I've worked (and am currently working on) finding aids that are two to
three hundred pages or more. As far as I can tell, the main problem with
long finding aids is not really a structural one, but rather that it takes
a long time for the pages to load in one's viewer/browser, especially if
one is using a 56K modem.
I'm not sure this is entirely the proper way, but what I've done for some
of our huge finding aids is to "reinterpret" some of the structural
elements. Specifically, since in large finding aids the <c02 level
="subseries"> element leads to section breaks, I used that feature to
"break" the finding aid into smaller sections alphabetically.
You can see what I've done with the scores that belonged to conductor
The paper finding aid for the papers of conductor Bruno Walter was also
rather long (over 200 pages) but I didn't resort to that "breaking"
technique. Thus, the bulk of the collection (in Series 1) results in a
long loading time. Try it and see what you think:
Lastly, for an example of a finding aid (with only a single series) that
was rather long WITHOUT breaks, look at our collection of broadsides:
Though I say "what I've done," I would be remiss in not acknowledging the
help and assistance of my coworkers at my institution.
Bob Kosovsky, Librarian
Music Division -- The New York Public Library
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My opinions do not necessarily represent those of my institutions.
Mitchell" To: [log in to unmask]
OOL.AC.UK> Subject: large finding aids
I have recently begun a project to create a large on-line finding aid
for the University of Liverpool's own archives. The finding aid will be
launched on the University web-site when complete. Around 40 A4-sized
hard-copy finding aids have been retro-converted into ead, and the task
at hand is to tidy up the encoding and create a useable finding aid. There
far too much data to create a one-document finding aid, so I am
intending to create a series of smaller records which will be linked
using links on the website.
I was wondering whether anyone else has undertaken a similar project or
has any experience of creating large electronic finding aids and could
offer advice or opinions.
Special Collections and Archives
Sydney Jones Library
University of Liverpool
PO Box 123
tel. 0151 794 2696
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