[Archivesspace_Users_Group] Shelf lists in ArchivesSpace

Olivia S Solis livsolis at utexas.edu
Wed Jul 27 10:22:54 EDT 2022

Hello all,

I was wondering if any institutions out there completely manage your
containers in ArchivesSpace, and if so, how is that going for you? Have you
put any checks in place to ensure that all boxes are located, not deleted,
not duplicated?

Our situation is that we currently maintain spreadsheets of shelf lists
with all our boxes outside of ASpace. These shelf lists link out to top
container records. The vast majority of boxes are in ASpace already except
for some that are unprocessed and not yet added/linked. There are a number
of fields in these spreadsheets that don't have a good home in ASpace, but
are working on solutions there. We mostly import inventories with the
spreadsheet importer and all processors can create and delete boxes. We
have a lot of shared boxes as we have a lot of small collections and not a
lot of space. We plan to launch our PUI soon and use Aeon.

As we approach a universe where it may be more realistic to have all our
boxes in ASpace, there are a few things that make me nervous about
maintaining accurate container/location information.

   - Processors may duplicate existing shared boxes in a number of ways.
   e.g. forget the barcode in the spreadsheet (the means of connecting to
   existing boxes) or it mismatches in some way (e.g. the barcode column is
   set to Number not plain text so the barcode's leading zeros are dropped and
   not matched)
   - Processors botch an inventory upload, delete the inventory, but not
   any new boxes created with the original upload. When they upload again
   there are 2 records for the same box.
   - Processors forget to add barcode, location, and/or container profile
   information post upload
   - In a botched upload, a processor does delete all the boxes, but
   accidentally deletes a shared box they forgot about, thereby deleting the
   link to potentially a dozen other collections.

I've encountered most of the above problems before. We definitely would
love all our boxes in one system and not have to maintain the same
information in 2 places, but are thinking about consequences of that. If
you fully maintain your container inventory in ASpace, have you encountered
any of these errors? Have you put any controls in place to ensure that
mistakes are less likely? Without any of our secondary spreadsheet shelf
lists as a countercheck, I'm worried about lost or inaccurate information.


Olivia Solis, MSIS (she/her)
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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