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ArchivesSpace Local Practices Manual for UHM Archives Staff: Locations / Location Profiles / Container Profiles

Locations: Overview

Purpose: To describe physical areas (drawers, shelves, cabinets, bins, etc.) where collections are stored.

Who creates, and when: Any collections services librarian/staff member (essentially everyone but students) with ASpace access.  

To Create a New Record (minimum fields / level of description):

Go to the ‘Create’ drop down menu, and choose ‘Single Location’ or ‘Create Batch Locations’ as appropriate. 

Locations: Single Locations: Good Practice for all types of Locations

Individual new locations can be created at the time of accession, or locations can be created singly or in batches via the ‘Create’ drop down menu.   These instructions specifically detail the creation of locations for rows/bays of shelving and for file cabinets/map cases (and their drawers); if you have other types of physical locations ask Leilani for help creating them.

Building’ is the only field ASpace requires, but to fully define each location we also use the ‘Room,’ ‘Coordinate Label 1,’ ‘Coordinate Indicator 1,’ and ‘Repository’ fields.  Lower-level Coordinates and Indicators are used in certain types of locations, and a ‘Location Profile’ can also be linked if desired.

  • Building: Enter a 2-letter building code, for example “HL” or “SL”
  • Room: enter the room number, e.g. “A650” or “504a”
  • Repository: There should only be one choice in the drop-down ‘browse’ menu, but double check to make sure that it is “University of Hawaii at Manoa Libraries (UHM)”.

Locations: Single Locations: Coordinates for Ordinary Sleving

Coordinate Label 1:  Enter “Section” (this is the label for the next field).

Coordinate Indicator 1: Enter the section number in one of the following formats:

  • For rooms that have been partially described—i.e. you’ve found some shelving locations for that room but not the specific shelving area you need:
    • For rooms that have different areas of shelving (like the 6th floor), the format is ‘SectionLetter-RowNumber-BayNumber’, e.g. “B-10-5”
      • If you want to add locations for individual shelves, add an additional part, e.g. “B-10-5-1” for the top shelf in the bay
      • (If you do this, avoid counting the tops of shelving units as shelves.  If it’s absolutely necessary—because, for example, material has already been placed on top of a shelving unit—give its shelf number as ‘0’, e.g. “B-10-5-0”)
    • For rooms that are all considered a single area (like 504a in Hwn/Pac), the format is just ‘RowNumber-BayNumber[-optionalShelfNumber]’, e.g. “7-3” or “7-3-4”.
  • For rooms that have not yet been added, see the ‘Batch Locations’ instructions below.

Locations: Single Locations: Map Case Drawers and File Cabinets

To indicate file cabinets, map cases, and their drawers as locations, first enter Repository, Building, and Room (and Location Profile, if desired) as described elsewhere on this page.

  • For cases and/or cabinets located in hallways enter a description of the hallway’s location for ‘Room’, e.g. "5th Flr Addition by staff elevator".

To create a map case or file cabinet as a single, overall location:

  • For 'Coordinate Label 1' enter ‘Map Case’ or ‘File Cabinet’.
  • For 'Coordinate Indicator 1' enter the name, number, or other designation of the case/cabinet being described (e.g. “1”).

To create individual locations for specific case/cabinet drawers:

  • Use the Batch Locations function (described more fully below).
  • Repository, Building, and Room will all be entered as if creating the case/cabinet as a single location; multiple cases/cabinets can be entered as a range if they all have the same number of drawers (and the same identification scheme was used to label each one’s drawers).
  • Enter the (or each) case/cabinet in the first row (as a range if creating locations for more than one case/cabinet), and then enter the drawers in the second row as a range.
  • For example if were creating individual drawer-level locations for map cases designated as 1 through 3, and each had 10 drawers, labeled A through J:
    • I would enter the appropriate information into the Building, Room, and Repository fields.
    • Then, in the ‘Coordinate Range 1’ line of fields, I would enter “Map Case” for ‘Label’, “1” for ‘Range Start’, and “3” for ‘Range End’.
    • Next, in the second row (the 'Coordinate Range 2' line), I would enter “Drawer” for ‘Label’, “A” for ‘Range Start’, and “J” for ‘Range End’.
    • Finally I would click the ‘Preview Locations’ button to make sure everything was correct; if there were no problems I would click ‘Create Locations’ to create locations for each of the 30 drawers. 

Locations: Batch Locations

Building,’ ‘Room,’ ‘Location Profile,’ and ‘Repository’ are entered the same as when creating single locations.

Shelving coordinates can be entered as ranges, and should be for rooms that haven’t yet been added as Locations in ASpace.

  • Unfortunately, because in the past we didn’t separate out the different parts of our shelving location sections into different parts, locations added this way won’t look quite the same as currently-existing locations. 
  • However, it will be much easier to create, sort, and filter the new locations created this way than it is to create, sort, or filter our existing locations.

If the room is one like the 6th floor storage space that has multiple areas, enter the name or indicator of the specific area that the batch of locations fall within into the ‘Area’ field.  (Otherwise, leave ‘Area’ blank.)

  • Coordinate Range 1’ row: For ‘Label’ enter “Row”.  For ‘Range Start’ and ‘Range End’ enter the numbers of the first and last rows in the section of shelving that you're creating locations for.
  • Coordinate Range 2’ row: For ‘Label’ enter “Bay”.  Enter “1” for ‘Range Start
    • If the rows all have the same number of bays, enter the number of the last bay in each row for ‘Range End
    • If the rows have different numbers of bays, for ‘Range End’ enter the number of bays in the row with the largest number of bays and delete the unneeded/non-existent locations when you have finished creating the locations.
      • NOTE, however, that locations must be deleted individually, so if this would create a lot of non-existent locations then it may be more convenient to split up the batch up so that locations for rows with different numbers of bays are created in different batches. 
  • Coordinate Range 3’ row (if desired): For ‘Label’ enter “Shelf”.  For ‘Range Start’ enter “1” and for ‘Range End’ enter however many shelves there are in each shelving unit.

Locations: Digital Locations


However, as of October 2017, there is one Location Record for a digital location. While 'Identifier' and/or ‘URI’ fields within Digital Object Records are strongly preferred methods for recording digital locations, the following instructions can be used to indicate locations of digital objects without stable URIs. 

  • Building’ and ‘Repository’ are entered as with physical locations
  • Instead of the ‘Room’ field,  the ‘Area’ field is used
    • E.g. “H&P digital dark archive”
  • More specific digital locations can be designated in one of the following ways:
    • Top-level only: put the drive letter in the ‘Classification’ field
      • E.g. “(z:)”
    • More detailed path information: use the Coordinate fields
      • E.g.:  
        • Coordinate Label 1 / Indicator 1 : “Drive” / “Z: (archives)”
        • Coordinate Label 2 / Indicator 2 : “Folder” / “Collections”
        • Coordinate Label 3 / Indicator 3 : “Subfolder” / “JAVC”
      • Because the location system is designed for physical spaces, not digital ones, this will cause the specific location name to be displayed in a user-unfriendly fashion:
        • “[Drive: Z: (archives), Folder: Collections, Subfolder: JAVC]”.

Locations: Single Locations: Linking to Location Profiles

Location Profile: Location Profile records are used to specify the dimensions and/or extent of a physical space.  They can be linked to Location Records in much the same way that Container Profiles can be linked to Top Containers.

To link a Location Profile to one or more Locations:

  • Click the downward-pointing triangle by the search bar and click ‘Browse’.
  • Look to see if a Profile matching the dimensions of your Location(s) exists
    • If so, then select it and click the blue “Link to Locations Profiles” button at the bottom left.
    • If not, click the white “Cancel” button at the bottom right, and ask Leilani to create a Location Profile for your Location(s).

Note1: Only one Location Profile can be linked to each location, so if linking a Location Profile to a set of Locations created using the Batch Locations method, make sure that all the locations being created are the same size!  

  • If they aren’t, then divide the row into smaller Batches, so that each Batch is created with uniformly-sized Locations.

Note 2: The automatic space calculator only works if Resource Record container instances are assigned both to Locations that have attached Location Profiles and to Top Containers that have attached Container Profiles.  

  • Anyone can link Location Profiles to Locations, but until and unless Leilani changes group-level permissions in ASpace only sysadmins can create Location Profiles and Container Profiles. 
  • (Creating Location Profiles and Container Profiles involves going around measuring their dimensions; so as of October 2017 very few have yet been created.)

Location Profiles: Overview

Purpose: Used to specify the dimensions and/or extent of a physical space, and also to provide some standardization for Location Records.

Who creates, and when: As currently configured, only people with ASpace sysadmin privileges can create Location Profiles.   Location Profiles are created in advance of creating Location Records for physical locations, which are then linked to the Location Profile. 

To Create a New Record:

Go to the ‘System’ drop down menu in the upper right hand corner of the overall ASpace interface (near your profile name).  Select “Manage Location Profiles”.

  • Browse through the existing Location Profiles to see if one matches the dimensions of the space you have in mind. 
    • You can filter the browse list by each of the dimensions (but only for Location Profiles that have had their dimensions entered). 
  • If none match, click on the ‘Create Location Profile’ button in the upper right hand corner of the Location Profiles browse list.
  • Name’ is the only  field required by the record itself, however in order to be valid for / used in the space calculator built into ASpace, all of the dimensions fields must be added as well (Units, Depth, Height, and Width). 
    • Also, the space calculator will work best if each individual shelf is entered separately, but this is not necessary to simply track locations.

Location Profiles: Name & Dimensions


Choose a descriptive name for the Location Profile.  Examples:

  • “Single shelf for boxes: 42”W x 18”D x 12”H”
    • Single-shelf profiles should just measure the height from between two shelves, and should not include the thickness of the shelves themselves.
  • “6-shelf bay: 42”W x 18”D x 12”H each (80”H total)”
    • The total height here takes into account however far off the floor the bottom shelf is, as well as the thickness of the shelves.
  • “Single shelf for flat boxes: 42”W x 24”D X 5”H”
  • “4-shelf bookshelf: 30”W x 9.5”D X 14H” each (63”H total)”
    • Note that shelving units with shelves of differing heights shouldn’t be entered as a single Location Profile; instead, separate Location Profiles should be entered for each shelf.


See notes above under ‘Name’ for guidelines on how to measure shelves/spaces.  “Dimension Units” should be set to inches, and the unit fields themselves should contain just numbers. 

Container Profiles: Overview

Purpose: Used to specify the dimensions and/or extent of a physical container, and also to provide some standardization for Container Records.

Who creates, and when: As currently configured, only people with ASpace sysadmin privileges can create Container Profiles.   Container Profiles are created in advance of creating Container Records for physical Top Containers, which are then linked to a specific Container Profile. 

To Create a New Record:

Go to the ‘System’ drop down menu in the upper right hand corner of the overall ASpace interface (near your profile name).  Select “Manage Container Profiles”.

  • Browse through the existing Container Profiles to see if one matches the dimensions of the space you have in mind. 
    • You can filter the browse list by each of the dimensions.
  • If none match, click on the ‘Create Container Profile’ button in the upper right hand corner of the Container Profiles browse list.
  • ASpace requires the ‘Name’ field and all of the ‘Dimensions’ fields; the ‘Stacking Limit’ field is optional (and the ‘URL’ field should not be used).   

Container Profiles: Name & Dimensions

For 'Name', give a descriptive name for the type of container being described.

Where it’s not obvious, the Name should include the container’s interior dimensions (so that it’s clear what size materials will fit inside the container). Examples:

  • “Document case-Standard height-Legal length-5”W”
  • “Document case-Standard height-Letter length-2”W”
  • “Record carton-Short side facing shelf front-10Hx12Wx15D”

The individual 'Dimensions' fields should measure the outside of the container (so that the space calculator can accurately determine how many of which containers will fit on what shelves.)

The ‘Extent Dimension’ field indicates which dimension is used by the extent calculator (related to, but not the same as, the space calculator).

  • Example 1) A 10x15x12 record carton, 12”-side parallel to the face of the shelf (i.e., the standard way we put cartons on shelves that are deep enough)
    • Exterior measurements given as 10.5H x 15.5D x 12.5W
    • Extent Dimension’ listed as Width
    • 10 boxes = extent of 12.5 linear feet
  • Example 2) A 10x15x12 record carton, 15”-side parallel to the face of the shelf (i.e. the way cartons sometimes have to be placed onto shelves that aren’t as deep)
    • Exterior measurements given as 10.5H x 12.5D  x 15.5W
    • Extent Dimension’ listed as Width
    • 10 boxes = extent of 15.5 linear feet
  • The following counter examples highlight areas where extent and space measurements—and for that matter linear feet vs. cubic feet measurements—don’t align. 
    • A more accurate extent for items in these sorts of containers would be given in cubic feet, but the extent calculator only accounts for linear feet. 
    • (The space calculator can account for cubic feet if Container Profiles make proper use of the ‘Stacking Limit’ field, which is described below.)
  • Counter Example 1) A map case folder:
    • Exterior measurements given as 0.1H x 48W x 36D
    • If ‘Extent Dimension’ was listed as Height: 10 folders = extent of 0.83 linear feet (i.e. 10 inches)
      • (Note that this would be the most accurate way of determining how many folders could fit in a drawer.)
    • If ‘Extent Dimension’ was listed as Width: 10 folders = extent of 40 linear feet (i.e. 480 inches)
    • If ‘Extent Dimension’ was listed as Depth: 10 folders = extent of 30 linear feet (i.e. 360 inches)
  • Counter Example 2) A tube for rolled items:
    • Exterior measurements given as 3.25H x 3.25D x 36W
    • If ‘Extent Dimension’ was listed as Height or Depth: 10 tubes = extent of 2.71 linear feet (i.e. 32.5 inches)
    • If ‘Extent Dimension’ was listed as Width: 10 tubes = extent of 30 linear feet (i.e. 360 inches)

Container Profiles: Stacking Limit

If desired, enter the maximum number of boxes of this type that can be stacked on top of each other.  This is used in the space calculator.  If no number is entered, the ASpace assumes that the boxes cannot be stacked.

  • For example, if a standard record carton [12.5”W x 15.5”D x 10.5”H] Container Profile had a stacking limit of 2, ASpace would assume that 6 of those boxes could fit on a shelf Location that was linked to a Location Profile with dimensions of 42”W x 18”D x 24”H.  If the stacking limit field were left blank, it would be the same as entering a ‘1’, and so ArchivesSpace would assume that only 3 of the boxes could fit on that shelf.