(WHS Archives) ArchivesSpace Resource -- Contents List

Creating a Contents list in ArchivesSpace with Manual entry and Rapid Data entry

Contents List

After the basic collection-level description is complete, proceed to list the contents of the collection by adding Parts (Sub-Fonds), Series, Sub-Series, File, or Item components.

Manual Entry is the preferred method of entry for Parts (Sub-Fonds), Series and Sub-series and normally entered before files and items. Rapid Data Entry is the preferred method for entry of files and items.

Parts (Sub-Fonds) are used when a new accession is being added to an existing collection.

Manual Entry of Contents List

Manual entry is best used for adding Series, Sub-Series, and Sub-Fonds. In the collection outline, highlight blue the title of the collection, series, sub-series, or sub-fond to add the next level down, select "Add Child".

Required information for Series:

    1. Title
    2. Date(s)
    3. Component Unique Identifier, if applicable
    4. Level of Description = Series

Required information for Sub-Series, Headings:
Headings, which are not true sub-series, should be treated as File.

    1. Title
    2. and/or
    3. Date(s)
    4. Component Unique Identifier, if  applicable
    5. Level of Description = Sub-Series, File
Required information for Parts (Sub-Fonds):
When adding new "unprocessed" accessions to a collection, separate each accession into it's own part. The oldest accession, or the processed portion, will always be "Part 1 ([call #(s)]): Original Collection".

    1. Title
    2. Component Unique Identifier
    3. Level of Description = Sub-Fonds
    4. Date(s)
    5. Physical Description Note (for extent of part)
    6. Scope and Content Note

Required information for box, folder or other item level descriptions:
Rapid data entry is preferred at this level of description.

    1. Title
    2. Date(s)
    3. Component Unique Identifier, if applicable
    4. Level of Description = File or Item
    5. Instance

Basic Information

**Title: Record a devised title for Series or Sub-Series; for Parts (Sub-Fonds) follow examples above. Sometimes a Series, or more frequently a Sub-Series may only be a date, then leave title blank. See DACS 2.3 for guidance. 

Trip to Africa
Brigadoon (Wilson Street East)
Part 1 (1981/139): Original Collection
Part 2 (1982/101): Additions
Part 5 (1989/081, Audio 1549A/1-7): Additions 

Component Unique Identifier: enter when call number has changed from previous Series or Sub-Series and always enter for Part (Sub-Fonds); otherwise leave blank

**Level of Description: 

    1. Collection: Top level description, do not use at this level of description
    2. Series: Use with processed collections with identified Series
    3. Sub-Series: Use with processed collections with Sub-Series to a Series
    4. File: Use for folder titles, if in doubt use File
    5. Item: Use only for individual items described within a folder and single films or audio, if in doubt use File
    6. Other Level: do not use [created on import and is not valid]
    7. Sub-Fonds: Use for Parts/Additions
    8. Class: do not use
    9. Fondsdo not use
    10. Record Groupdo not use
    11. Sub-Groupdo not use

Language: Use language note insead. 

**Publish?: Check box

Restrictions Apply?: Check box if restrictions exist for a whole Series or Sub-Series, or if any portion of a Part (Sub-Fonds) is restricted, listing boxes and folders, if applicable, affected by restriction. Be sure to add access and/or use note.

Repository Processing Note: Use in cases for comments or questions; does not display to public


Record dates of record keeping activity or dates during which the materials were created and/or collected. To add a new date, click on Add Date and fill in the appropriate fields. See DACS 2.4 for guidance.


  1. Agent Relation: do not use
  2. Broadcast: for radio or television programs
  3. Copyright: do not use, use publication
  4. Creation: default
  5. Deaccession: do not use
  6. Digitized: do not use
  7. Event: do not use
  8. Existence: do not use
  9. Issued: do not use
  10. Modified: do not use
  11. Other: do not use
  12. Publication: use for published books or articles
  13. Record Keeping: do not use
  14. Usage: do not use

Expression: Use to record natural language expression specifying the date or date range of the materials in the accession (e.g. undated or 1980 Spring).  

**Type: Select appropriate category from drop down menu.

For bulk and inclusive, record dates in beginning and end fields. Record at Part level only.

Certainty: Select appropriate category from drop down menu. Record at Part level only.

Era: Record at Part level only.



Use only at collection level. Use Note: Physical Description instead.

Agent Links

Do not use


Do not use


Most common

Scope and Contents: Required for Parts. When adding Part 2, move Scope and Content for collection down to Part 1.

Physical Description: Required for Parts. Use instead of Extent.


2.0 cubic feet (2 records center cartons) 

1.4 cubic feet (1 records center carton and 1 flat box), 24 tape recordings, 1 poster, 6 films, and 1 videorecording 

Conditions Governing Access: Use at the Part or Series level which has an access restriction not for the whole collection (MARC 506 DACS 4.1). Do not add for collections stored at an ARC or SAPF.

Conditions Governing Use: Use when a collection has a use restriction such as those concerning copyright or duplication (MARC 540 DACS 4.4)

External Documents

Do not use

Rights Statements

Do not use


Do not use for Parts (Sub-Fonds), Series and Sub-Series.

Manual Entry of Instances

Instructions for odd formats follow: Audio, Film and Video, Electronic records, Oversize folders, Tax rolls, WCFTR Photo Lots

To create new Top Container: Instances -- Add Container Instance


  1. Box
  2. Volume
  3. Oversize folder
  4. Reel
  5. Audio
  6. Disc (rare -- used for audio discs which have not had an Audio number assigned)
  7. Film (rare -- if a film has a call number assigned do not use??? need to figure out what to do)
  8. Video (rare -- if a video has a call number assigned do not use??? need to figure out what to do)
  9. Computer disk (rare)
  10. Box-Folder (rare -- usually used when both paper originals and microfilm copies exists in conjunction with Reel-Frame)
  11. Reel-Frame (rare -- usually used at child level)
  12. side (rare)
  13. SC  and File (for Small Collection call numbers
  14. WCFTR (rare -- used with WCFTR Lots)
  15. Roll (use for tube)
  16. Drawer and Map case
  17. AA, CA, DA, EA, etc., VAA, VBA, VCA, VDA, etc. (first part of call number for films and videos; request for ones not listed)
  18. Oversize box (rare -- used only in extreme cases; use Box instead)

Top Container: 

  1. Browse: when the top container for the call number or accession number has already been created
  2. Create: new top container for each box, volume, etc. within a call number or accession number
a. Container Profile: do not use
b. Container Type: chose one of the following
othertype (use when type does not match the container type)

b. Indicator: number for box, volume or other container

c. Barcode: scan barcode when finished processing which can be scanned at a later date

d. ILS: do not use

e. Locations: do not use

f. Create and Link to Top Container

To add a folder, item, or other material stored inside the Top Container

Child Type: 

  1. Box: rare
  2. Folder
  3. Volume
  4. othertype: use for all other's which do not fit other child types
  5. Reel
  6. Frame: rare

Child Indicator: number for container; if using othertype add type of container before number


Reel-Frame 1-5

Grandchild Type: do not use

Grandchild Indicator: do not use

Save Archival Object 

To continue with manual entry, choose Add Sibling for same level of description, or Add Child for lower level of description.

Instances for odd formats/situations


Component Unique Identifier = [blank] no longer entering audio number in <unitid>

Level of Description = item


Type = Audio

Top Container = create

Container Type = othertype

Indicator = ####A/###

Film and Video

Component Unique Identifier = [blank] no longer entering film and video number in <unitid>

Level of Description = item


Type = [prefix to film/video number] if not in drop down menu request

Top Container = create

Container Type = othertype

Indicator = ###

Electronic records

Component Unique Identifier = Electronic Folder

Level of Description = File

Links to online content, when applicable TESTING

add <extref> with url around title (or date if not title)


Instance -- Digital Object

Oversize folders

If standalone oversize folder:


Type = Oversize folder

Top Container = create

Container Type = folder

Indicator = [folder #]

If oversize folder inside a numbered box add a child and don't identify as being oversize

Type = Box

Top Container = create

Container Type = box

Indicator = [box #]

Child type = Folder

Child indicator = [folder #]

Tax rolls

  Order of volumes in contents list alphabetical by City, Town or Village

[No title]


Level of Description = Item


Type = volume

Container type = volume

Indicator = name of town, village or city with name first followed by type of municipality

Example: Ashippun, Town of

WCFTR Photo Lots

Component Unique Identifier = [blank]

Level of Description = file


Type = WCFTR

Top Container = create

Container Type = folder

Indicator = [lot #]

Rapid Data Entry of Contents [preferred method]

Preferred method, especially at the file and item level of description. 

With Resource Record in edit mode, make sure to highlight and open the level in which to add children to. Select "Rapid Data Entry."

A. Click the Columns: 33 visible buttons and uncheck everything but the fields you wish to view. When you uncheck, the line on the menu will change from blue to white. Sample rapid data entry setup:

  1. Level of Description: Select appropriate category from drop-down menu. The majority of the time File will be selected to represent folder level description.
  2. Other Level: do not use
  3. Publish?: Check box
  4. Title: Include title of category being described, in most cases it will be the title of the folder.
  5. Component Unique Identifier: Do not use for creation of new resource records. Revisit when handling legacy finding aids.
  6. Language: Select appropriate language from drop-down menu. Only use if not primary language of collection.
  7. Script: Use only for non-Latin scripts, if considered important.
  8. Date Expression: Use to record natural language expression specifying the date or date range of the materials in the accession (e.g. undated or Spring 1980).
  9. Date Type: Select appropriate category from drop down menu.
  • Bulk: use if most materials fall within a certain date range
  • Inclusive: use to record the earliest and latest dates
  • Single: use if content falls within a single year  
  1. Label: Select appropriate category from drop-down menu as it relates to the date, if applicable.
  2. Begin: For bulk and inclusive, record dates in beginning and end fields. Provide beginning of a range using YYYY-MM-DD format
  3. End:  For bulk and inclusive, record dates in beginning and end fields. Provide end of a range using YYYY-MM-DD format
  4. Extent Portion: do not use.
  5. Number: do not use.
  6. Type: do not use.
  7. Container Summary: do not use.
  8. Physical Details: Record other physical details of the materials described. Use for photographic media that include rare formats and audio visual media.
  9. Dimensions: not used
  10. Instance Type: select label description from drop down menu
  11. Top Container:  If box has not been entered, you’ll need to create a new holding.
    • Select Create from the drop down menu
    • Container Type: select label description from drop down menu 
    • Indicator: enter box or container number
    • Barcode: enter barcode number
    • Click Create and Link to Top Container

      If a box was entered in the Accession record, you’ll need to connect it to the Resource Record so it can be searched in the Top Container field. To do this, follow instructions above under heading Manual Entry of Contents List and start under the sub-heading Instances and go to “To browse for an existing container select Add Container Instance” section. Once you have added the top container using the manual entry mode, you can then search for the top container in the Rapid Data Entry mode.

  12. Child Type: select label description from drop down menu
  13. Child Indicator: enter number
  14. Grandchild Type: do not use.
  15. Grandchild Indicator: do not use.
  16. Note 1: Use as needed for unique circumstances (ex. restrictions, high value items, other relevant special descriptions)
  17. Label 1:  do not use.
  18. Content 1:  do not use.
  19. Note 2:  do not use.
  20. Label 2:  do not use.
  21. Content 2:  do not use.
  22. Note 3:  do not use.
  23. Label 3:  do not use.
  24. Content 3:  do not use.
B. When you have completed filling out information for the component, click the green plus sign at the end of the row, or click the green Add Row button.  A new row will appear below the first row, and data should carry over as you’ve specified in the column headings.

C. Fill in the correct information for the next component. Change any of the fields if needed.

D. Repeat until you enter all the components for each top container. When you complete your entry, click the Validate Rows button. Correct any errors and then click the Save Rows button at the bottom of the screen.

E. To add another existing  top container for a new set of components, see instructions under Manual Entry. Then return to step 1 above in Rapid Data Entry.  

F. Save: after all components are entered

Reorder Mode

If you need to reorder any of the components after input
  • Collection level in the Resource Record and in Edit mode
  • Select Enable Reorder Mode
  • Drag and drop components to their new locations
    • Add Items Before: same level
    • Add Items as Children: down one level
    • Add Items After: same level
  • To move a group all in a row, choose the top line and while holding Shift select the last line wanting to move
  • To move lines not in a row, choose the first line to move and while holding Ctrl select the lines to move, in the order wanted
  • Disable Reorder Mode when finished