Linking digital materials and finding aids

Inspired by the recent article When Archival Description Meets Digital Object Metadata: A Typological Study of Digital Archival Representation (GMU access only) by Jane Zhang and Dayne Mauney in the latest issue of the American Archivist (Spring/Summer 2013) I decided to take a look at and share how we at SC&A link finding aids and digital objects.

SC&A currently has 1460 digital objects on the content management system LUNA.  Each digital object in LUNA has many access points thanks to metadata fields. All digital objects include a metadata field with a link to a finding aid. Finding aids for collections that have digital objects link to digital objects in two ways: one way is a link found at the top of the finding aid under Administrative Information and Alternative Form Available. Another way is a link that is found with the description of the folder or item.

Excerpt from the Molka Reich papers finding aid that highlights a link to LUNA in the Administrative Information section.

The following examples provide more information on the two ways that digital objects in LUNA are connected to a finding aid and vice versa.

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Fenwick construction and SC&A

At Fenwick Library, SC&A and many other departments are preparing for construction of a new addition to the library. Check out the FOCUS (Fenwick Online Construction Update Site) to keep up with construction news. Recent work by the construction company includes installing fences around the perimeter of the construction site, paving an alternate sidewalk between Fenwick Library and the Clock Tower plaza, and fireproofing of Wing A and Wing B connecting corridors on the first and second floors.

The construction of an emergency exit stairwell through SC&A will directly affect some of our offices and storage areas. As a result some personnel moved to new offices and we moved supplies and collections in preparation for the construction of the emergency exit. While some collections are now stored in new locations within the department, others are located in off-site storage.

Empty shelves at SC&A that have been cleared of supplies and collections in preparation for construction work.

Finding aids for off-site collections include a note on their current location. In the Descriptive Summary a location note states: “This collection is located offsite at the WRLC storage facility. Delivery of boxes may take up to two business days, so box requests must be made prior to visiting the Special Collections and Archives reading room.”

Finding aid for the American Public Transportation Association records with location note highlighted.

Below is a current list of recently moved collections. If you are interested in accessing any of these collections, requests will have to be made by contacting our Research Services Coordinator before visiting our reading room. Thank you for your patience and understanding during construction. We are looking forward to the new office, collection, research, and exhibit spaces that will be completed in the future.