[Archivesspace_Users_Group] Geographic creators

Bowers, Kate A. kate_bowers at harvard.edu
Thu Feb 25 09:36:18 EST 2021

Can you explain more about "two Austins, one agent and one geographic subject, as it would violate cataloging standards, wreak havoc on our taxonomy management, and create a clickable wild west in ASpace."

I find the LCSH/LCNAF practice of conflating a governing corporate body with a geographic area inherently illogical.  Instead of using the chosen name for the government, as an example "City of Boston" they use the same text as the geographical name. We'd never do this to other corporate bodies.

Background, for the non-LCSH/LCNAF folk: LOC has a single geographical authority record and uses the same text for the governing body and the geographic area, and just codes it differently in the MARC resource records if the usage is as a corporate body "creator" field instead of a "subject" field.  Technically, AS cannot do this.


Kate Bowers
Collections Services Archivist for Metadata, Systems, and Standards
Harvard University Archives
kate_bowers at harvard.edu
<mailto:megan_sniffin-marinoff at harvard.edu>
voice: (617) 998-5238
fax: (617) 495-8011
web: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.eresource:archives
Twitter: @k8_bowers

From: archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org <archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org> on behalf of Olivia S Solis <livsolis at utexas.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, February 24, 2021 6:32 PM
To: Archivesspace Users Group <archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org>
Subject: [Archivesspace_Users_Group] Geographic creators

Hi all,

I am wondering how some of you all may have handled documenting the creators of collections in ArchivesSpace when the creator is a geographic location, as in e.g. Austin (Tex.) - meaning its government.

Some the standards I am looking at:
In its chapter on places, "The names of places are commonly used in the following ways: as the names of governments and communities that are not governments."

Chapter on corporate bodies: "The conventional name of a government is the name of the area over which the government exercises jurisdiction" and then it refers you to the chapter on places.

Defines the creator as "identifies the corporate bodies, persons, and families associated with the creation, assembly, accumulation..."

Our particular conundrum is that we export and publish EAD to a consortium that is going to begin imposing mandatory creators, and many of ours are technically geographic. However, perhaps some of you have also grappled with this hybrid geographic/corporate sense of a place term. Maybe some of you would also like to identify a creator when it is a government that presides over a geographic area because you would like Austin to be a nice clickable, identifiable creator and geographic subject.

A dodge I have tried to recommend to processors is to identify the creator as the specific agency of the term that may have created the collection, e.g. Austin (Tex.). City Council. But sometimes we don't know the division that created the records and sometimes the broader city of Austin is really the creator. I certainly don't want to create two Austins, one agent and one geographic subject, as it would violate cataloging standards, wreak havoc on our taxonomy management, and create a clickable wild west in ASpace.

Apologies if there is an obvious solution to this that I do not know about.


Olivia Solis, MSIS
Metadata Coordinator
Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
The University of Texas at Austin
2300 Red River St. Stop D1100
Austin TX, 78712-1426
(512) 232-8013
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