Indiana Archives and Records Administration’s Accession Profile Use in Bagger

By Tibaut Houzanme and John Scancella

This post is the seventh in our Spring 2016 series on processing digital materials. This quick report for the practitioner drew from the “Bagger’s Enhancements for Digital Accessions” post prepared for the Library of Congress’ blog The Signal.

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Context

In the past, the Indiana Archives and Records Administration (IARA) would simply receive, hash and place digital accessions in storage, with the metadata keyed into a separate Microsoft Access Database. Currently, IARA is automating many of its records processes with the APPX-based Archival Enterprise Management system (AXAEM). When the implementation concludes, this open source, integrated records management and digital preservation system will become the main accessioning tool. For now, and for accessions outside AXAEM’s reach, IARA uses Bagger.  Both AXAEM and Bagger comply with the BagIt packaging standard: accessions captured with Bagger can later be readily ingested by AXAEM. IARA anticipates time gains and record/metadata silos reduction.

Initial Project Scope

IARA aims to capture required metadata for each accession in a consistent manner. Bagger allows this to be done through a standard profile. IARA developed a profile inspired by the fields and drop-down menus on its State Form (SF 48883). When that profile was initially implemented, Bagger scrambled the metadata fields order and the accession was not easily understood. John Scancella, the lead Bagger developer at the Library of Congress implemented a change that makes Bagger now keep the metadata sequence as originally intended in the profile. IARA then added additional metadata fields for preservation decisions.

Scope Expansion and Metadata Fields

With  colleagues’ feedback, it appeared IARA’s profile could be useful to other institutions. A generic version of the profile was then created, that uses more generic terms and made all the metadata fields optional. This way, each institution can decide which fields it would enforce the use of. This makes the generic profile useful to most digital records project and collecting institutions.

The two profiles display similar  metadata fields for context (provenance, records series), identity, integrity, physical, logical, inventory, administrative, digital originality, storage media or carriers types, appraisal and classification values, format openness and curation lifecycle information for each accession. Together with the hash values and files size that Bagger collects, this provides a framework to more effectively help evaluate, manage and preserve long term digital records.

Below are the profile fields:

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Figure 1: IARA Profile with Sample Accession Screen (1 of 2)

 

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Figure 2: IARA Profile with Sample Accession Screen (2 of 2)

 

The fictitious metadata  values in the figures above are for demonstration purposes and include hash value and size in the corresponding text file below:

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Figure 3: Metadata Fields and Values in the bag-info.txt File after Bag Creation

This test accession used  random files accessible from the Digital Corpora and Open Preservation websites.

Adopting or Adapting Profiles

To use the IARA’s profile, its generic version or any other profile in Bagger, download the latest version (as of this writing 2.5.0). To start an accession, select the appropriate profile from the dropdown list. This will populate the screen with the profile-specific metadata fields. Select objects, enter values, save your bag.

For detailed instructions on how to edit metadata fields and obligation level, create  a new or change an existing profile to meet your project/institution’s requirements, please refer to the Bagger User Guide in the “doc” folder inside your downloaded Bagger.zip file.

To comment on IARA’s profiles, email erecords[at]iara[dot]in[dot]gov. For Bagger issues, open a GitHub ticket. For technical information on Bagger and these profiles, please refer to the LOC’s Blog.

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Tibaut Houzanme is Digital Archivist with the Indiana Archives and Records Administration. John Scancella is Information Technology Specialist with the Library of Congress.