All Hands on Deck!

Contributed by Kelly Spring

[This is the 3rd in a series -- see also the 1st and 2nd installments about ECU's migration to ArchivesSpace.]

When dealing with over three thousand accessions, two thousand resources, and a handful of assessment records, it’s good to have a large crew. Checking the accuracy of a mere 20% of that data would require a lone pirate to evaluate at least one thousand files! So, the subgroups here at ECU have recruited a few extra hands to assist in pinpointing migration blunders.

As soon as our lead programmer began test migrations from Archivists' Toolkit (AT) to ArchivesSpace (AS) for our three repositories (manuscripts, university archives, and medical history collections), we set to work checking the data for mapping, style, and content errors. We’ve enlisted student employees, catalogers, a few department heads, technicians, a support analyst, and even an assistant director to aid in the effort.

Of course, we rigged up a Jacob’s Ladder to get our mates aboard and promised not to maroon them. Each subgroup created documentation and training material for their new recruits and walked them through the process of comparing source files in AT with the migrated files in AS. We’ve begun with accession records and hope to move on to resource records in the new year. (You can loot our ECU accession worksheet here.)

There is a scurvy dog, though: the manuscript container list database. The lead programmer is exploring how best to push this into AS. Attempts have included adding container lists to AT and pushing through the AT migration tool, using a console application to inject AS-compliant container lists into EAD and adding via AS import/export, and using the Harvard aspace-import-excel tool. We hope that the parley doesn’t drag on, but the entire crew is on hand to assist if swabbing the deck - or manually working with the database - becomes necessary.

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