BCAUL pilot project - BCAUL descriptions

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This is historical development documentation, migrated from the now-defunct Artefactual wiki. The content was first added there October 16, 2008, and last updated on November 7, 2008. For more information, see the landing page for this development project: BCAUL Pilot Project. The content was moved to the AtoM wiki on July 29, 2015.


Existing BCAUL can export description records using XML tags that correspond to BCAUL database field names. This document maps the BCAUL fields to analogs in Qubit to support bulk import of the data into Qubit.


The following table lists each BCAUL field, a sample of the type of data it contains, the corresponding Qubit field, an indication of whether the data should be migrated or not, and notes/comments/explanations.

BCAUL field Sample data Qubit field Migrate Notes
Control number SFU-103 information_object::description_identifier Yes 2 components of the control number (e.g. SFU-103): repository code + number.
  • Repository code (SFU) manually assigned by the System Administrator when a new Repository is added to BCAUL.
  • Numbers (103) are automatically generated by the system, always unique.
  • Numbers are BCAUL-specific: institutions who have their fonds level descriptions in their own dbases would likely also have a unique code, but not related to BCAUL number.
  • Control number used for linking purposes from the Part of field.

Map to description_identifier:

  • Allows us to relate back to original BCAUL record (audit migration, restore etc).
  • Need this value in BCAUL to make link between parent / child relation (Part of field).

But in long term, should description_identifier be used to store id assigned by local institution's own database (if applicable)?

  • Would allow relating back to original for audit, restore etc.
  • Qubit will assign its own Qubit-specific unique identifier in id field.
Header 03022cbc--22002170a-4501   No MARC-based field.
  • Same as MARC21 leader?
Date modified 20021023154800.0 information_object::updated_at No BCAUL time-stamp.
Status codes 990628i19631997 eng information_object::updated_at

event::start_date and end_date


Yes String contains 5 pieces of information:
  • Characters 1-6 ("990628") = date of last revision (system generated); map to information_object::updated_at.
  • Character 7 ("i") = status code; meaning not clear.
  • Characters 8-15 ("19631997") = normalized date range, start year, end year; manually entered / maintained by administrator; map to start / end dates in related event record.
  • Last 3 characters ("eng") = language of material described; map to related property record.
  • Note that a few records include an additional 3-letter code, but meaning not clear.
Title Board of Governors fonds information_object::title Yes  
Alt. title   information_object::alternate_title Yes Not currently used in BCAUL; no data to migrate.
Dates 1963-1997 event::date_display Yes Map to date_display (text field). Normalized start / end years can be extracted from BCAUL Status codes field (see above).
Physical desc. 10.75 m of textual records;14 audio reels information_object::extent_and_medium Yes Should return extent statements on separate lines.
Bio/Admin History The Board of Governors is the University's primary governing body. As established by the ... actor::history Yes No paragraph breaks.
Custodial hist The series of video reels and videotapes that ... information_object::archival_history Yes No paragraph breaks.
Scope/Content The fonds consists of records ... information_object::scope_and_content Yes No paragraph breaks.
Title source Title based on the name of the creating body. note::type="source of title proper" Yes  
Date note   note::type="dates of creation" Yes  
Physical desc. note Includes 142 photographs, 50 negatives, 67 slides, 6 CD-R discs of digital photographs ... note::type="physical description" Yes  
Acq. source   information_object::acquisition Yes  
Arrangement   information_object:arrangement Yes  
Language   property::information_object_language


No Qubit uses language and script codes from Symfony; it will be easier to get these values from BCAUL's Status codes field (see above).
Originals   information_object::location_of_originals Yes Not currently used in BCAUL.
Other formats   information_object::location_of_copies Yes Not currently used in BCAUL; no data to migrate.
Restrictions Access to some records in this collection is restricted, in accordance with Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Legislation... information_object::access_conditions Yes Can't distinguish conditions governing access (ISAD 3.4.1) vs conditions governing reproduction (ISAD 3.4.2); map all restrictions data to conditions governing access.
Finding aids A file list is available... information_object::finding_aids Yes  
Associated/related   information_object::related_units_description Yes Not currently used in BCAUL; no data to migrate.
Accruals   information_object::accruals Yes  
Notes   note::type="general note" Yes  
Record No. F-33 information_object::identifier Yes  
Repository Simon Fraser University. Archives and Records Management Department information_object::repository_id



No Get from repository code in Control number field.
Provenance Simon Fraser University. Board of Governors event::actor_role="creator" actor_id=" " Yes  
Other names   event::actor_id=" " information_object_id=" " Yes Map along with BCAUL Names and Provenance fields to Qubit name access points (handed in the event table linking an actor to an information_object).
  • Normalization issues in terms of extracting variant names and dates of existence (see Names below).
Part of ANGNW-446 information_object::parent_id Yes Foreign key field linking to parent description's Control number.
See also     No Not currently used in BCAUL; no data to migrate.
Names Bennett, W.A.C. (William Andrew Cecil), 1900-1979;Mitchell, David J. (David Joseph), 1954- event::actor_id=" " information_object_id=" " Yes In BCAUL data, names are delimited by semi-colons, include full names and dates of existence (years).

Create actor record for name, use event to link to description as access point.

Online Finding Aid http://www.sfu.ca/archives/F-33/F-33.html property::name="online_finding_aid" value=" " Yes Map to custom field (property record).
Shelved at     No Not currently used in BCAUL; no data to migrate.

Migration issues

This sections notes problems and issues relating to normalizing BCAUL data for import into Qubit.


  • Normalized date range years need to be extracted from BCAUL Status codes field.


  • Map BCAUL Provenance, Names, and Other names to actor authority records.
  • BCAUL Names is a string containing multiple names, separated by semi-colons; individual names include dates (years); personal names formatted LastName, FirstName.
  • Need a way to extract birth / death dates, then register as event of actor.


  • BCAUL allows 2 levels of description via Part of field (e.g. series linked to fonds).
  • Uses the values from BCAUL Control number field to manage links; this field maps to Qubit description_identifier.
  • In Qubit parent / child link is managed by identifier values in parent_id field.
  • Need way to substitute BCAUL control numbers with Qubit identifiers in Qubit parent_id field.


  • Map BCAUL Repository to actor and repository records.
  • Get repository data from BCAUL institution records.
  • Preserve BCAUL repository codes to link repositories and descriptions.
  • But replace codes by LAC codes (inter library loan codes)?


  • Need to map / extract from BCAUL Status codes field Symfony language and script codes.


  • Substitute semi-colons in BCAUL Physical desc. field with paragraph returns to get each extent statement on own line.

Online finding aids

  • Preserve link to institution's own local online finding aid?