Crosswalker from Max
An AtoM ingest tool
The Crosswalker web application allows an archivist to take their existing archival description – often in the form of spreadsheets – and convert it into a form that can be imported into AtoM. As it stands, the alternative approach usually involves a lengthy discussion with the IT department, against a backdrop of more pressing priorities.
Generally speaking, “crosswalking” is the process of mapping the fields from one database onto the fields in a second database. In the context of archival management and AtoM, the archivist starts out with an existing (legacy) archival description and wants to convert it into ISADG for import into AtoM. The legacy archival description is often in the form of spreadsheets but it may equally have been exported from a legacy archival management system such as CALM.
Mapping legacy data into ISADG can be something of an art – very few archival descriptions conform strictly to ISADG and they often contain fields that bare no direct relationship to the international standard.
The Crosswalker program is simple and flexible and allows the archivist to specify which combination of fields in their legacy archive corresponds with which ISADG fields in AtoM. This is achieved by employing a “Configuration” spreadsheet and a simple language to instruct the Crosswalker which fields go where in AtoM.
The diagram above describes how data is exported from the existing legacy archival spreadsheet in the form of a Comma Separated Variable (CSV) file and is imported to the Crosswalker together with a second “configuration” CSV. Crosswalker then converts the legacy archival description according to mapping described in the configuration CSV into an output file. The output file, a third CSV in ISADG format, can be imported into AtoM directly.
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