Today I’m going to write about something that came up at Code4Lib, has been on my mind recently, and is near and dear to my heart: authority reconciliation. You might remember this blog post from almost a year ago? If you don’t remember, or don’t have time to go back and read it, I’ll summarize the gist pretty quickly: reconciling large amounts of data against established authorities is complicated, time-consuming, and often frustrating, but we do the best that we can. I think my own experience in doing this type of work is why Christina Harlow’s talk “Get Your Recon” resonated so strongly with me. Continue reading
Last week I attended the annual meeting of the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO). I felt inspired and excited by a lot of the talks I saw, but one project that stood out to me was the Culture in Transit project.
About a year and a half ago, we decided that we were going to make the switch from our current Archival Management System, the no-longer-updated Archivists Toolkit, to its next iteration, ArchivesSpace. The RAC officially began preparing ourselves for ArchivesSpace in January of 2014. 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.
We prepared a series of screencasts for a recent donor meeting. These screencasts give a really nice, visual, overview of how we use three different systems: Archivematica, ArchivesSpace, and DIMES, and how they connect to each other.
The first screencast reviews our Archivematica ingest process, and covers how we link to metadata in the Archivists’ Toolkit. We’ll be implementing this functionality using the ArchivesSpace API in the near future.
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Archive Center accepted the records of the Ford Foundation, and included among these papers were records pertaining to Unpublished Reports and Grants from the Foundation’s inception to the present.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.