[Archivesspace_Users_Group] Sub-subseries custom usage?

Custer, Mark mark.custer at yale.edu
Tue Oct 20 13:09:51 EDT 2020

Hi, Lev.

Short answer:  you can select “otherlevel” and then type in “sub-subseries” (even “sub-sub-subseries” and whatever else that’s needed).  You might need to update your display code, but that approach would keep the EAD valid.  I'm attaching a screenshot for how to do that in ArchivesSpace.  That said, I would probably advise against doing that since then you’re on the hook for making sure that there are no typos, etc….. and what, really, is a sub-subseries, or a sub-series, for that matter? 😊.  So, again, the display code might need to be updated, but nothing else would preclude you have having subseries children of other subseries.

Longer response, which doesn't really add much:  the closed list that ArchivesSpace uses for its "Archival Object Level" enumeration list comes from the EAD schemas.  Those schemas are based on ISAD(G) 3.1.4, which does not specify a closed list or definitions for different levels, I don’t think, but it does include a few different examples such as “Sub-series”.  In the first version of EAD, it looks like there were 9 valid options for the level of description, including “subseries”.  EAD 2002 and EAD3 bump that up to 11 valid options.  And starting with EAD2002, “otherlevel” was added to the controlled list of values to provide users a way to specify any other level that was required locally.  So, you can encode something like @level=’otherlevel’ and @otherlevel=’sub-subseries’ to add any local levels of description that you want.

All that said, I still don't know the difference between a series and subseries (aside from the context, which would be indicated by having a series as a child of a series), so I'm actually in favor of less values (e.g. removing subseries and just using series wherever that's needed) 🙂.


From: archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org [mailto:archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org] On Behalf Of Earle, Lev
Sent: Tuesday, 20 October, 2020 12:25 PM
To: archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org
Subject: [Archivesspace_Users_Group] Sub-subseries custom usage?

Hello everyone,

I’m wondering if anyone out there has configured their instance to make sub-subseries level designations available.

I’m currently working with some very large collection imports where sub-subseries would be useful, and know that EAD allows for I think a maximum of twelve levels (or something faintly ridiculous), but also know that the out-of-the-box AS doesn’t include a sub-subseries level designation. I know you can technically nest subseries as children under each other, but this feels like bad form and plays havoc with our display code. We could probably figure out something ourselves to hack in a sub-subseries designation, but I wanted to see what/if anyone else was doing, as we’d like to try and build consistently with other institutions to make future inter-institutional collaboration go more smoothly.

Many thanks for any help! I’m new to this listserv and have been learning a lot following conversations but still have a long ways to go.


Lev Earle
Special Collections Processing Archivist – RBSCP
University of Rochester River Campus Libraries
they/them pronouns

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