Please post responses to the list. As the "lone arranger" in a small
institution, I'm also considering the best way to bring EAD to my
archives. Currently, we are mounting word documents to our website.
This at least gets them "out there," but I'm interested in the use of
the EAD as a standard and in search capabilities.
I posted to the Archives and Archivists list last summer and got a lot
of good advice, but am still struggling to find something that is
workable for a small staff (myself and one assistant), with an even
smaller budget. I'd be glad to hear about consortial arrangements, new
products, processes, or software that can help me.
Thanks in advance -- Amy Cooper
Assistant Professor Amy Cooper
Archivist/Special Collections Librarian
I. D. Weeks Library
The University of South Dakota
Phone: 605-677-8867 E-Mail: [log in to unmask]
----- Original Message -----
From: Kelcy Shepherd <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Thursday, January 25, 2001 3:54 pm
Subject: Encoding Options (Database vs. XML editors)
> I am hoping for some feedback on methods for encoding finding aids
> in EAD. After reading through the EAD Sites Annotated, it is clear
> that there is no one best encoding solution! The recent changes in
> the availability of software for these types of project further
> complicates the choice.
> We are starting a three year EAD project that involves five
> institutions, and will encompass both conversion of legacy finding
> aids and the creation of new ones. Four of the five institutions
> are currently using Word or WordPerfect to create finding aids. Of
> these, two also have some collection-level description in a
> database format (InMagic and Minaret) but neither of these use the
> database for complete finding aids. One institution generates
> complete finding aids for all of its collections from a database
> (Minaret). We would like to utilize the same encoding method for
> new finding aids at all institutions. Obviously, a tool that would
> also help to automate the conversion process would be ideal.
> The lack of off-the-rack archival management databases with EAD
> export features leaves us with the choice of creating a database
> for the project or customizing one of the XML editing programs.
> The systems department here may be moving toward the use of
> Oracle, so unless someone out there has an Oracle db they'd like
> to share, we would be looking at developing a brand new database.
> Given these options, my question are:
> For those of you out there who developed a custom database, how
> long did the process take? For those using an editing package, how
> long did it take to customize the software for ease of use?
> For both scenarios, are you producing other formats in addition to
> EAD (i.e. print, HTML)? Is the interface simple enough for a
> student to do data entry?
> Given the status of our legacy finding aids, can anyone speak to
> which options would be most useful in the conversion process?
> And, as long as I've got your attention, is anyone creating MARC
> records from the encoding analogs in EAD?
> General comments regarding encoding methods would also be welcome.
> Thanks for the help.
> -Kelcy Shepherd
> Kelcy Shepherd
> Director, Five College On-Line Finding Aids Access Project
> Special Collections & Archives
> W. E. B. Du Bois Library
> University of Massachusetts Amherst
> Amherst, MA 01003-9275
> Phone: 413.545.6844