I’m very pleased to announce that the Rockefeller Archive Center’s substantial (and rapidly growing) bibliography of publications based on work completed using our collections is now available in Zotero. This is the culmination of several months of hard work on the part of many individuals here, working together to create functional requirements, evaluate potential solutions and select the best option, and then migrate our existing bibliography into Zotero. Continue reading
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
CUSTOMIZING THE APPLICATION – 22 hours in 4 months
While we were mostly happy with the base ArchivesSpace application, we did want to make a few changes to the display and functionality in order to make it more user-friendly. I started out by referencing the Customizing and Theming ArchivesSpace documentation as well as the developer screencasts. Continue reading
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
You might remember that earlier this year I wrote a post about Metadata Cleanup and Ford Foundation Grants that gave a very basic overview of how I went about reconciling thousands of subject terms against the Library of Congress. This reconciliation was essential in helping us gain control over data that we did not create, but that we also identified as possibly extremely valuable to researchers. This post will give an in-depth and updated account of how I hobbled together a (mostly) automatic way to check large amounts of topical terms against the Library of Congress. It still requires some hands-on work and quality checking is a must, but it cut a hundreds of hours job down exponentially.
Beginning in 2011, the Rockefeller Archive Center accepted the records of the Ford Foundation, and included among these papers were records pertaining to Unpublished Reports and Grants from the Foundation’s inception to the present. Along with the materials, the Ford Foundation provided us with two spreadsheets filled with metadata describing both the Unpublished Reports and Grants files. The Grants file alone includes 54,644 rows and 34 columns of information ranging from subjects terms to restriction information. However, much of this data was “dirty”; many subject terms did not match LCSH vocabulary, dates did not match formatting for import into Archivist’s Toolkit, and many more issues. Despite these issues, the metadata opened new avenues of access and description to the materials, and wrangling and refining them for import into Archivist’s Toolkit and DIMES would help researchers from all over the world discover the exact item he or she is looking for. In November of 2013, members of the Digital Projects team met with representatives from Processing and Reference with the express goal of transforming this metadata into a machine-readable format so that the RAC may provide it in a searchable format online.
Getting our library records out of Re:Discovery and into the Archivists’ Toolkit has proven to be a challenging process. This post describes that process in somewhat gory and technical detail. Continue reading