[Archivesspace_Users_Group] Advice on born-digital accessioning in ArchivesSpace

Rachel Aileen Searcy rachel.searcy at nyu.edu
Mon Apr 4 13:55:43 EDT 2022

Hi Celia,

I think this is a great question, and I’d be curious to hear what other
folks are doing.

As a general rule we use container instances to record information about
physical materials, and digital objects to record information about
born-digital materials or digital surrogates. We track the physical
locations of any physical carriers using instances to record the box an
item is in, and we use digital objects to record the AIP in our digital
repository. At the point of accessioning, we typically have a single
archival object with a single digital object to represent the entirety of
the born-digital materials for the accession, whereas our arrangement and
description activities typically (although not always) result in more
granular representation.

Alongside this, we also record extent(s) and create or edit descriptive
metadata in the accession and resource record to document what we
understand about the formats, content, and context of these born-digital
materials. Our accessioning workflow includes the creation of an accession
record for this particular grouping of materials, as well as the creation
or editing of a resource record to represent the collection in its entirety.

I'd echo Jessica's comment about consistency, and further it by
underscoring the importance of documenting your local decisions in service
of that. Your question raises the need for flexible and supportive best
practices for accessioning so that archivists can adapt them locally to
address issues like scale, infrastructure, specific tools, concrete
workflows, and resourcing. It is extremely encouraging that SAA has
approved a three-year Best Practices Working Group for Accessioning, a
group whose work is currently underway and is paying explicit attention to
the particular needs of born-digital materials.

Looking forward to hearing what others do as well.

On Mon, Apr 4, 2022 at 9:27 AM Jessica Steytler <jasteytler at minlib.net>

> Seems likely that either is good, as long as one is consistent, right?
> I can picture myself putting in born-digital content as accessions in my
> near future, but I haven't done it yet, so I just tried it out and my
> instinct is for Digital Object-- its ID is its location/URL, which
> totally fits in my brain as opposed to an actual object.
> Jessica
> On Thu, Mar 31, 2022 at 10:50 AM Celia Caust-Ellenbogen <
> ccauste1 at swarthmore.edu> wrote:
>> Hi folks,
>> We're revamping our workflow for accessioning born-digital materials, and
>> we'd love advice from folks using ASpace for this.
>> In particular, we're stuck on questions about tracking locations for
>> accessioning unprocessed born-digital materials in cloud storage...should
>> we use instances or DAOs?
>> If you have opinions on this and would be willing to discuss/advise, I
>> would be grateful to hear from you!
>> Celia
>> --
>> Celia Caust-Ellenbogen (she/her/hers
>> <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.swarthmore.edu_lgbtq_gender-2Dpronouns&d=DwMFaQ&c=slrrB7dE8n7gBJbeO0g-IQ&r=WwSkYr7X9POdZNK4180yTjrK5hSljcuCPIN--y1VRZk&m=g9uM2eSEUu_t0KHTdKZ1DdTofCaAXZTMz9TGtERbRfuWmIimxIWXviSEzzXbP-q1&s=0M8XcM74uCfgxKkZrFVozor3JQ8uJp3sgNildbZBdkI&e=>)
>> (pronounce my name
>> <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.name-2Dcoach.com_celia-2Dcaust-2Dellenbogen&d=DwMFaQ&c=slrrB7dE8n7gBJbeO0g-IQ&r=WwSkYr7X9POdZNK4180yTjrK5hSljcuCPIN--y1VRZk&m=g9uM2eSEUu_t0KHTdKZ1DdTofCaAXZTMz9TGtERbRfuWmIimxIWXviSEzzXbP-q1&s=NVzWfSPa8qkWL5_gS3wvrQeSBoSzY7Cx8zbdp-_VXV8&e=>
>> )
>> Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
>> <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__swarthmore.edu_friends-2Dhistorical-2Dlibrary&d=DwMFaQ&c=slrrB7dE8n7gBJbeO0g-IQ&r=WwSkYr7X9POdZNK4180yTjrK5hSljcuCPIN--y1VRZk&m=g9uM2eSEUu_t0KHTdKZ1DdTofCaAXZTMz9TGtERbRfuWmIimxIWXviSEzzXbP-q1&s=q7WQIhco0tbTJVTZGKyZVk_SdrYrTEh_T3ORheXbxgk&e=>
>> ccauste1 at swarthmore.edu
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> --
> Jessica Steytler | *she/her* (why does this matter?
> <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.mypronouns.org_what-2Dand-2Dwhy&d=DwMFaQ&c=slrrB7dE8n7gBJbeO0g-IQ&r=WwSkYr7X9POdZNK4180yTjrK5hSljcuCPIN--y1VRZk&m=g9uM2eSEUu_t0KHTdKZ1DdTofCaAXZTMz9TGtERbRfuWmIimxIWXviSEzzXbP-q1&s=0OekFpgH27Lw-CKqMVAO5NDXrN6YBRLizw1ABthnrJU&e=>
> )
> Reference - Special Collections
> Public Library of Brookline
> 617-730-2375
> http://brooklinelibrary.org
> <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__brooklinelibrary.org&d=DwMFaQ&c=slrrB7dE8n7gBJbeO0g-IQ&r=WwSkYr7X9POdZNK4180yTjrK5hSljcuCPIN--y1VRZk&m=g9uM2eSEUu_t0KHTdKZ1DdTofCaAXZTMz9TGtERbRfuWmIimxIWXviSEzzXbP-q1&s=bNxstr9hIZtDt_y3BDCrBP90pbJJ5-LRTqN8RYgmRs0&e=>
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Rachel Searcy
Accessioning Archivist, Archival Collections Management
New York University Libraries
212.998.2539 | rachel.searcy at nyu.edu
My pronouns are she/her/hers
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