Sunday, October 25, 2009

AT Tips & Tricks: Transfer Components

One of the key weaknesses, in our opinion, of the early AT releases was the inability to import and attach EAD for an accession or addition to an existing resource. The Yale University Archives uses an inventory template, which offices fill out and email to us with each new accession. The template, an Excel spreadsheet, incorporates EAD tags and allows us to simply copy and paste encoded description directly into a finding aid, requiring only minimal clean-up. Without a means for importing this partial EAD into early versions of the AT meant we either had to re-enter the information into the AT or delete the resource and re-import it with the addition. The problem with the later is that deleting the resource also deletes all the location and instance information tied to the resource, which, in our case, is sizable. With the addition of Transfer Components functionality in v.1.5, however, the AT allowed us to import partial EAD without losing information assigned in the AT. Here's how it works.

First, create a dummy EAD finding aid with the addition/accession EAD as a component. I generally add the new accession EAD to the existing finding aid for a resource and delete all other components. Second, import said finding aid into the AT. Third, open the the resource in the AT into which you want to transfer components. Fourth, click on the Transfer button and select the dummy resource to import components from. Fifth, update the resource as necessary (e.g. extent, dates, etc.). Lastly, delete the dummy resource from the AT. That's it. It's that simple.

We originally thought about creating a plug-in to allow us and others to import and append EAD components into a resource, but ultimately decided/realized that the Transfer function was sufficient and free. Sometimes you just have to be a little creative in your approach to maximize the AT's functionality.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post... I can see that you put a lot of hard work on your blog. I'm sure I'd visit here more often.
    from Magic Tricks.