[Archivesspace_Users_Group] Staff users/agents as subjects/creators

Jordon Steele jsteele at jhu.edu
Thu Jan 4 16:13:12 EST 2018

Hi Olivia,

We have one agent record and assign different roles or relator terms based on the context. So for a given collection, Person X may have the role “Source” and relator “Curator” if that person was involved in acquiring a collection. If the person was the subject of the collection, we’d re-use the existing agent record and assign the role “Subject.” If we ended up getting that person’s papers, in that scenario, we’d assign the same agent record but with role “Creator.” We think of the agent one entity who may have different roles depending on the collection/event/context.



Jordon Steele
Hodson Curator of the University Archives
Special Collections
The Sheridan Libraries
Johns Hopkins University
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore, MD 21218
jsteele at jhu.edu

From: archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org [mailto:archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org] On Behalf Of Olivia S Solis
Sent: Thursday, January 04, 2018 3:05 PM
To: Archivesspace Users Group <archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org>
Subject: [Archivesspace_Users_Group] Staff users/agents as subjects/creators

Hello all,

I was wondering if some of you have a situation we have. Occasionally, some of our staff will appear as subjects/creators in resources and accessions. We have some staff members who are published scholars and appear in name authority files. In such cases, we'd want to use the URIs for those names (no such field in user records). We also have specific rules we follow for local names for subjects/creators.

How do you/do you distinguish between staff members when they are acting in their capacity as staff (e.g. as the recipient of the agreement received event) vs. as subject/creator? Staff users appear to be agents that are selectable in any kind of record type.

Our current strategy is to include a "(staff)" addition to "Full name" for users. For instance, mine would be "Olivia Solis (staff)", the reason being to make it absolutely clear this is not the non-existent "Solis, Olivia" in VIAF who is also an agent, but not a user. I don't like including information that is not part of a name in the name field, but otherwise, I think people would accidentally select the user agent in instances where they should select e.g. the VIAF "Solis, Olivia" with a URI we want to use. Is there a better solution to "staff" for disambiguation purposes? Somehow display the person's title in the type-ahead list that appears when you start typing in a linked agent name? I'm not sure how difficult that would be.

We plan to retire (change passwords for), but not delete staff user accounts when the staff members no longer work here so we don't get rid of their data trail. But in 20 years it would be nice for staff to know that the retired "Olivia Solis (staff)" is also the same person as creator of one of our collections. Or maybe a donor, in which case I would not want to use the user account.


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
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