Contributed by: Kelly Spring, Access Archivist, East Carolina University


Arrr-chivesSpace Migration at ECU

All Hands on Deck!

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 AT to 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.


Kelly Spring is the Project Manager of the ArchivesSpace Migration at East Carolina University.

About Arrr-chivesSpace Migration: The East Carolina University Pirates are engaged in a large-scale migration project to evaluate, prep, and load data from several dispersed databases into ArchivesSpace. Over the next two years, ECU will share the journey from careening data to weighing anchor to sailing into production. By regularly posting progress ECU aims to empower you, the ArchivesSpace community, to know that you can do it, too!

User Insights is a blog series that highlights diverse perspectives and experiences of ArchivesSpace users to enrich our entire community through shared stories, strategies, and lessons learned. This series aims to provide insight to the archivists, librarians, information technologists, developers, and so many other contributors using ArchivesSpace to preserve permanently valuable records and provide access to our researchers.

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