[Archivesspace_Users_Group] Mrs. Husband's Name / updates in our ArchivesSpace database

Lara Friedman-Shedlov ldfs at umn.edu
Mon May 18 17:06:51 EDT 2020

Thanks for sharing this Mark.  At the University of Minnesota, we are in
the early stages of doing some agent record clean-up as well, so this
information is very useful.

For one project we were looking at doing with our agents, we wanted to
create a report of all of our agent records that would also include the
biographical /historical notes from any linked resource records (or at
least the URLs to any associated resource records, so we could easily find
the relevant bio/hist notes).  Our instance of ArchivesSpace is hosted by
Lyrasis so we contacted them to ask about it and were told this is "not
possible."  I found that surprising and wonder if anyone else has done
something like this and if so, how.

/ Lara Friedman-Shedlov

On Mon, May 18, 2020 at 4:00 PM Custer, Mark <mark.custer at yale.edu> wrote:

> All,
> Is anyone else working on Agent-related cleanup projects in ArchivesSpace
> right now?  We’ve got a couple of those going on at Yale, and I wanted to
> mention one of them on this listserv since I said that I would last night
> on Twitter 😊.  My reasoning was that it would be better to share widely,
> even early on, in the likely event that others were working on similar
> projects, and in hopes that it might save time for anyone else looking to
> get started with such a project.
> Anyhow, just for the sake of sharing, here’s a really hacky SQL database
> query that you can use in ArchivesSpace to get a list of agents that have
> any name forms that include “Mrs.” or “Miss”:
> https://gist.github.com/fordmadox/d78656fceb04b62000b662a3f2464488
> A few caveats:
>    - I do **not** know SQL very well, so I know that this could be
>    improved dramatically, but it gets data out of ArchivesSpace.
>    - The query casts a rather wide net, since it looks for Mrs. or Miss
>    in any of the name forms, but it could be altered to just look for those
>    two terms in the “sort_name” only if desired.
>    - The result of the query has at least one Yale-specific field in
>    there, since we store our local ILS bibliographic IDs in ASpace’s “user
>    defined string 2” field.  You can ignore that, or add something else, etc.,
>    but the gist is that this query should work in any ASpace instance.  It
>    should return one row per agent, with multiple name forms, and a bit more
>    information like which Resources, Archival Objects, and/or Accessions the
>    agent is linked to.
>    - And last, it just searches for variations of “Mrs.” and “Miss”,
>    which works for our dataset, but you could modify the HAVING clause at the
>    end of the query to search for other honorific terms, if needed.
> Most importantly, though, getting a dataset to review and act on is just
> the first step.  The hard work comes next!  Jessica Tai, Alison Clemens,
> and Karen Spicher are spearheading this project at Yale. If anyone has
> specific questions about the project, I’d encourage you to reach out
> directly to them.
> For now, though, here’s one interesting example from the project:   we’ve
> got an agent record now in ArchivesSpace for “Brady, John G., Mrs.”,
> https://archives.yale.edu/agents/people/77599.  Originally this would
> just have been text in the finding aid, later a link in a catalog record,
> and now it’s full-blown, standalone record for a person in ArchivesSpace.
> But nowhere in that agent record is her given name, Elizabeth, although her
> name is thankfully listed multiple times in the finding aid (check out the
> finding aid author! 😊), in the Wikipedia entry for John Green Brady, and
> elsewhere.  So, that agent record will eventually be one of a few hundred
> local records that we update in ArchivesSpace during the course of this
> project.  And, one of the things that I like about ArchivesSpace --which
> helps to make sure that this project is possible without too many
> workarounds--  is that even if an agent record has a corresponding
> authority record in, say, the Library of Congress name authority file (e.g.
> http://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/n2008076910), you can still choose to
> use a different name variant for that agent’s display name, rather than an
> authorized heading.
> Anyhow, I hope all is doing well!
> Mark
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Lara D. Friedman-Shedlov    (she, her, hers)
Description and Access Archivist | Kautz Family YMCA Archives |
Digital Records Archivist | Archives & Special Collections |
University of Minnesota Libraries | lib.umn.edu | 612.626.7972
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