Transfer Accession Physical Objects to new Archival Description Record

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Tom Misilo

Aug 21, 2023, 3:17:33 PM8/21/23
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What is the best way to transfer the linked physical objects from the Accession Record to a new Archival Description Record?

We followed these steps to create the description, but all the boxes are tied to accession and we are looking to move them.

Thanks for any tips and tricks!

Dan Gillean

Aug 22, 2023, 3:53:57 PM8/22/23
Hi Tom, 

Beyond just manually moving them (i.e. unlinking them from the accessions and linking them to the descriptions - or, leaving the accession links but adding in ones to the descriptions as well), there's not an easy way to do this that I can think of. We do have a couple CLI tasks to help manage physical location data, but these won't help you directly. In case they are still generally of use, see: 
Otherwise, your best bet would probably be to try using SQL to make updates - though I can't think of an easy way to construct a query that will do this at scale. However, the physical storage objects are related to objects via (... I *think*) object IDs linked on the relation table - so if you look up the object ID of the target description, then it should be possible to replace the accession ID with a description ID instead as a means of updating them?

Some resources: 

We have a basic overview of common SQL queries with AtoM here: 
This page includes how to access the MySQL command prompt, and importantly, instructions on how to back up your database. I STRONGLY RECOMMEND you make a backup before attempting to make any changes via SQL to your AtoM installation - ideally, you deploy a test site, load a backup, and make the changes there so you can preview them without affecting your production site. 

You can find Entity Relationship Diagrams showing AtoM's database schema on our wiki - here is the latest version, which is a text-searchable PDF instead of a just an image this time:
The docs page linked above shows how to find the object ID of a record. I've also shared a very brief overview of AtoM's data model in this recent forum post, which should at least help you better navigate the ERD. The storage data will be found primarily in the physical_object and physical_object_i18n tables - possibly linked to other entities via the relation table, but that part I am personally less sure about. Ideally, with that and some SQL knowledge, you will be able to trace what you need. 

Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

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

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