Following the move of approximately 40,000 linear feet of archival material between offsite storage facilities, the University of Southern California (USC) Libraries began a project to document these holdings’ new locations using ArchivesSpace. This case study explores a combination of tools--including the ArchivesSpace API, Python scripts, OpenRefine, and spreadsheet applications--that the USC Libraries used to batch-edit and create container data in ArchivesSpace following the move. The paper discusses the challenges and shortcomings of these tools for editing particular forms of legacy data entered into USC’s instance of ArchivesSpace long before the move. When the creators of this past description prioritized the work of establishing intellectual control (describing the informational content of archival resources) using methods that neglected descriptive prerequisites for the future maintenance of physical control (tracking the physical locations of archival holdings), the tools outlined in this paper were less effective in editing that legacy data.

Author Biography

Bolton (Bo) Doub is the Accessioning Archivist for the University of Southern California Libraries' Technical Services unit. His past work includes managing archives processing and promotion projects for the USC Libraries' Special Collections unit, the Computer History Museum, and the Center for the Study of Political Graphics. His research and promotional efforts for collections that he processed led to writing on the history of Community Memory--the first public computer-based bulletin board--and an article on the evolution of archival processing strategies.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.



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