Linking multiple archival descriptions to physical storage

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Julie-Ann Vickers

Sep 6, 2021, 8:17:34 AM9/6/21
to AtoM Users

Hello we have just migrated to AtoM and I am trying to work out how to link multiple item- level archival descriptions to one container in physical storage. I know how to go through and link each description separately but this is very time consuming in some cases, where there are 40 plus descriptions to link to each container. Many thanks for any help for a complete AtoM novice!

Dan Gillean

Sep 7, 2021, 10:28:31 AM9/7/21
to ICA-AtoM Users
Hi Julie-Ann, 

It's not currently supported via the user interface, but the best method we have currently to do this kind of work in bulk would be via the command-line physical storage CSV import. See: 
Note as well that if you are creating new archival descriptions via CSV import, the descriptions CSV template does support the creation of and linking to physical storage elements - see: 
Additionally, if you have command-line access, then you could try using the --roundtrip option on a CSV export of the target descriptions, adding in the physical storage information, and then reimporting it as an update. While finding and matching against existing descriptions in the same system (i.e. roundtripping) is currently a bit difficult via the user interface due to the matching logic, with the command-line description CSV import, we have added an additional option (called --roundtrip) that will bypass the normal matching criteria, and instead look ONLY for an exact match on the AtoM objectID. When you export a CSV from AtoM, the objectID is what AtoM populates the legacyID column with. Therefore, you should be able to:
  • Use the clipboard to export your target descriptions
  • Add the physical storage columns to the CSV
  • Add your storage metadata
  • Re-import the CSV as an update on the command-line, using the --roundtrip option. 
I STRONGLY recommend that you make a backup of your database before proceeding (something we recommend for all import options, particularly on a production installation), and if possible do some small scale tests first, or test the entire process on a development instance first. 

I hope this helps!


Dan Gillean, MAS, MLIS

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