An accession is a transaction that conveys a specimen, or (commonly) a group of specimens received from one source at one time, to a collection. As an administrative (rather than biological) entity, an accession can be delimited by administrative criteria such as previous title, applicable permits, or association with a particular project. In general, accessioning is the first step of incorporating specimens into a collection and indicates that the museum has accepted custody of (if not title to) the accessioned material. Accessioning generally precedes cataloging. Therefore, it is unnecessary to have specimen data in order to create an accession. Nevertheless, the nature and disposition of the specimen data should be recorded in order to assure that the data can eventually be located for purposes of cataloging.
Accn . Accn_Number VARCHAR2(60) not null
Accession Number is a text string assigned to identify the accession for a specific collection.
Accn . Accn_Status VARCHAR2(20) not null
Status indicates whether or not the accession is cataloged. “Complete” indicates that the disposition of specimens can be determined from individual specimen records. “In process” indicates that at least some of the material is still being stored and labeled by accession number.
Accn . Accn_Type VARCHAR2(35) not null
This describes the means of acquiring the specimens, such as “field collection,” “gift,” “salvaged,” or “purchased.” Vocabulary is controlled by a code table.
Nature of Material
Trans . Nature_of_Material VARCHAR2(4000) null
Nature of Material describes the contents of the accession, including identifications of specimens, specimen parts, geographic origin of the material, etc.
Trans_Agent . Agent_ID NUMBER(22) not null
See Transaction Documentation for agent information.
Accn . Received_Date VARCHAR2(22) null
Received Date is the day that the accessioned material was received by the museum. This must be a valid date. Default could be the system date when the record was created.
Trans . Trans_Date VARCHAR2(22) null
Entry Date is the day that the accession record was created. This must be a valid date. Default could be the system date when the record was created.
Trans . Trans_Remarks VARCHAR2(4000) null
Place for expanding a description of the conditions of acceptance, or for instructions in processing the material. For example, “Take 50 gram subsamples for fatty-acid analysis.”
Accn . Estimated_Count NUMBER(22) null
Estimated Count or “Est. Cnt.” is an integer expressing approximately how many specimens can be expected as part of an accession. Accession Containers are Containers which hold unprocessed material, e.g., bags of frozen mice can be made Containers and scanned into freezers. Email is sent on every annual anniversary of Transaction Data for accessions which are not “closed” but contain no specimens.
The “Public?” flag allows accession data to be displayed in a public (open to non-operators) page, currently linked to from Specimen Results. This is useful for displaying accession-level Media, such as UAM Earth Science accession and locality card scans.
Data Entry Considerations
You can catalog records in “your collection” that have been accessioned by another collection. For data entry (through either the data-entry application or the bulkloader) indicate the accession that you wish to use, but put brackets around the part of the accession “number” that indicates the collection. This effectively tells the bulkloader, “ignore the collection (collection_cde + institution_acronym) to which this record is going to be appended, and indicate the accession based on what is in the brackets.” (Though that accession must be present in Arctos.) Examples include:
- A UAM Mammal Observation being entered into a UAM Mammal accession
- An MVZ Bird being entered into an MVZ Mammal accession
- An MSB parasite host being entered into an MSB parasite accession
- Desired accession: 1234.123.Mamm
- New Specimen: UAMObs:Mamm 9876
- Default accession: UAMObs:Mamm 1234.123.Mamm (Does not and should not exist)
Value to enter for Accession: [UAM:Mamm]1234.123.Mamm
- Desired accession: MVZ:Birds 14508
- New Specimen: MVZ:Bird 183000 - Value to enter for Accession: 14508
- New Specimen: MVZ:Mamm 250000 - Value to enter for Accession: [MVZ:Bird]14508
New Specimen: MVZObs:Bird 10 - Value to enter for Accession: [MVZ:Bird]14508
- Desired accession: MSB:Para 2012.123.Para
- New Specimen: MSB:Host:9876
- Default accession: MSB:Host 2012.123 (Does not and should not exist)
- Value to enter for Accession: [MSB:Para]2012.123.Para