Over the past year, we have been gathering descriptive data in spreadsheets for archival collections in the Library and Science Departments. Collection records are then converted into MARC and batchloaded into the catalog. EAD-encoded collection-level finding aids will also be generated using Archivists’ Toolkit. The ultimate goal is to publish catalog records and finding aids on the web for resource discovery. (You may be asking yourself) what in the world does all this mean? Here, let me illustrate the journey of data in this colorful, and hopefully more intelligible flowchart. Click here for a PDF. And look for links to handy guidelines!

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2 Responses to The Journey from Spreadsheets to the Web

  1. Jingjing says:

    Hello Iris,

    I happened to read your post “The Journey from Spreadsheets to the Web”. I am currently cataloging an online video collection – collected metadata from web pages, put them into a Excel spreadsheet, and converted them to MARC records. The process is quite similar as what you did for the archives. I met a problem: some descriptive information is longer than 255 characters, which sometimes is truncated while converting to .mrk file. Could you kindly give me some suggestions?

    Thank you in advance,

    • Iris Lee says:

      Hi JingJing,
      That’s a good question, and one that I don’t have any good solutions for unfortunately. I have run into that problem myself, but not often enough to find a real fix. Because I do some slight modifications to the .mrk file before importing the records (not to mention careful reviewing!), I simply replace the truncated descriptions by copying and pasting from the original spreadsheet when I see them. Not the most efficient method, I admit, but for the handful I’ve had to replace I haven’t lost too much time. A quick & dirty solution may be to divide longer descriptions into 2 or 3 columns in your spreadsheet before you convert the data. I believe that the Delimited Text Wizard allows you to combine fields with data held in different columns. Haven’t tried it myself, but it could be worth a shot. In the meantime, I may contact Terry Reese to find out if there is a fix or update. Good luck with your video collection!

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