Jenny Bunn Discussion started by Jenny Bunn 1 year ago

ISAD(G) says:

Purpose - To name the unit of description

Rules – Provide either a formal title or a supplied title in accordance with the rules of multilevel description and national conventions. If appropriate abridge a long formal title, but only if this can be done without loss of essential information. For supplied titles, at the higher level, include the name of the creator of the records. At lower levels one may include, for example, the name of the author of the document and a term indicating the form of the material comprising the unit of description and, where appropriate, a phrase reflecting function, activity, subject, location, or theme. Distinguish between formal and supplied titles according to national or language conventions.

We say:

For born digital archives, we are a bit torn. On the one hand we do feel that what should be used as the title is the original file name in use when the material is accessioned/ingested. This will allow for the automatic population of this field (a pragmatic need) but also is more in tune with our sense that the original title should always be protected and privileged over any supplied title.

However, we recognise that we are then totally reliant on the quality of the original file naming, and may well end up with some very ‘unhelpful’ file names, such as ‘My stuff’ or, something like this ‘2222_0040_0002_532.tif’ (a real example again from the Wellcome Library - http://archives.wellcomelibrary.org/DServe/dserve.exe?dsqIni=Dserve.ini&dsqApp=Archive&dsqDb=Catalog&dsqCmd=show.tcl&dsqSearch=%28RefNo==%27GRLIDN%2FF%2F4%27%29)

On the flip side (and perhaps less problematically), where file naming conventions are consistently enforced we may also come across occasions when date information is duplicated within the title field, e.g. at TfL the conventions are to always include the date in the file name.

Given the scale we face however, we think it is likely that pragmatism will win out and that the ‘norm’ will be for this field to be filled automatically with whatever file name is given by the creators/users. Archives may of course take the view that, where possible (and even though the feeling is that it will never be possible) meaningless titles will be supplemented with further more meaningful detail. This will, however, lead to some inconsistency in practice. Perhaps we should just cut our losses now and say that the title field is the file name, and we know this will result in some meaningless titles, but there you go. Where we can we will try to add in more meaningful description to the scope and content field and this will have implications for perhaps adding scope and content to the minimum mandatory fields for information exchange.

The same will be true with regard to original folder names, where the decision has been taken to replicate a pre-existing directory structure within the arrangement of a collection, e.g. http://archives.wellcomelibrary.org/DServe/dserve.exe?dsqIni=Dserve.ini&dsqApp=Archive&dsqDb=Catalog&dsqCmd=show.tcl&dsqSearch=%28RefNo==%27GRLIDN%2FF%2F22%27%29

The decision as to whether directory structures should be so replicated or not is discussed in notes under system of arrangement.

Replies
Andrew Janes
Andrew Janes My instinct is that the filename is the born-digital equivalent of a 'formal' title and should be treated as such for cataloguing purposes. (Many of... Show more 1 year ago
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Rachel
Rachel If the key to this is consistency it seems to me that this part is the inherent weakness in the ISAD(G) original definition. I agree with Andrew... Show more 1 year ago
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Jenny Bunn
Jenny Bunn Additional comments received: Have already had the experience of failure to ingest due to excessive length of original file names necessitating... Show more 1 year ago
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