[Archivesspace_Users_Group] ASpace v2.7.1 languages issue / Help with API deleting notes

Karen Miller k-miller3 at northwestern.edu
Wed Sep 9 17:18:42 EDT 2020

Hi all,

I've been trying to rectify the problems we had with Language of Materials notes when we upgraded to v2.7 without much success. The issue is as Benn described it below - archival objects that had Language of Materials notes ended up with a Languages sub-record that has a Language controlled value of "English" (regardless of what was in the note) and a Language of Materials note that has no content. When I retrieve the JSON via the API, the content is not present at all. We've upgraded our sandbox, so I have access to that text from the production server.

I thought that I could simply update the content field using the API, but it objects to the key outright (I can update an archival object Language of Materials note that I've added in the staff interface, so I know I have the right path to it). This isn't entirely surprising to me, because in the staff interface, I can edit the empty Language of Materials note to include the text it's supposed to have, but it won't save. I have to delete that note, save the archival object, then add the note back in.

I thought that I could use the API to delete the Language of Material notes and then add them back in in a second step, but this is where I'm getting stuck. My understanding of the delete request is that it only takes a URI as an argument. Maybe there is a way to specify a field within that URI, but I haven't been able to make that work.

With the help of this listserv, I was able to figure out how to update the contents of multi-part notes using the API, so I thought someone else might have run into this already. Any ideas are welcome!


PS - we are, in fact, experiencing this issue with Resources as well. But since we have fewer than 20 Resource records with Language of Material notes, we thought we'd just hold onto the text in a spreadsheet  and update them by hand in production. We have over 12,000 archival objects with Language of Material notes.

Karen D. Miller
Monographic Cataloger/Metadata Specialist
Northwestern University Libraries
Northwestern University
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208
k-miller3 at northwestern.edu

From: archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org <archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org> On Behalf Of Benn Joseph
Sent: Thursday, August 27, 2020 11:46 AM
To: Archivesspace Users Group <archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org>
Subject: [Archivesspace_Users_Group] ASpace v2.7.1 languages issue

Hi all,
We are upgrading from ArchivesSpace v2.4.1 to v2.7.1 as part of a plan to eventually get to 2.8-it was recommended that we to go to 2.7.1 first and sort out changes to the Languages sub-record first, so that's what we're doing. So far we've gone from 2.4.1 to 2.7.1 on our sandbox, and have discovered an unexpected behavior with languages for Archival Objects. Here's what we expected to happen (from the Atlas support site):
"If you have values in both Basic Information > Language of Materials and under Notes > Language of Materials in any version prior to v2.7.0 (which we do for many records):

  *   The values in Basic Information > Language of Materials will migrate to the new controlled value list under the new Languages sub-record in your Resource records as part of the update to v2.7.0. The presence of this information fulfills the requirement of the sub-record. You will not have to take any additional action for these records.
  *   The notes in Notes > Language of Materials will move from under the Notes heading to under the Language of Materials sub-record. They will display as text. Though this note alone does not meet the requirements of the sub-record, since it is paired with a Language (per the above), so you will not need to take any additional actions on these records."
This process worked successfully for Resource records, but for Archival Objects with both of the above values this is the result we're seeing:

*         The values in Basic Information > Language of Materials AND Notes > Language of Materials have both disappeared from the Archival Object.

*         There is now a new Language of Materials sub-record in the Archival Object that contains no data (just a blank text sub-note).

Upon moving to v2.7.1 we ran the batch_update_lang_and_script<https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/github.com/archivesspace-plugins/batch_update_lang_and_script__;!!Dq0X2DkFhyF93HkjWTBQKhk!FC86StKPvjCdzsb8X7S3nPoXIl5i-0XdIrJWid1om4PKya0jzi6-H40vMTenNlGRCXhJA7ML$>  plugin; but it doesn't seem like this would have affected the Archival Objects in the way are seeing.

Has anyone else experienced this issue? We are following up with our hosting service too just in case there is a step we missed.


Benn Joseph
Head, Collections Services
McCormick Library of Special Collections & University Archives
Northwestern University Libraries
Northwestern University
benn.joseph at northwestern.edu<mailto:benn.joseph at northwestern.edu%0d>

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