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(WHS Archives) ArchivesSpace -- Resource -- Contents List -- Load a Spreadsheet

Instructions for inputting and importing a contents list via an Excel Spreadsheet Template.

Template for contents list in Excel for import into ASpace

Creating Spreadsheet from Template

  1. Find the Excel spreadsheet template[1] for import at:
    L:\\LIBARC\LIBARC SHARED\Archives Cataloging and EAD\EAD\EAD Procedures\ASpace\ASpace contents list template for import
  2. “Save as” with call number or accession number. If creating more than one spreadsheet for same collection (for example each series or part is being imported separately) add a distinguishing identifier.
  3. Not all columns of the template require data, however, DO NOT delete any columns. Any columns not required to have any data have been reduced in width to only display columns in which data may be required.
  4. Row 1: Replace with title of collection (and series or Part if applicable).
  5. Row 2-5: DO NOT edit or delete, there are identifying information and instructions in these rows.
  6. Row 6: Start input of information. See instructions for each column

General instructions for working in Excel

Copy repeated information in a column:

  • Put cursor in lower right-hand corner of the cell until you see a solid plus sign +
  • Hold down left mouse button and drag down until last cell needed
  • Multiple columns may be dragged down together by highlighting both cells, which will occur most often with columns C, G, H, P, Y, Z, AA, and AC.
  • If copying numbers sometimes it will auto-fill instead of copying the number. For example, instead of ‘1’ in all the cells it will fill in as ‘1, 2, 3, 4, …’. Sometimes this is acceptable, otherwise to fix there should be a square box in the lowest right corner of last cell (Auto fill options), click on the list and select “Copy Cells”.

If doing a range of numbers which could also be confused with a date be cell the cell is set as “Text” in the number field.

If rows need to be moved around this can be done as in any spreadsheet, or may be done after import into ASpace using the “Enable Reorder Mode

When entering a film call number which starts with a zero, such as AF 039, change the cell to be "Text"

Column instructions


Label (row 5)










  • File name of EAD, looks like “uw-whs-[unique file name]”
  • For existing finding aids
    • EAD ID is the end of the “URL to cite …” on the Summary Information page
    • Or look in ASpace under Finding aid data EAD ID
  • For new EAD and the id is not in ASpace assign one
  • Repeat field for every row of data
    • BEWARE Excel might decide to “Fill in Series”







Y, if no dates

Title of series, sub-series, Part (sub-fonds), file (folder), or item. This is required unless the date is serving as the title.

This field can be empty if there is data in the date fields


Component Unique Identifier


Call number or Accession number. Filled out at the beginning of the finding aid and whenever the call number changes. If it changes back enter again.

This field can be empty.


Hierarchical Relationship


Where does the row fall within the hierarchy of the finding aid? Part always = 1. Series will = 1 or 2. File [or Heading] may be = 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. For a finding aid with a Part and multiple Series the numbers in this column will likely be 1, 2, 3, 3, 3, … 2, 3, 3, 3, …

This field must always have a number


Description Level


Sub-fonds (Part), Series, Sub-series, File. These are the most common levels used for WHS finding aids. Headings will be marked as File.

This field must always have a level.







Y, row 6

“True” from drop down menu

This can be blank after first row


Restrictions apply?

Y, row 6

true/false from drop down menu

This row can be blank after first row






Dates Type

Y, if no title

Inclusive, bulk, single, [blank]. If blank then there must NOT be any data in columns M-R.


Date expression

Y, if no title







Container Instance Type


See contents list section on instances. Most common will be Box.

This may be blank for Part, Series, Sub-Series and Headings


Top Container type


See contents list section on instances. Most common will be Box.

This may be blank for Part, Series, Sub-Series and Headings


Top Container [indicator]



See contents list section on instances.

This may be blank for Part, Series, Sub-Series and Headings






Child type


See contents list section on instances. Most common will be Folder.

This may be blank


Child indicator



See contents list section on instances.

This may be blank


Import spreadsheet into ASpace:

  1. Once spreadsheet is filled out (this can be by whole collection or each series*) open ASpace
  2. Look for Resource Record in ASpace; if none then create new Resource Record. See ArchivesSpace – Resource – Collection Level Description
  3. While on collection level page (top of hierarchal list, highlighted light blue), select Load via Spreadsheet which is above the hierarchal list between “Add Child” and “Rapid Data Entry”
  4. + Select File; Import Archival Objects is highlighted blue
  5. Name of file should appear next to “+Select File”
  6. Import from SpreadSheet
  7. New tab will open while it runs a “bulk_import_job”
  8. Log will fill with green text for each row; if there is an error it will appear here
  9. “The job has completed” should appear in the left column in green above “Refresh Page”
    1. If the job failed (whole or in part) the Log will report the Row and error. Only the rows which did not fail will appear in ASpace. For example:

Row 156:  ERROR Row 156 will not be processed due to errors: This row is missing BOTH an EAD ID and URI

Row 157:  ERROR No Archival Object created

  1. Refresh Page
  2. Close window and return to original ASpace window (the Load Spreadsheet box may still be there, just close this window.)
  3. The spreadsheet should add at the end of the contents list.

*If a large collection better to do by series or part (accession) as it can take some time to import and if there are any errors it is better to have less than more. Although errors are likely to appear right away. For example, a 1000 rows will take around 5 minutes.

What template does not do:

  • Cannot add notes
  • Cannot add languages
  • Cannot add restrictions

Input will need to occur at item level of finding aid, if appropriate. Or use RDE which does include these fields.

Keywords:ASpace ArchivesSpace Spreadsheet Contents List   Doc ID:118508
Owner:Alison B.Group:UW Libraries Shared Systems
Created:2022-05-11 15:08 CDTUpdated:2022-05-13 11:25 CDT
Sites:UW Libraries Shared Systems
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