Hi EAD Practitioners,
I think I have become known on this list as a whiner (or ranter :)) about
consistent encoding (not descriptive - I leave that to others) practices
and their impact on potential for interoperability and machine processing.
In order to fully understand what variations actually exist in the
encoding of finding aids and to do an analysis of what kind of impact that
will have on systems and tools development I would like to gather finding
aids from multiple institutions who have implemented their own encoding
I am seeking 15-20 institutions that would share 3-5 "typical" (though
not necessarily long -once I have seen 3 pages of container lists, I have
seen 50) finding aids and their documentation on encoding
practices. I know that many smaller institutions have adopted the EAD
Cookbook and would like to include 3-5 institutions that have utilized the
Cookbook but I really seek a broad sample for disparate institutions.
I would also ask each participant a couple of questions about the finding
aids about their nature such as: are they retrospective conversions,
reengineered, new?; how do you disseminate the finding aids currently?
My purposes are four:
to better understand how a community with disparate traditions utilizes a
DTD as an encoding standard,
to provide insight into building an Open Source search and retrieval
system that will be utilized at an SAA workshop in August,
to provide insight back to the archival community on the interaction
between encoding practices and systems development,
to see if "types" of finding aids have developed, within or across
I hope to analyze the finding aids as a group and detail what
interoperability issues arise. No finding aid that was shared with me
would be disseminated publicly and any references to particular encoding
practices would not mention your institution's name. Any publications that
came out of the analysis would only mention your institution's
participation with your permission.
If you are interested in participating in this little adventure, please
respond in the next week or so.
Room 626 IS Building
Department of Library and Information Sciences
School of Information Science
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260