Published January 20, 2023 | Version v1.1.1
Software Open



Current version: v1.1.1

This repository contains Jupyter notebooks to work with data from the National Archives of Australia's RecordSearch database.

RecordSearch is the online collection database of the National Archives of Australia. Based on the series system, RecordSearch provides rich, contextual information about series, items, agencies, and functions.

Unfortunately RecordSearch doesn't provide access to machine-readable data through an API, so we have to resort to screen scraping. The notebooks here make use of the RecordSearch Data Scraper.

See the RecordSearch section of the GLAM Workbench for more details.

Notebook topics Harvesting data
  • Harvest items from a search in RecordSearch – save the results of an item search in RecordSearch as a downloadable dataset, you can also save images and PDFs from digitised files
  • Harvest files with the access status of 'closed' – find out what we're not allowed to see by harvesting details of 'closed' files
  • Harvest recently digitised files from RecordSearch – save details of files digitised in the past month
  • Harvest details of all series in RecordSearch – get details of all series registered in RecordSearch, also generates a summary dataset with the total number of items digitised, described and in each access category
  • Harvesting functions from the RecordSearch interface – extract information from the RecordSearch interface about the hierarchy of functions it uses to describe the work of government agencies
  • Harvest agencies associated with all functions – loops through the list of functions saving details of the agencies associated with each
Analysing data
  • Exploring harvested series data, 2021 – generates some basic statistics from the harvest of series data
  • Exploring harvested series data, 2022 – generates some basic statistics from the harvest of series data in 2022 and compares the results to the previous year
  • Summary of records digitised in the previous week – run this notebook to analyse the most recent dataset of recently digitised files, summarising the results by series
  • How many of the functions are actually used? – looks at the harvest of functions to see how many are actually in use
  • Who's responsible? – pick a function to which which agencies are have been responsible for it over time
Useful tools
  • DIY Redaction Art Collages – generates a random sample of ASIO redactions and packs them into one big image
  • Download the contents of a digitised file – get a digitised files as a folder full of images
  • Get a list of agencies associated with a function - pick a function and create a downloadable list of agencies responsible for it
  • DFAT Cable Finder – helps you find numbered cables created by DFAT
Data downloads Cite as

See the GLAM Workbench or Zenodo for up-to-date citation details.

This repository is part of the GLAM Workbench.
If you think this project is worthwhile, you might like to sponsor me on GitHub.



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