[Archivesspace_Users_Group] Relevance ranking prioritising info in agent record's biog history

Natalie Adams na207 at cam.ac.uk
Thu Feb 11 05:39:52 EST 2021

Dear all,

Now that we have completed the process of migrating legacy catalogue records to ArchivesSpace we have a large number of collections of personal papers available on our ArchivesSpace PUI (https://archivesearch.lib.cam.ac.uk/). Some of them are of very prominent people who have correspondingly long biographical history notes in their agent record. Not all the information in a biographical history is necessarily reflected in the contents of the archival collection- e.g. for a collection of papers of a Nobel prize winning scientist, the biog history would include information about the scientific breakthrough that led to the award of the Nobel even though the papers we have might relate solely to the scientist's later work as Head of one of the Cambridge colleges.

 We have noticed that relevance ranking of search results prioritises information in the biographical history note of an agent record, and will return hits tagged with an agent record (whether or not the search term is found in the resource or archival description data). In a search for suffrage (https://archivesearch.lib.cam.ac.uk/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&op%5B%5D=&q%5B%5D=suffrage&limit=&field%5B%5D=&from_year%5B%5D=&to_year%5B%5D=&commit=Search) on our system, the third hit in order of relevance (https://archivesearch.lib.cam.ac.uk/repositories/2/resources/7120) appears to have no relevance to the search unless you visit the agent record (https://archivesearch.lib.cam.ac.uk/agents/people/8044) where the term suffrage is included.

We would be very interested to know whether other repositories have experienced the same issue and have considered or been able to make any adjustments to their systems.

Best wishes,

ArchiveSearch | ArchiveSearch<https://archivesearch.lib.cam.ac.uk/>
What are archives? Archives are records produced by individuals, families, businesses or organisations during their existence. Archives come in a huge variety of formats- from parchment documents to digital files.

Natalie Adams
Systems Archivist
Cambridge University Library

Information about using Cambridge University Libraries is available online here: https://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/using-library

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