[Archivesspace_Users_Group] [EXTERNAL] Re: Managing media instances in collection

Rees, John (NIH/NLM) [E] reesj at mail.nlm.nih.gov
Mon Dec 13 16:24:38 EST 2021


About our history/sources, +1 to what Noah said. We apply/gather these archival object values at accession time, as we create accession box/folder lists so these terms persist there rather than deleting them. We later got a bit smarter and decided to start making media counts for our separate shelflist database, so many of our AV terms are dbase fields we crafted for a retrospective project. And they are colloquially used across our dept which includes a separate AV unit. We now grow the term list/dbase fields as necessary.

I’d like to think some of the terms came from RDA media carrier lists. I don’t recall anymore, but I think a lot of this work was done around the same time RDA first appeared and sounds like something I would have done back then while sussing out RDA implementations with Tech Services. And I probably did some internet finding aid searching looking for comfort in the approaches others have tried.


From: Noah Huffman <noah.huffman at duke.edu>
Sent: Monday, December 13, 2021 12:22 PM
To: Archivesspace Users Group <archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org>
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Re: [Archivesspace_Users_Group] Managing media instances in collection

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Hi Jodi,

We also use a more-or-less locally-developed vocabulary / code list to identify format types. We have a short list of controlled container type values for broad categories of formats (boxes, videocassettes, film-reel, etc.), but more granular format information is communicated using format codes that we store as part of the item’s identifier in the container identifier field. So, in both cases we are storing the format information at the instance/container level and not necessarily at the archival object level. This has been helpful for reporting and for maintaining consistency across systems (many of these physical items are also represented as item records in our ILS).

Here’s a link to a Google sheet where we define the formats and corresponding format codes: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1NfbeugxEOuGI1YQcudWcQoMUU6UyhijZtirFPL0NcuE/edit?usp=sharing

Here’s an example finding aid where many of the item identifiers include format codes for various video formats (e.g. : RL11360-UMATIC-003): https://archives.lib.duke.edu/catalog/jwtdetroitav_aspace_536753340d54f53d8b3db51d8598c5d9

Again, this is locally-developed and not based on any external standard or vocabulary, but perhaps useful for reference.


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<mailto:archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org> <archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org<mailto:archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org>> On Behalf Of Allison-Bunnell, Jodi
Sent: Monday, December 13, 2021 11:50 AM
To: Archivesspace Users Group <archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org<mailto:archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org>>
Subject: Re: [Archivesspace_Users_Group] Managing media instances in collection

Hello John:
Thank you, this is exactly the approach that I had in mind! I appreciate your reply very much.

So far you and one other institution have shared their internally developed CV lists…I’m hoping to find something more standardized, or drawn from a particular standard. Can you tell me anything more about what source(s) you used for this list?

Best, Jodi

Jodi Allison-Bunnell
(pronouns: She, her)
Head of Archives and Special Collections, University Archivist
Montana State University Library
jodi.allisonbunnell at montana.edu<mailto:jodi.allisonbunnell at montana.edu> ​

On Dec 13, 2021, at 6:39 AM, Rees, John (NIH/NLM) [E] <reesj at mail.nlm.nih.gov<mailto:reesj at mail.nlm.nih.gov>> wrote:

Hi Jodi,

We haven’t leveraged any national/international standards, but historically we use internally developed standardized language within folder title text to identify/highlight instances of non-paper formats within folders. I use these occasionally for kludgie searching exercises. We’ve started to better label these with ASpace container instance controlled values terms. We do similar for free-standing lose items on the shelf like film cans, artifacts. We’ve noticed a roughly similar pattern in use at Duke Rubenstein.

           *   3.5 computer disk
           *   5.25 computer disk
           *   8 computer disk
           *   35mm slides
           *   audio microcassette
           *   audio tape reel
           *   audiocassette
           *   Beta videocassette
           *   CD-ROM
           *   CD-RW
           *   computer tape
           *   DVD
           *   glass slides
           *   microscope slides
           *   negatives
           *   photographs
           *   U-Matic videocassette
           *   VHS videocassette
           *   video tape reel

Example folder title: "Arteriosclerosis and coronary disease" [audiocassette], Family Practice v.23, no.4, Nov. 24, 1975
In Aspace:



John P. Rees
Archivist and Digital Resources Manager
History of Medicine Division
National Library of Medicine
Teleworking M-F 8:00AM – 4:30PM Eastern Time each day until further notice

From: Allison-Bunnell, Jodi <jodi.allisonbunnell at montana.edu<mailto:jodi.allisonbunnell at montana.edu>>
Sent: Tuesday, December 7, 2021 8:09 PM
To: archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org<mailto:archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org>
Subject: [Archivesspace_Users_Group] Managing media instances in collection

A question of practice for your collected wisdom.

We would like to be able to pull a report for all media in our collections—audio, video, film, and digital (computer) media. I do not have access to custom reporting and would need to generate this from a standard report. We need to be able to audit by format (e.g. how many reel to reel tapes do we have? How many obsolete floppy discs do we have?) in order to identify vulnerable media and plan migrations.

Since the media is an instantiation of a described object, I’d like to be able to do this from a standard vocabulary in the instance/container type. It looks like PBcore would be a possible choice for the audio, video, and film, but I need a concise list of computer media. Neither DCMI formats nor MIME types fit the bill.

We do not have the resources to take an elaborate approach to this, and I (always!) want to use standardized practices rather than creating local ones whenever possible.

Does anyone have a practice that would fit the bill?

Best, Jodi

Jodi Allison-Bunnell
(pronouns: She, her)
Head of Archives and Special Collections, University Archivist
Montana State University Library
jodi.allisonbunnell at montana.edu<mailto:jodi.allisonbunnell at montana.edu> ​

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