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ArchivesSpace Local Practices Manual for UHM Archives Staff: Events


Purpose: To document actions taken on resources (or their components), accessions, or digital objects.  These actions can fall into any of several categories:

  • Collection management (e.g. processing started or finished, accruals, deaccessions, cataloged, etc.)
    • NOTE: When creating an Event Record in an Accession or a Resource Record for a deaccession, also be sure to add a set of ‘Deaccession’-section fields to that Record as well!  (See page 49 of the Yale manual for information on the Deaccessions section.)
  • Donor relations (e.g. acknowledgement or agreement sent, received, or signed, etc.)
  • Legal status management (e.g. copyright or other rights transferred, custody transfers)
  • Digital Object management and preservation (e.g. capture, ingest, validation, file migration or normalization, fixity or virus checks, etc.)

Who creates, and when: Anyone managing a resource, accession, or digital object, ideally at the time of the event (or very shortly thereafter).

To Create a New Record:

Go to the record for the Resource, Accession, or Digital Object that the event to be documented relates to.

  • (Note: Events can be created/added to records from either the ‘View’ or the ‘Edit’ modes, but the events linked to a record can only be seen from that record’s ‘View’ mode.)

Click on the ‘Add Event’ menu button in the record’s top action bar (in the same line as ‘Edit’ ‘Spawn’, ‘Suppress’, etc.)

Choose the appropriate type of event from the drop down menu that pops up, and then click the pop-up’s ‘Add Event’ button.

  • This brings up a ‘New Event’ Record that has the ‘Record Links’ fields already filled in with the appropriate Resource/Accession/Digital Object Record information.
  • Note: It is possible to create events directly from the main ‘Create’ menu, but this should be avoided!

Field Instructions

The good practice fields vary somewhat by the type of event being recorded.  Common fields—and important ones to use, whether or not they are strictly required by ArchivesSpace—include:

  • Event Date/Time Fields:  For the most part, these fields work like the Date section fields in Accession/Resource/Digital Object Records. 
    • There is the option to format the date as a UTC Timestamp instead of as a standard Date Subrecord, which may be more useful for digital object-type events.
    • The ‘Label’ will usually be ‘Agent Relation’.  Sometimes it will be appropriate to change it to a different type, notably ‘Event’ or ‘Modified’. 
  • Agent Links Fields: Used to document the actors involved in a transaction; i.e. the people, organizations, or software programs involved with the action being described. Examples:
    • For an ‘Agreement Sent’ event representing the mailing of a deed of gift: Add two agent links, one for the archivist/librarian who sent the deed (Role = ‘Transmitter’), and one for the donor to whom it was sent (Role = ‘Recipient’). 
    • For a ‘Deaccession’ event: Add one agent link, for the archivist/librarian who sanctioned the deaccession (Role = ‘Authorizer’)

Notable optional fields that may be added if desired:

  • Outcome’ & ‘Outcome Note’: Particularly useful for events related to Digital Objects, these fields can be used to document how successful/complete the action has been.  The choices for ‘Outcome’ are ‘Fail’, ‘Partial Pass’, and ‘Pass’; ‘Outcome Note’ is a free-text narrative field. 
  • External Document’: Used in the same way as External Document fields in Accession/Resource/Digital Object Records.