Import location information from a file without staff mediation
Many sites have location information stored in a variety of non-public formats (Excel, Access, etc.). They would like to have the location information imported into the Aeon request automatically if the title or some other unique value matches.
We have several sites who have asked about this but we need some additional info from you all. Who manages that file and do they typically have access to Aeon? How often is the file updated? Is it used for other purposes than special collections staff to know where things are? Could it (or a copy of it) live within the Aeon database?
We have worked out a way to do this as part of the request submission, but we're using an external finding aid request form. - Heather @ UCSD
Tim Hutchinson commented
I'm coming at this from the perspective of an institution considering the deployment of Aeon.
In our case we would need to initiate a file request based on a search of this database, as opposed to using it to look up location data for an external request. This would be the only way to ensure data consistency in the requests.
In answer to your questions:
- everyone who manages the Access database would have access to Aeon
- it's typically updated a few times a week (mostly with new accessions rather than changes to existing accessions). It's used for both accession records and location tracking - and therefore used to identify relevant collections for reference enquiries, especially collections not described in our public database.
- A relevant export could live in Aeon. We would want to make sure it was updated in Aeon periodically (at least weekly?), and ideally on an automated schedule rather than needing a manual update. Typically, new accessions wouldn't be needed for retrieval right away.
Something else to note is that this data should only be accessible to Archives staff, not public users.
Paige Davenport commented
Here at the Hoover Institution Archives our location information is mainly managed by one person and we recently moved this information from a Word file into Excel. This file is updated a couple times a month to incorporate new acquisitions and changes resulting in newly processed materials. Only archives and our library staff have access to this information and it is not used for any other purpose aside from paging materials. This file is definitely something that I think could live in Aeon as long as it was easy to update and was exportable--we also print copies of our location info so that it is more accessible to staff.
Our archive is also in the process of transitioning to ArchviesSpace over the next few years. If there were a way for Aeon to communicate with location information stored there, that would be extremely useful, as it would be one less place for us to have to update location information when something changes.
Genie Powell commented
When requests come in, some way for Aeon to search the MSS number or title against an Excel, CSV, Access file to retrieve the location information.