[Archivesspace_Users_Group] Component unique identifiers

Rachel Aileen Searcy rachel.searcy at nyu.edu
Tue Nov 6 09:37:30 EST 2018

Hi Adrienne,

We had a similar issue here at NYU. Previous digitization projects relied
on the shorter Archivist's Toolkit refids for file naming, but this became
untenable with those created by ArchivesSpace. We didn't want to change our
inter-departmental workflows too radically, so we contracted with HM to
develop a plugin called the Digitization Work Order plugin (here on github
<https://github.com/hudmol/digitization_work_order>). This plugin allows
the user to select individual components from a resource record (including
all if desired), which are then assigned sequential component unique
identifiers that can be used for file naming or other purposes. The plugin
also produces a csv of descriptive information of those components, and
automatically inserts this newly created identifier into the components
Component Unique Identifier field. We have some demo slides here
<https://guides.nyu.edu/ld.php?content_id=26740399>, as well as instructions
in our local ArchivesSpace manual. I'd also be happy to talk further to
answer any questions.


On Mon, Nov 5, 2018 at 2:54 PM Chris Mayo <mayoc at bc.edu> wrote:

> Hi Adrienne,
> We ran into a similar issue at Boston College when we migrated from to
> ASpace from Toolkit. Our practice had been to combine the collection ID
> with an auto-generated refID to create component unique identifiers, but
> the auto-generated refIDs in Aspace were much too long for our needs.
> What we eventually wound up doing is using the database primary key for a
> given archival object as the unique part of its component unique ID, so
> that any given for an archival object we're planning to digitize gets a CUI
> with the format of 'mmsID_NNNNN" where the numerical portion is pulled from
> the 'archival_object_NNNNN' at the end of the archival object's URL. The
> really handy part of this is that it lets us parse our CUIs to make API
> calls. It's also robust to rearrangement, if you are only moving the
> archival object around within the collection hierarchy - the database key
> remains the same. It doesn't survive reprocessing, however, if you are
> deleting/rebuilding/combining archival objects, so we always make sure to
> begin the process of digitization after a collection has been processed or
> reprocessed. It makes the CUIs somewhat semantically meaningful - but only
> if you know what you are looking at. We're still not sure how we feel about
> that, but it's what works for us for now.
> Hope that helps!
> Best,
> Chris
> On Mon, Nov 5, 2018 at 11:00 AM Pruitt, Adrienne <
> Adrienne.Pruitt at tufts.edu> wrote:
>> Hello, all,
>> We’re hoping to move away from semantically meaningful component unique
>> identifiers, but need some way to be able to easily auto-generate a unique
>> identifier that could be used for file-naming purposes in digitization
>> projects. Working with legacy data, we have seen that there can be value in
>> being able to easily associate a binary file floating around on a server
>> somewhere with a relatively easily parsed identifier that links it to its
>> related metadata. However, semantically meaningful identifiers based on
>> collection structure  are a rather brittle system prone to breaking when
>> collections are rearranged or reprocessed and easy to mis-enter when
>> working with so many digits. We’re interested to hear how others are
>> handling their identifiers (particularly in regards to digitization
>> workflows.)
>> Thank you!
>> *Adrienne Pruitt *| Collections Management Archivist
>> Digital Collections and Archives
>> Tufts University
>> adrienne.pruitt at tufts.edu |617-627-0957
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> Chris Mayo
> Digital Production Librarian
> Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr. Library
> Boston College
> chris.mayo at bc.edu
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Rachel Searcy
Accessioning Archivist, Archival Collections Management
New York University Libraries
212.998.2539 | rachel.searcy at nyu.edu
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