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Set Up Project Fields
Add, Edit, or Delete Fields

Set Up Project Fields

Text and Text Area Fields | Number Fields | Alphanumeric Fields | Date Fields | List Fields | Linked Fields | Linked Work Fields | Boolean (Checkbox) Fields | Artstor-Specific Fields | Default Values | Description | Position NumberRead-Only Fields | Required Fields

Download a PDF with Shared Shared default field definitions and mappings

About Project Fields

Your project’s fields are where you will input metadata to describe your items and make them searchable in end-user environments. Field types range from simple free-text entry to date fields that restrict values to a calendar date. There are several different types to choose from and you will need to decide which field type is best suited for the metadata you wish to catalog.  Each field type acts differently in how it sorts data, how the data can be searched, and how the data can be edited.

There are nine Field Types you must select from in Shared Shelf:

  • Text
  • Text Area
  • Number
  • Alphanumeric
  • Date
  • List
  • Linked
  • Linked Work
  • Boolean (Checkbox)

Each field type can be rendered as:

  • Editable or Read-only
  • Required


Text and Text Area Fields

Text and text area fields both hold the same amount of characters and act similarly. Although, the text area field will display as a larger box suitable for larger text entries, whereas a text field will display as a single-lined box in your cataloging form.

To set up a text or text area field:

  1. Select the text or text area field type when adding a new field.

Number Fields

As expected, the number field type will only accept numeric characters as a value. When searching or filtering data in the project, enter numeric values using (>) greater than, (<) less than, or (=) equal to.

To set up a number field:

  1. Select the number field type when adding a new field.

Alphanumeric Fields

Alphanumeric fields support alphabetic and numeric characters, such as accession numbers.

To set up an alphanumeric field:

  1. Select the alphanumeric field type when adding a new field.

Note: When changing an existing field to the alphanumeric field type, the data will be hidden in the cataloging environment. Instead, create a new alphanumeric field and delete the old field that is no longer in use.

Date Fields

Date fields provide a calendar selection (before, after, and on) for filtering and searching data. All entries in the data field must be formatted as mm/dd/yyyy. When importing dates from Excel, some formatting issues may occur. If you expect to use Excel for importing data to a project, we recommend using text fields instead for non-formatted date entries.

To set up a date field:

  1. Select the date field type when adding a new field.

List Fields

Shared Shelf institutional administrators can create controlled lists of terms to ensure standardized and consistent data. Lists can be setup as simple single-field lists of terms, or they can have multiple fields to qualify the term’s definition, its source, etc. It’s even possible to nest lists within a list. Lists are added to your project so that users may catalog with the list terms. You can link multiple controlled lists to a single project field, or you can link a single list to a single project field. Any user with access to the project can use the list terms when cataloging records, but users who are provisioned to manage the list can add terms and edit local terms. You can easily add a list to a field that is either a list type for single lists, or linked field type for multiple lists.

For more information on how to manage controlled lists, including the setup of a list field, see Lists.

Linked Fields

Linked fields connect to a text field to a controlled authority, such as the Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus or the Library of Congress. The Getty’s vocabularies Art and Architecture Thesaurus (AAT), Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN), and Union List of Artist Names (ULAN) are fully integrated with Shared Shelf. Other authorities can be linked as well using the website’s URL.

When using a provided project template as your metadata schema, suggested resources are already linked to use at your preference. The following list identifies the standard suggestions for specific linked fields in each template.

  • Shared Shelf Standard:
    • Creator: Shared Shelf Names
    • Culture: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
    • Work Type: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
    • Material: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
    • Style/Period: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
    • Subject: Thesaurus of Geographic Names, Art and Architecture Thesaurus, Library of Congress Authorities
    • Location: Thesaurus of Geographic Names
    • Creation/Discovery Site: Thesaurus of Geographic Names
    • Repository: Thesaurus of Geographic Names
  • Dublin Core:
    • Creator: Shared Shelf Names
    • Subject: Thesaurus of Geographic Names, Art & Architecture Thesaurus, Library of Congress Authorities
  • Archivision:
    • Agent_Display: Shared Shelf Names
    • Work_WorktypeDisplay: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
    • Work_SubjectDisplay: Thesaurus of Geographic Names

For more information on how to catalog linked authorities, see Shared Shelf Names & Getty Vocabularies.

To set up a linked field:

  1. Select the linked field type when adding a new field and save the changes.
  2. Re-open the field by selecting Edit so more options will appear.
  3. In the edit window, the Edit sources button will be available to select the authority sources.


4. Select an existing source or multiple sources by clicking the box next to the source name(s), then click Save. Do not select Shared Shelf Works when setting up these links.
5. OR click Add Source if you would like to add a new source that does not appear in the list.
6. In the Add Source window, enter the values for Name, URL (must be preceded by http://), and Source Identifier (abbreviated identifier for the source, such as AAT). Do not check Shared Source when setting up these links.
7. Select an existing source by clicking the box next to the source name, then click Save. To select multiple existing sources, hold Control/Command or Shift and click the boxes next to the source names, then click Save. Do not choose Shared Shelf Works from this list, as a linked source.
8. Or, click Add Source if you would like to add a new source that does not appear in the list.
9. Fill in values for Name, URL (must be preceded by http://), and Source Identifier (abbreviated identifier for the source, such as AAT). Do not check Shared Source when setting up these links.

10. Click Save to add the new source to the list, then select it by checking the box.
11. Click Save again to save the changes to the linked field.

Linked Work Fields

When using a work project, linked work fields are setup to create the work-to-item relationship. Contact to learn more.

Boolean (Checkbox) Fields

Boolean fields are established as a check box with a value of True when checked or a value of False when unchecked. Values can also be left empty as a null value (N/A), in which the box will appear with a blue square.

To set up a boolean (checkbox) field:

  1. Select the boolean (checkbox) field type when adding a new field.

Artstor-Specific Fields

There are four specific fields in Shared Shelf that, when mapped for publishing to the Artstor Workspace and Shared Shelf Commons, make it possible for your users to sort and filter search results:  Artstor Classification, Country, Earliest Date, and Latest Date. The country and classification fields are controlled lists of values that should not be modified, because the controlled list of values must strictly match the values that exist in Artstor in order to support filtered searches.  Earliest and latest date fields allow numeric values to be entered by catalogers. For more information on how Artstor-specific fields are cataloged, see Field Types: Artstor-Specific Fields.

When mapping any of these specific fields in the Shared Shelf Admin Tools, you will want to follow the example pictured below. Note that the fields, as mapped, are set by default to be “Displayable = true,” but they actually do not display in the Artstor Workspace, regardless of this setting.  These fields are meant to work entirely behind the scenes to aid the discovery of content.


Default Values

Administrators can configure default values to auto-populate certain fields when new records are created. Fields will be populated with default values when creating new records through:

  •    using the gear menu in the asset panel
  •    uploading a new media file
  •    creating a new record though an Excel spreadsheet import with the SSID entered as NEW and the other fields left blank

Default values may be overwritten or modified in the record and with new data in Excel spreadsheet imports, unless the field is read-only in the cataloging screen.

To set a default value:

  1. Navigate to the Fields tab.
  2. If the field does not exist, add a new field.
  3. Edit the field and choose the field type.
    • Text and Text Area fields allow for free-text values.
    • Number fields allow for numeric values.
    • Date field allows for a calendar value in the form of MM/DD/YYYY.
    • List field allows for a default value from the selected list.
      • You must set up the list before the field and its default value can be selected, but you can add the term to the list at a later time.
      • If you add the default value before the term is added to the list, the value and the term are case-sensitive and must match.
      • Once the term is added to the list, the default value in the Administrator settings will update to the term’s ID (e.g. [[LIST ####]]).
      • Note that it is important you establish the default value for the field in the project field. Lists allow for establishing default values in the term fields, but this will only apply to the list and not the project (meaning all terms will default to one term by mistake).
    • Linked field allows for a default value of text plus the Getty term ID in brackets.
      • For ULAN, enter [[SSN ####]] to link the authority (e.g. Pablo Picasso [[SSN 500009666]])
      • For AAT, enter [[AAT ####]] to link the authority (e.g. paintings (visual works) [[AAT 300033618]])
      • For TGN, enter [[TGN ####]] to link the authority (e.g. Spain [[TGN 1000095]])
    • Boolean Checkbox field allows for a default value of None, True, or False.
  4. After selecting the field type, enter the default value in the line provided and save the changes.
    • New records added after the default value had been established will begin receiving the value upon creation. Existing records cannot retroactively receive the default value, it must be added manually through single or bulk edits.


When setting up a new or editing an existing field, there is a text area box in the dialog window to enter a description. This area is a designated space to enter defining language for the field’s data information, meaning you can add instructions for what type of information to enter and how to enter it. The text would then appear when the cataloger hovers their cursor over the field label in the cataloging screen. The Description can be edited under the Field tab to be used across all cataloging screens, or you can edit the Description in each cataloging screen to provide specific instructions to specific catalogers.

An example of the descriptive hover text using the Creator field:

Name, brief biographical information, and roles (if necessary) of the named creator or creators in the design and production of the work, presented in a syntax suitable for display to the end-user.

The Description field is not just limited to text, you may add clickable URLs to the instructions for more information. For example, using the Creator field, apply HTML coding to create a hyperlink and use the added code to open the link in a new browser tab:

Name, brief biographical information, and roles (if necessary) of the named creator or creators in the design and production of the work, presented in a syntax suitable for display to the end-user. Follow Dublin Core format standards: <a href=”” target=”_blank”></a>

The hover text in the cataloging screen will display with a hyperlink, and the additional coding will open the page in a new browser tab:



  • Since field descriptions can be unique to a cataloging screen, if you edit the description in an existing field under the Fields tab, check that those changes have applied to the Cataloging Screens tab also if you want the field descriptions to be the same.

Position Number

Another step when setting up a new or editing an existing field is to designate the Position Number. The Position Number relates to the placement of the field in the asset panel’s column view, which can be re-arranged, but it is more importantly related to the default column order of the Excel template. If you or your catalogers anticipate working in Excel, creating a hierarchy or structure to the order of fields in this template can be defined through the Position Number. Leaving that field blank during new field set-up will prompt the system to apply a number starting at 1000 and higher to place the field at the bottom of the list, translating to the columns at the far end of the asset panel and Excel template.

Read-Only Fields

The default behavior for fields are to always be editable. However, administrators can set up read-only fields in the cataloging screen so that different fields or entire screens may be rendered as read-only for different catalogers. Read-only fields appear gray in the cataloging screen and cannot be edited. When a cataloger is uploading Excel spreadsheets to create new or modify existing records, any fields that are read-only in their cataloging screens will not accept new or modified data.

To set a field as read-only:

  1. Navigate to the Cataloging Screens tab.
  2. If a cataloging screen does not already exist, add a new screen and add the appropriate fields.
  3. Select the field intended as read-only and click Edit.
  4. In the edit window, uncheck the box for Editable, this will render the field as read-only.
  5. Save your changes.



Required Fields

Required fields are established in the publishing target, because it prevents records with fields that do not contain data from being published. The default for a field is to not be required, so a manual change is necessary when a desired field should be required. For more information on cataloging required fields, see Field Types: Required Fields.

To set a field as required for publishing:

  1. Navigate to the Targets tab.
  2. Select the target name from the list or create a new target.
  3. Click Manage Mappings button.
  4. If the field is not mapped for publishing, drag and drop it to the correct placement, then Save.
  5. Re-open the Manage Mappings window, and then select the field by double-clicking it in the list.
  6. In the Edit Publishing Target Mapping Configuration dialog box, check the box for Required to set the field as required for publishing.
  7. Click Save, and the mappings box in the Required column will list “True” for required fields and “False” for non-required fields.
  8. Click Save again to exit the Manage Mappings window.


Add, Edit, or Delete Fields

To add a new field:

  1. Navigate to the Fields tab.
  2. Click the Add a Field button at the top of the field list.
  3. Enter a Label Name, choose a Field Type (do not use the Linked Work field), apply an optional Default Value, and enter a Description of the field. You may leave the Position blank to let the system auto-populate a number, or enter the preferred placement. The Position number affects the column position in the asset panel and Excel template.
  4. Click Create.


  • If you chose to create a List or Linked field, you will need to go back to edit the list selection or linked authorities after an initial save of the field type. For more information on setting up specific field types, see [link to Setting Up Project Fields]

To edit an existing field:

  1. Select the field from your field list, then click the Edit Field button, OR double-click the field to open the edit window.
  2. Apply the edits to the field as desired. Note that you cannot edit a field type if data has already been cataloged in that field without removing the data first (see Change a Field Type For a Field with Existing Data Using Excel).
  3. Click Save, and refresh the catalog window to see the changes take effect.


  • When changing a field type, you may want to test out the cataloging of that field on Demo before applying the changes to Live.

To delete a field:

  1. Select the field from your field list.
  2. Click the Delete Field button.