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EAD  April 2000

EAD April 2000

Subject:

Re: EAD Cookbook available for testing (long message)

From:

Karen Weiss <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Encoded Archival Description List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 25 Apr 2000 10:14:59 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (119 lines)

The Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian is interested in participating as a tester of the EAD Cookbook. As we are just now implementing EAD,  I think we will make great guinea pigs. We have just purchased XMetal and are very interested in the development of your stylesheets. 

We can take the files from the earlier distribution to the list so there is no need to send them.  

Thanks.

Karen Weiss
Catalog and Internet Resources Mgr.
Archives of American Art
[log in to unmask] 
202-314-3981

>>> [log in to unmask] 04/19/00 12:55PM >>>
The beta version of the EAD Cookbook is now available to anyone who is
interested in helping to test it before it is formally made available
through the SAA EAD Roundtable Help Pages.

What is the Cookbook?

Archives and libraries implementing EAD face many options: what software to
use to create documents, what elements and attributes to employ in encoding,
how to configure their software for maximum efficiency, and how to create
print and web-ready versions of their inventories.  During the meeting of
the EAD Roundtable at the 1999 Annual Meeting of the Society of American
Archivists, attendees agreed that a simple model encoding scheme with an
accompanying suite of software tools for "authoring" electronic finding aids
and stylesheets for "publishing" them would be very useful.  This cookbook
has been developed to accomplish that end.  It functions as an extension of
the EAD Tag Library and the EAD Application Guidelines.  To use it, one must
have a basic understanding of the EAD element set.

What's in the Cookbook?

The Cookbook has two components:

1.    The Cookbook itself- a 44 page document now in MS Word95.   This
publication contains a prototype EAD encoding scheme that defines a set of
basic elements, attributes and default text that an archives might adopt as
standard encoding practice.  This prototype is based on recommendations in
the EAD Application Guidelines, the guidelines of several EAD implementation
projects, and comments from earlier reviewers.   The second part of the
document is a set of step-by-step instructions for installing and using the
various electronic tools that accompany the Cookbook and which are described
next.

2.  Electronic tools to aid in creating and publishing EAD finding aids on
the web and in print form.   The basic tool is a template that contains all
of the default elements, attributes, and  text specified in the encoding
prototype.  This makes data entry a matter of filling in the blanks on the
template.   Templates are available for three software products: XMetaL,
Author/Editor, and WordPerfect 9.   There are also accompanying files for
keyboard macros, styles, and customization files particular to each of these
software applications- all designed to simplify and expedite data entry.

Finally, there is a set of stylesheets written in the XSL Transformation
(XSLT) language that can be used to convert EAD documents based on the
prototype encoding scheme into HTML for distribution on the web.

The stylesheets produce a presentation whose format is drawn for several
existing models.   You can see examples of the output at

http://www.mnhs.org/library/findaids/2468f.html          (frames version)

http://www.mnhs.org/library/findaids/2468.html            (no frames
version)

As mentioned previously, the Cookbook contains detailed instructions for
using all of these tools.


How can I participate?

I will be glad to send the appropriate files to anyone who wishes to help
test these products if

1.   you tell me whether you will be using XMetaL, Author/Editor, or
WordPerfect 9

2.   you promise to really, truly, actually test the products and

3.   you promise to send me your comments and one encoded finding aid by
June 2.  The finding aid need not be extensive; I'm looking for examples to
test the stylesheets against a variety of implementations other than my own.
I will incorporate any and all suggestions into the final version to the
extent reasonably possible.

This distribution will not include the stylesheets until they have been
tested further.   However, I will use the stylesheets to convert the finding
aid you send me into HTML and send the file back to you as quickly as
possible.


I hope this will become a useful tool that will further reduce the learning
curve for implementing EAD.   Your help in making that possible is greatly
appreciated.


Michael

Michael Fox
Acting Assistant Director for Library and Archives
Minnesota Histori