Media import

From CollectiveAccess Documentation
Revision as of 19:25, 10 January 2013 by Allison (talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search

Media, which is often an important component of a record, can be tedious to upload file by file. Fortunately, CollectiveAccess offers a Batch Import tool to simplify the upload of large sets of files. In this section, we will look at each element on the Media Batch-Import screen. To use this tool, click on "Import" in the Global Navigation Bar (see below):

Global nav import.png

Before you begin importing media, you must carefully define your settings. Begin by choosing a directory to import from the top field on the screen. Click on the grey arrow to the right of each directory name to display a list of the folder's contents. If the folder includes subdirectories containing media you wish to import, be sure to check "Include all sub-directories" at the bottom of the field. This option will remain checked the next time you perform an import unless you choose to uncheck it. Directory to import.png

Next, you must choose an Import Mode. In the second field on the screen, you will see a drop-down list with three options: "Import all media, matching with existing records where possible," "Import only media that can be matched with existing records," or "Import all media, creating new records for each." Let's take a look at each of these options.

1.) Import all media, matching with existing records where possible: Choose this option if you know that you already have some records in your system that correspond with the filenames of media in your batch. CollectiveAccess will search for these matches and thereby avoid information duplication. Any files that do not match an existing record will be turned into new records, and you will be responsible for fleshing out their contents.

2.) Import only media that can be matched with existing records: Choose this option if you do not wish to create any records beyond those already in place. CollectiveAccess will import files that match existing object records, and no others.

3.) Import all media, creating new records for each: Choose this option if you have no pre-existing records in the database, or if you know that none of the pre-existing records match the media you're importing. You will then have barebones records for each file in your import, and you will need to complete those records by hand. Import mode.png

The next field in the batch-import interface asks you to specify Type. Every record in CollectiveAccess has a Primary Type, and certain types of records are further divided into subtypes. A batched media import will apply to Object records, so you must choose the subtype that applies to your media. For example, are they all photographs? Documents? Postcards? Please note that in order to perform a batch-import, you must be sure that all of the media you are importing are of the same type. In other words, group the files together in a systematic way before beginning to upload them. The Type field on the Batch-Import screen has two drop-down lists:

1.) Type used for newly created objects: As discussed above, you must choose the type of object record to be used for your media. Some systems will have more nuanced choices than others, but make sure all of the media you're importing in one batch is of the same type.

2.) Type used for newly created object representations: This drop-down list has three options: Front, Back, or Default. Choose front or back when you are importing a batch of media that could have multiple representations. A batch of images of postcards, for example, may have views of either the front or back of the object in question. Otherwise, choose default. Type field.png

The next field on the screen allows you to add your media to a set or create a new set concurrently with the import. This option saves time, and, as discussed in Batch Editing, allows you to quickly make necessary changes to all of the records associated with your import in one fell swoop. Grouping your imported files into a set can also be helpful in that it simplifies the process of double-checking your work. However, if you do not wish to associate your imported media with a set, you can simply select "Do not associate imported media with a set." Set field.png

The penultimate field on the Batch-Import screen allows you to set object identifiers for your imported media. Depending on your collection's content standard, you may want to either use the filename as an object identifier, or you may choose to create a new identifier that corresponds with the standard you've established. Identifier field.png

Finally, you can choose access and status settings before beginning your import. For example, you can set your object status to "Complete," "In editing," "Needs review," or "New" to remind yourself (or other catalogers) to revisit the associated records if necessary. If your archive has a public component, you can choose whether or not the newly imported media will be accessible to the public or not. Status and access field.png

When you have set each field to your satisfaction, it's time to execute the batch import. As with any operation that involves a large set of data, exercise caution - you don't want to pepper your database with bad data or faulty records. Click the "Execute media import" button at the bottom (or top) of the screen. Before the operation is completed, you will be asked to confirm your choice, and you will be able to decide how you'd like to receive information about the import's progress. You can choose to have the import process in the background as you work, you can opt to receive an email when the import is complete, or you can request to have a text message sent to you once the process is completed. This last option, of course, is only available if you've included your SMS number in your user profile (see Access_Roles). All of these options are available because a large directory can take a significant amount of time to import. Allowing the process to occur in the background or choosing to receive an alert once it is completed gives you the freedom to pursue other tasks while it's happening.

Import media confirm.png

Personal tools