Ease of reporting - creating new / splitting existing fields

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Miles Clemson

Aug 11, 2023, 12:43:42 PM8/11/23
to AtoM Users
Happy Friday everyone - 

I'm Miles, and work at Southbank Centre Archive. We're currently in the process of moving a large number of legacy listings - paper, google sheets, etc - into AtoM.

One of the challenges we've been coming up against is the potential loss of filtering points of access to archival descriptions. Currently, we log information separately that will have to be combined within AtoM.

An example would be our open / closure periods for records. Currently, we have:

Opening Date - 'DD/MM/YY'
Record Access Note - 'Free text'

It's designed this way as we're occasionally asked to report on proportion of the archive that is publically accessible. 

Combining fields will seemingly lose that funacitonality, as all these fields are combined into the 'conditions governing access' field.

Can anyone see a good workaround? Some i've been thinking about:

- Split fields up, or creating additional fields without losing interoperability with future systems
- create controlled vocabulary so we can still pull the information, post export, with minimal spreadsheet work? 

Any ideas welcome!



Dan Gillean

Aug 11, 2023, 3:50:13 PM8/11/23
to ica-ato...@googlegroups.com
Hi Miles, 

Perhaps you could take a look at the fields available in the PREMIS Rights module? See: 
Some limitations on this however: 
  • Current Rights records are only visible to authenticated users, so if this information you expect your public researchers to be able to see on descriptions, this approach will not work
  • I'm not sure that the PREMIS Rights fields are searchable right now, so if you need to be able to find records based on this metadata that you add, this may also not work
  • PREMIS rights cannot currently be imported or exported, so this information would be lost if migrating or having your records harvested by OAI (to ArchivesHub, for example)
My only other two thoughts are: 
  • If the information doesn't need to be public, then is there somewhere it could be added to a related accession record, instead of in the description directly? AtoM's description templates are based on content standards (like ISAD(G), etc), but if you do make local customizations to meet your needs, at least the accession records are not currently standardized (and are less likely to be exchanged publicly, harvested, etc)
  • Otherwise, even though it's just one free-text field, what if you just added those 3 key-value pairs as-is into the Conditions Governing Access field? You can even use Markdown to bold the labels, etc. You can read more about formatting in AtoM here
Hope these ideas help!


Dan Gillean, MAS, MLIS
AtoM Program Manager
Artefactual Systems, Inc.
he / him

Southbank Centre
Belvedere Road

Registered Charity No. 298909

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Miles Clemson

Aug 17, 2023, 4:13:51 AM8/17/23
to AtoM Users
Hi Dan - 

Thanks so much for this. All of these solutions seem like they'd work well, so for us it'll be a matter of seeing which will be easiest for users during testing. 

Thank you!!

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