In most cases tools like Archivists' Toolkit are preferred because they
centralize and normalize the creation of archival description and arrangement.
We have two main use cases for maintaining container lists in spreadsheets
instead of working directly in Archivists' Toolkit.
Sometimes donors provide container lists for their collections as a
spreadsheet. In other cases hired appraisers will provide detailed spreadsheets
which could also be used as container lists. We want to be able to edit those
as little as possible to allow them to form the basis of a preliminary inventory.
In this way in MPLP-style we can make the collection accessible as quickly as possible.
NCSU Libraries stores some of its architectural collections like
drawings in off-site storage. With poor wireless coverage in some areas it
is more convenient to enter container information in a spreadsheet off-line.
Also this allows several people to be working on a single collection
resource at one time. The spreadsheets can then be merged, exported to CSV,
and transformed to EAD XML.