Documentation for Avalon is being updated for Release 2.0. The 1.0 release version of this page is still available.


Avalon's Batch Ingest feature provides a method of building one or more media objects at a time from uploaded content and metadata outside the user interface. A batch ingest is started by uploading an Ingest Package consisting of one Manifest File and zero or more Content Files to the Avalon dropbox.  For your convenience there is a demo batch available for download and importing into test systems.

Ingest Packages

An Ingest Package is the combination of content and metadata that make up a single batch.

Package Layout

The package must be uploaded somewhere within the batch subdirectory of the Avalon dropbox. It can either be at the root of the batch directory, or in any subdirectory thereof. The following is a very simple Package that has been uploaded:

Manifest File Format

The manifest file is a spreadsheet (xls, xlsx, csv, or ods) containing the metadata for the objects to be created, as well as the names of the content files that make up each object. In this case, the manifest file is named batch_manifest.xlsx.  See batch_manifest_template_R2.xlsx for an Excel example file.  Required fields are in bold.

1Michael's First Test      
2Main TitleCreatorDate IssuedCollectionFileLabelFileLabel
3Test Object 1Klein, Michael B.2012Northwestern Video Collectioncontent/file_1.mp3Part 1content/file_2.mp4Part 2
4Test Object 2Northwestern1951Northwestern Video Collectioncontent/file_3.mp4   

Row 1, Column A contains a reference name for the batch. This is mostly for your reference so we recommend naming the batch file according to what will help you remember the contents.

Row 1, Column B contains the submitter's email address (to be used for notifications and exceptions).  The submitter's email must be listed as a manager, editor or depositor for each collection included in the manifest.

Row 2 specifies the names of the metadata fields supplied in the following rows. Main TitleCreator, and Date Issued, Collection and File are required. These fields are bolded in the Excel example file.  Each subsequent row represents a single Media Object to be created. Metadata values are specified first, followed by a list of content files to be attached to each object. (It is important that the content file columns not have headers, or they will be misinterpreted as metadata.) Content filenames are relative to the location of the manifest file itself.

Content files listed in the manifest file must have the correct path noted for where those files are located in the Avalon dropbox, relative to the manifest file.  Additionally, all content files must include a file extension.  If necessary, include any directories or subdirectories (note the paths listed in columns D and E in the above example).

Multivalued fields are specified by multiple columns with the same header, e.g. Topical Subject in the following example:

1Michael's Second Test     
2Main TitleCreatorDate IssuedTopical SubjectTopical SubjectCollectionFile
3Nachos: A MemoirKlein, Michael B.2012-12-22MeatCheeseMemoirscontent/tasty_tasty_nachos.mp4

Supported Field Names (required fields in bold)

In addition to the descriptive fields, there are five supported operational fields:


The batch ingest process will verify that the package is complete (i.e., all content files specified in the manifest are present and not open by any other processes) before attempting to ingest. If the package is incomplete, it will be skipped and returned to on a subsequent pass.