[Archivesspace_Users_Group] Discontinuing use of "levels of description" labels?

Majewski, Steven Dennis (sdm7g) sdm7g at virginia.edu
Fri Mar 8 14:51:42 EST 2019

In EAD, the hierarchy is fixed, but one of the advantages of linked data is that the elements are movable and reusable in other contexts. We’re not really taking advantage of that currently in ArchivesSpace, but for the future I think it makes sense to think about those use cases and whether level-of-description might be useful if the archival object is removed from its context.  ( For example, organizing artificial or virtual collections from subsets or multiple archival collections for exhibits or other display purposes — whether that’s done in ArchivesSpace or by another tool importing info from ArchivesSpace. ) 

I will also note that we are currently integrating Aeon with ArchivesSpace — currently in testing and not yet in production here, so we don’t have a lot of experience yet, but I think it may be useful to have level-of-description included in those requests (another instance where you are seeing the info removed from it’s context) and we are considering filtering request so that only the lowest level items are units that can be requested ( although this can be perhaps better implemented just by looking at whether the item has children. )

— Steve. 

> On Mar 8, 2019, at 2:29 PM, Jordon Steele <jsteele at jhu.edu> wrote:
> Hi all,
> This is more of an archival description question, but I’m not a member of that listserv, so I figured it would be easier to ping some of you about this for advice since I wager there’s a lot of overlap.
> We have not-infrequent discussions around here about what “level of description” label to assign to an archival component at a given level, i.e. collection, series, file, item, etc. But because our data is already structured in hierarchical relationships via EAD/JSON, there’s no real need to “tell the computer” what level this is since these labels aren’t the way computers understand context and hierarchy, the nesting of data is.
> Once I realized this, I often made the case that these level-of-description labels are useful for stylesheets, i.e. tell a stylesheet with level=series to make it all caps and bold, level=file should be red, etc. But the ASpace PUI doesn’t/doesn’t need to style levels in this manner for the hierarchy to be easily understood.
> So we’re considering discontinuing use of the “level of description” field in ASpace. But am I missing an important value of this field? Thanks!
> Best,
> Jordon
> Jordon Steele
> Hodson Curator of the University Archives
> Sheridan Libraries
> Johns Hopkins University
> 3400 N Charles St
> Baltimore, MD 21218
> jsteele at jhu.edu <mailto:jsteele at jhu.edu>
> 410-516-5493
> he/him/his
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