Locations and barcoding in Archivists' Toolkit

We want to barcode our boxes in order to maintain better inventory control over our collections and to make locating and moving collections in the event of a disaster quicker and easier.

What would be the easiest way to do track this in AT? I see that within an instance there is a "container barcode" field, but would we have to enter that barcode for that box for every folder and/or item that is within that box? That seems like it would be very time-consuming. Perhaps we've misunderstood how to enter the instances in the resource record? We've been entering Box/Folder and, if needed, Item no. information for each folder or item at the lowest level of description. Should we be putting box information at a higher level of description and include the barcode for a box only once there, and then just do folder and/or item identification at a lower level? Are institutions handling this in a completely different way?

And, somewhat related to this, how do you handle the location data for collections where multiple accessions are combined together when a collection is processed, where do you put the location data then?

Thanks very much!

The AT supports barcoding in

The AT supports barcoding in a very rudimentary manner. The container model, which supports three nested containers (box-folder-item), only supports a barcode for the primary container and not for any of the nested containers. This is the barcode that is assumed to be matched to a location or shelf barcode if such a barcode is used.

All barcodes have to be manually recorded as of now. Repositories may be able to devise (or have already devised) strategies for efficiently recording repetitive barcode values. I would suggest placing this question to the ATUG list, as it seems to be used more frequently.

As for your second question. I would link all the accessions to the resource, and then I would indicate the locations for all the primary containers in the processed resource. I would then go back and remove any location information in the accession records since it stands that the materials arriving in the accession are now to be located according to the description of the processed resource.