[Archivesspace_Users_Group] Agent/Subject record merging in multi-repository setting

Karen Miller k-miller3 at northwestern.edu
Mon Sep 28 10:51:56 EDT 2020

Hello Betts et al,

At Northwestern University we have also merged quite a few duplicate Subjects and Agents that were used by multiple repositories. The merged records do indeed retain all of the links to Resource and Accession records that were previously linked to the separate Subject and Agent records. We tested this in our sandbox repository before trying it in the production server.


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 Daniel Michelson
Sent: Monday, September 28, 2020 9:20 AM
To: Archivesspace Users Group <archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org>
Subject: Re: [Archivesspace_Users_Group] Agent/Subject record merging in multi-repository setting

Hi Betty,

Agents and subjects are not specific to repositories, so it shouldn't matter whether it is linked to records in multiple repositories.  We have not encountered any problems relating to multiple repositories when merging agents or subjects.

All the best,


On Mon, Sep 28, 2020 at 10:10 AM Coup, Betts <elizabeth_coup at harvard.edu<mailto:elizabeth_coup at harvard.edu>> wrote:
Greetings all,

The ArchivesSpace Subject and Agent Taskforce at Harvard Library is working to develop best practices for subject and agent record creation, editing, and merging, and we're wondering if anyone might have experience with merging agent and subject records in a multi-repository setting in ArchivesSpace? We're currently exploring potential data clean-up options but are concerned about what happens when agent records linked to multiple different repositories' resource records are merged (and likewise for subject records and resource records). Do all the resource records remain linked to the merged, single agent record (or subject record)? How were you able to ensure no links were lost to other repositories' resource records?

If other institutions are in a similar multi-repository situation and completed merging successfully, would you mind sharing your workflows or processes and how you ensured there weren't links lost between agents/subjects and resource records?

Many thanks in advance for your time and help!

Betts Coup
Paula Aloisio
Julianna Kuipers
Amber LaFountain
Subject and Agent Taskforce

Betts Coup (she/hers)
Processing Archivist
Houghton Library
elizabeth_coup at harvard.edu<mailto:elizabeth_coup at harvard.edu>
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Dan Michelson
Project Manager Archivist
Smith College Special Collections

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