Replacing Refids for Automation and Standardization

A few months ago, I wrote about selected digitization readings and how we were going to use them to overhaul our digitization workflows. We’re now a couple of months into our new digitization workflow, and things are starting to run smoothly, but during the process, we noticed that we wanted a better way to match our digitized files to their description without using semantic filenames or separate metadata sheets. Continue reading

Reconciling Large Corporate Name Datasets

Over the weekend, we finished up a year-long project to import description for almost every single grant record the Ford Foundation ever gave. This is the same project that I wrote a post about last October. To refresh your memory, we started with 54,644 grant files described in an Excel spreadsheet, and we wanted to transform much of that data into EAD, and then import it into ArchivesSpace. Normally this project wouldn’t require an entire year, but we realized over the course of the project that we did not have efficient ways to reconcile our structured data against Library of Congress vocabularies. The post in October laid out our methods for reconciling subjects against LoC data; this post will detail the methods we took to reconcile corporate names against the LCNAF. Continue reading

From AT to ArchivesSpace Part 2: Migrations and Error Reporting

Migration Testing, Data Quality Checks, and Troubleshooting Errors – 295 hours in 8 months

After finishing the initial data cleanup, it was time to start testing our migration; the only way to identify major issues was to do a dry run. To set up for our initial testing, I took a MySQL dump of our AT database, loaded it up into an empty AT instance, and then installed the AT Migration Plugin. To install the AT Migration Plugin, just place the scriptAT.zip in your base AT plugins folder, either on a server or on your local machine.

Our first migration test did not go smoothly. Continue reading

Migrating ATReference data to Aeon

Since the RAC was founded in 1974, we’ve collected information about our researchers, including contact details, visit dates, topics of research, and publications. Starting in the 1980s, we captured this information in a number of different databases. Currently, this data is stored in ATReference, a customized version of the Archivists’ Toolkit that was developed by the RAC. As part of both the Aeon and ArchivesSpace implementation processes, we needed to migrate that data forward into Aeon so we can continue to access and add to the wealth of information it contains without having to support ATReference. Continue reading