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Welcome to the CollectiveAccess support forum! Here the developers and community answer questions related to use of the software. Please include the following information in every new issue posted here:

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Visual Resources Center moving from FMPro IRIS - Mapping and xml Installation Profile help needed

My institution is looking for a Collective Access custom xml installation profile to meet the needs of a traditional university Visual Resources Collection following CCO (Cataloging Cultural Objects) rules and using VRA Core. We are moving from Filemaker Pro IRIS. The installation profile using the standard VRA Core works acceptably well for our Work records (Objects in CA), but when it comes to Image records and moving authority tables it falls far short of what we need. I know there are some configurations available on the CA website ( - has anyone at a VRC used any of these and could recommend? Or do you have your own you would be willing to share? (Disclosure: I have very minimal experience with coding/xml)

Some of the key elements we need that we find lacking are:

- Image Records - how did you handle the Work/Image relationship in CA?
- Publications - we use publications as sources for titles, images, authorities, etc. but I can't figure out how best to map this to CA. (I've attached a screenshot of a record in IRIS for reference)
- Authority Tables and Subjects - Name authorities can map fairly well to the Entity category in CA, but we are having trouble mapping Place authority tables as well as Subject authorities and others (Materials, Culture/Period, etc.)
- Orders - we also use Order records to track and group projects - if anyone uses something similar and can suggest how to map to CA (events? occurrences?) that would be very helpful.

Thank you in advance! 
1280 x 1024 - 297K


  • There are a few ways to model the Work/Image relationship in CA. Some users treat the Object record as the Work and the Object Representation records as Images. In this scenario may choose to expose Representations in the "Find" menu so it can be searched (typically it's suppressed from this menu). Others choose to model the Work as an "occurrence" record and use the Object table for Image. 

    In terms of publications, it depends if you're cataloging this as a reference authority, or a physical collection. Assuming it's the former then you may want to use "Occurrences" for this, relying on the Object/Rep model for the Image/Work.

    Places have their own table in CA so I'd suggest using that. Subjects are typically treated as vocabularies within the "Lists" table.

    Not sure what you mean by Orders?
  • Thanks so much for your response Julia - those are some helpful suggestions!
  • How does one expose Representations in the "Find" menu?

    Thank you,
  • In app.conf set 

    ca_object_representations_disable = 0

    By default it is set to disable.
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