[Archivesspace_Users_Group] Are ASpace-created ref IDs unique?

Noah Huffman noah.huffman at duke.edu
Fri Mar 6 09:16:27 EST 2020


If you migrated from Archivist Toolkit and preserved those AT-generated ref_IDs in ASpace during the migration (e.g. ref118_up1), it’s likely that you’ll run into a few dupes.  My understanding is that the migration appended the underscore and those three extra characters to the original AT ref_ids, but in some cases that strategy was not sufficient to guarantee uniqueness, especially if you have a sizable number of archival objects if your database.  We have definitely encountered this problem when using ref_IDs outside of the system as you describe. We were storing the ref_ids in our repository and using them to auto-generate digital objects in ASpace and link those objects to their corresponding archival object.  We noticed the duplicate ref_ID problem when digital objects were being linked to archival objects in the wrong resource.

ASpace does enforce uniqueness of ref_IDs within a given resource record, but not across resources.


Noah Huffman
Archivist for Metadata, Systems, and Digital Records
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Duke University | 919-660-5982
Pronouns: he / him / his

From: archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org <archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org> On Behalf Of Andrew Morrison
Sent: Friday, March 6, 2020 6:26 AM
To: Archivesspace Users Group <archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org>
Subject: Re: [Archivesspace_Users_Group] Are ASpace-created ref IDs unique?

The ref ID, when not imported or migrated from another source, is generated here:


It is a 32-character hexadecimal string, therefore 16^32 permutations. Uniqueness cannot be guaranteed, but duplicates are very unlikely.


On Fri, 2020-03-06 at 01:00 +0000, Teresa Soleau wrote:


We are considering using the component ref IDs in ASpace as a unique ID outside of the system (to link up with our digitized collections and other metadata repos). However, we're not sure that they are unique across all resources in our instance of ASpace. We found some cases where two different archival object had the same ref ID. They are of the type that migrated in from Archivist's Toolkit (example: ref118_up1) so it may be a legacy issue, but I wanted to confirm with someone who knows that the ASpace created ref IDs are going to be unique across our whole instance of ASpace.

Teresa Soleau
Digital Preservation & Library Systems Manager
Collection & Content Management Systems
The J. Paul Getty Trust
T (310) 440 7601  |  getty.edu<https://urldefense.com/v3/__http:/www.getty.edu/__;!!OToaGQ!9l4ZQb3xRJpRnfEmgSHdiehBiEfOe-Piv5D60mNlkeaLT_WnI1xZGscorsgRt0EFbfkC$>



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