Here’s what we have done and where we are with mapping our Beast accessions information to ArchivesSpace accession records:
- Play around in ArchivesSpace. Create new accession records with example data. See how these records interact with agent and subject records. Explore how spawning records into resource records work. Figure out how event records work (new to Aspace). And so forth.
- Analyze the Accession CSV Map and Accession CSV Template available on the ArchivesSpace Data Import and Export Map page. Ask questions about the mapping as the map contains a few errors (see below).
- Begin matching fields from the Beast database to the ArchivesSpace accession fields. Start parsing out our fields to their destination fields in the CSV template, including doing some data clean up by hand. This step helped to start identifying data clean up issues
- Do some test imports of populated CSV template. A good reminder that ArchivesSpace is still very much in active development. (ex: importing of agents had been turned off in the version 1.0.4 as in previous versions the importer was duplicating agent entries. Sadly, I did not realize this and spent a good 30 minutes trying to make my import take the names!)
- Adjust and continue refining map as you get into the details of your legacy data.
I added information about our database fields to the CSV map and sharing here:
A few things to note:
- There are five fields which are included in the CSV map, but do not currently import. I highlighted them in red with a note.
- We do not really have this data in our current records, so no worries for now.
- There are ten fields which the map states are collection management records in Aspace, but they are really event records. I highlighted these fields in yellow with a note that they create event records.
- On first glance collection management makes sense as it describes the activity these fields perform. I’ll confess I spent more time than I should have looking for them in that section of Aspace, before someone alerted me they are event records, which even if connected to a particular accession you don’t see when viewing that accession record (that will change in an upcoming release.)
- Our data is messy. So messy. Information from the archdescid:abstract field might show up in 23 Aspace accession record fields. 23!
- To be fair, this represents 11 different types of information as fields are more narrow in Aspace. (ex: A date range in the abstract doesn’t just move to a “date” field, but will move to 5-6 date fields based on the content.)
- 11 is still a lot of different types of information crammed into one field.
Next we will start diving into the questions our data is pushing.