[Archivesspace_Users_Group] Approach to describing single items

Amy Braitsch amy.braitsch at bc.edu
Thu Feb 3 10:20:29 EST 2022

Hey there ASpace list,

At BC we're working toward implementing the PUI. To get there we've
remediated a lot of legacy data and data practice. An area we haven't
handled yet is what to do with single item resources (e.g. a diary). We've
been inconsistent and need to settle on one approach. I'd like to know what
you've found to be the best approach and why.

Here are the two approaches we’ve taken. I see pluses and minuses:

Option 1: Resource without archival objects, with instances/digital objects
associated at the collection level. This makes logical sense, but the PUI
displays these containers/digital objects differently than on collections
with instances on the archival objects. The biggest difference in the PUI
is that thumbnails are omitted from the digital objects when they’re at
this level. On the staff side, the collection-level resource lacks the ref
ID and CUI field, which we use as part of our digital object file naming

Option 2: Resource with a child archival object (repeating the title of the
parent), with instances/digital objects associated with the AO. This seems
like redundant record-keeping. It requires more researcher clicks in the
PUI, but the display of the instances are consistent with other
collections. On the staff side, the ref ID and CUI are available for use in
our digital object workflows.

We rely on ASpace for collection management and description. As we move
into using it for discovery as well, I want to be sure that we're following
road-tested best practices.

Thanks for your help!


Amy Braitsch (pronouns: she/her/hers)
Head of Archives, Burns Library, Boston College, amy.braitsch at bc.edu
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