Lists and Vocabularies

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[Valid for v1.3]

In order to add a new list to a screen in the database, you must first define the name and content of that list in Manage > Lists and Vocabularies, then you must define the metadata element in which that list is embedded in in Manage > Administration > Metadata Elements, and finally you can add the new metadata element to a screen in Manage > Administration > User Interfaces.

As an administrator, you can manage the Lists and Vocabularies within the database from Manage > Lists and Vocabularies. Lists and Vocabularies are metadata elements values that can be arranged and manipulated within CollectiveAccess to fit your specifications. They are, in fact, data points with mini-records that can be edited and adjusted through the user interface.

Adding Items to a list

As the project develops, you may find that you want to add a new element to an extant list. When you access the Lists and Vocabularies screen, you will see a horizontal hierarchy:

List hierarchy view.png

To navigate through the hierarchy, click on the dark grey arrows. Once you have arrived at the level of the list in which you wish to add a new element, the text above the hierarchy will change to reflect the name of the list you’ve selected. In other words, the text will read “Add under [name of parent list] new [choose from drop-down list]." The drop down list allows you to choose whether the element you’re about to add is a “concept,” “facet,” “guide-term,” or “hierarchy name” (these are distinguishing types for list items analogous to those used in the Getty AAT or Art and Architecture Thesaurus ). Once you have made your selection, click on the small “+” above the hierarchy.

Adding a list item.png

You will then be creating a simple record for that new list item. By default the Basic Info screen for this record will include its place in the hierarchy, preferred names, identifiers, etc. For example, the record for media type “photograph” looks like this:

New list basic.png

Each level of a list has its own record.

Creating a New List

As the project develops, you may find that it’s necessary to design an entirely new list. This can also be managed from the Lists and Vocabularies screen.

Adding a New List

Adding a list.png


Just as with each individual element in a list, the list itself has a record. The Basic Info screen for a new list includes the following information:

  • Preferred Names: This is the display name for your list.
  • List Code: This is the unique identifier for your list, to be used throughout the system.
  • “Is System List”: A System List is one that is essential to the proper functioning of the database, and is usually created by the installer. As a result, the answer to this question will almost always be “no.”
  • “Is hierarchical”: If your list is composed of multiple nested layers, then choose “yes” for this option. Otherwise, choose no.
  • “Use as Vocabulary”: choose whether or not your list will be used as controlled vocabulary for cataloging or if it’s a simple set of drop-down values.

Be sure to click “save” when you are finished entering the basic information for your list. When you return to the list hierarchy viewer you should see your new list in the leftmost column. To edit basic information about your list, click on its title in the hierarchy. To add list items, follow the procedure detailed in the previous section.

Even if you do not encounter the need to create new lists or list items, it is useful to understand that metadata elements such as these must be defined before they can be added to a user interface; in other words, you do not create the metadata elements you see on each screen within the context of that screen. Instead, you select them from a pool of available metadata elements and add them to the appropriate screens as needed.

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