[Archivesspace_Users_Group] Managing Unique Top Containers

Herbert Dittersdorf herbert.dittersdorf at maine.edu
Tue Aug 1 11:23:03 EDT 2023

Hello ArchiveSpace Community,

I was hoping to crowdsource a little wisdom about Top Containers and how
you all manage them.

I am retooling the finding aid for the University of Maine's William S.
Cohen Papers collection--a very large set of boxes (our largest). The
collection contains multiple record groups, series, sub series, and
sub-subseries. Boxes and files have been associated with Top Containers
successfully; however, the Top Container designations tend to be generic
(e.g. "Box 1," "Box 2," "Box 3"...). This fact creates a problem: each "Box
1," "Box 2," "Box 3"... Top Container is linked with records from disparate
series and subseries.

For example, the following two folder titles are both linked under the same
"Box 1" Top Container:

[image: image.png]
One file comes from subseries, *2.1.5 Membership Files. *The other file
comes from the subseries, *3.4.4 Mailings.*

Obviously the details do not matter here. I am simply wondering how others
deal with similar problems. Generally: *Is there a way to create unique top
container instances with identical titles? *Or do you all typically embed
additional information in the "Top Container" title?

In the case of the example: Can I create two unique "Box 1" instances (one
for the 2.1.5 subseries and the other for the 3.4.4 subseries) by editing
the metadata for that Top Container in some way? Or is creating a longer
"Top Container" title (something like, "2.1.5 Box 1") the only way to solve
this problem?

I am looking for an elegant way of solving this issue without creating long
Top Container titles but could not find a way to do so using the Help
Center. Even knowing, for sure, that I have to create longer titles would
be very helpful.

Thank you so much and I apologize for clogging all of your inboxes with my

Herbie Dittersdorf
Herbert Matthew Dittersdorf, M.S.I.
Archivist, William S. Cohen Papers
Special Collections Department
5729 Fogler Library
Orono, ME 04469-5729
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