Make more fields visible in PDF finding aid

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Kieran O Leary

Dec 9, 2023, 1:01:36 PM12/9/23
to AtoM Users

Is there a way to make more fields visible in the PDF finding aid? I would like to see Archivist's Note appear in the PDF finding aid but it does not. Is there some config file or template that can be edited?


Kieran O'Leary

Dan Gillean

Dec 11, 2023, 11:59:57 AM12/11/23
Hi Kieran, 

Adding additional fields or making other modifications to the PDF finding will require development. You will have to take a look at multiple places. I am not a developer and can't tell you exactly what changes to make, but I can at least round up the various places you would want to investigate to make changes. 

First, it's worth noting that the PDF generation was sponsored by a Canadian institution, and is based on the Canadian RAD archival standard and template / export in AtoM. We had always intended to add additional finding aid profiles for ISAD and other standards, but unfortunately, it never happened. 

With that in mind: Finding aids are generated asynchronously from the EAD 2002 exports - essentially, we have XSLT files that take the output EAD XML and transform it into a PDF or RTF file, following the rules of the stylesheet. 

So, first you will need to do some testing and confirm that the fields you want are present in the EAD XML. I don't actually know for sure if the RAD-based XSLT that turns your EAD XML into a PDF actually uses the RAD EAD (we do have 2 different EAD profiles - a RAD one, and an ISAD(G) one), so you might want to check both by setting the view page template for your description to the correct standard and then exporting the EAD from the right-hand sidebar/context menu. 

If you need to make code changes to the EAD, we recently shared some links pointing out where to find the relevant code in this thread: 
The Gearman-based Job Scheduler actually runs the task asynchronously, so it doesn't time out in the browser. I doubt this will require any changes, but the main class for it can be found here: 
Now, the XSLTs used to transform the EAD XML can be found here: there are 2 versions (Full details, and Inventory summary), whose differences are described in the docs here: 
You can find both of these stylesheets here in the code: 
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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Kieran O Leary

Dec 11, 2023, 1:09:13 PM12/11/23
Wow Dan, thank you so much for such a detailed answer. This is wonderful and it’s great to have that extra context and info. Sounds like I have some digging and troubleshooting to do. Thank you! I’ll report back if I’ve any success. 



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