[Archivesspace_Users_Group] Top Containers and Item Level Descriptions

Harmeyer, Neal A harmeyna at purdue.edu
Wed Jan 3 16:48:01 EST 2018

Hi Lydia,

We do something similar to what Angela has described and you noted in your message. We have numerous shared containers, and our solution to avoid any confusion is to place a "Communal" descriptor in the Indicator for the container AND its use designation, e.g. Communal Collections, Communal Accessions. We then assign a sequential number in the indicator field as well, so we end up with Communal Collections 1, Communal Collections 2, and so on.

Using the Manage Top Containers, we keep track of the next available sequential number to be used for a communal container. A search in the Manage Top Containers keyword field with "Communal Collections" for example, only brings up those containers we've designated as communal containers for collections. We use a combination of the notes field in the Top Container and a specific location in our repository to keep track of those communal containers that still have space, are full, or are used only for restricted materials.

We have also developed a system for tracking the placements of materials within communal containers. Thus far, it's all working quite nicely.

Neal Harmeyer
Digital Archivist
Purdue University Archives and Special Collections
Purdue University Libraries
harmeyna at purdue.edu<mailto:harmeyna at purdue.edu>

-----Original Message-----
From: archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org [mailto:archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org] On Behalf Of Angela Kroeger
Sent: Wednesday, January 3, 2018 4:16 PM
To: Archivesspace Users Group <archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org>
Subject: Re: [Archivesspace_Users_Group] Top Containers and Item Level Descriptions

Hi, Lydia,

We do something like you describe. When we have multiple collections in the same container, then the container numbering follows the pattern MISC-01, MISC-02, MISC-03, etc. Searching by the MISC-XX number (with the number, in quotation marks) retrieves a list of all collections housed in that box.

As for how to keep track of our last-used MISC-XX number, we don't have a good way of doing that within ArchivesSpace. We've got an external list. Not optimal, I know.

However, I think your "Shared Container" nomenclature would completely fix that problem. A keyword search of "MISC" without an attached number brings up too many false hits in our system, but "Shared Container" is a sufficiently unique phrase that the keyword search would zero in on just the containers you're looking for. (Wish I'd thought of that before starting the MISC numbering. :-)


Angela Kroeger

Archives and Special Collections Associate UNO Libraries | Criss Library 107 University of Nebraska at Omaha | unomaha.edu


akroeger at unomaha.edu<mailto:akroeger at unomaha.edu>

On a slightly tangential question re: shared Top Containers, I would love to hear how institutions keep track of numbering their shared containers - especially if some are stored offsite.  I am hoping that if I create a Share Container X, by searching "Shared Container" in Top Containers, it should pull all with those keywords together in order to see the last used box number, but I would love to hear how others have accomplished this.  Thanks!



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