ASpace other than a referencing note at collection/series level
o   We would lose contextual meaning of those items
o   We would maintain item-level discovery of content in OCLC/World-Cat
o   We would be unable to manage our location data of that material in ASpace alongside the rest of the collection
-          Leave the item-level records in our ILS and represent them in ASpace in their appropriate intellectual arrangement
o   We would have to build a way to connect the records between the two systems, designing complex methods for synchronizing descriptive metadata as well as location data between systems and setting currently minimally-enforceable rules about where the data is updated and which is the system of record
o   We would maintain contextual information about their collection and have item-level discovery in OCLC/World-Cat
-          Represent the item-level records only in ASpace and remove them from the ILS entirely
o   We would only have to manage the data in one system, eliminating complexity
o   We would lose item-level discovery of content in OCLC/World-Cat
o   We could manage location data the same across our content

We would love to talk with anyone who has experience cataloging items in a collection at the item-level in their ILS and how they addressed the challenges presented when working with ASpace.


Erin Faulder
Digital Archivist
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
Cornell University Library
Ithaca, NY 14853
erin.faulder at cornell.edu

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