EAD is used for the encoding of archival finding aids -descriptive guides
to collections of materials -not general purpose web pages.
One can imagine that finding aids for collections of digital objects might
be encoded in EAD but the objects themselves might be images, word files,
pdf or what ever.
Perhaps the reason your last posting didn't receive an answer is your
final paragraph. EAD is *not* a general purpose encoding scheme like HTML
or XHTML but is a document type designed to encode very specific types of
information. EAD is really only of interest to those who work
with archival collections or other cultural heritage materials.
EAD encodes the metadata about a collection (ie information about a
collection) not the collection itself. It seems unlikely that anyone but
those who are developing web sites for archives or cultrural institutions
would adopt EAD.
Descriptions of collections that are encoded in EAD are generally
prioritized by an individual archive based on factors such as the
importance of the collection to the institution, the level of existing
descriptive metadata about the collection, the likelihood that the
collection would be of broad general interest. Each institution has chosen
its own way.
While it is true that large institutions are disproportionately
represented in the ranks of those who have adopted EAD this may reflect a
variety of things - the relative immaturity of XML tools, the steep
learning curve to implement, the resources available in an institution,
the usefulness of making one's finding aids available beyond the
Many EAD encoded finding aids are migrated from pre-existing paper based
finding aids. The are enhanced with the EAD encoding in order to provide
additional structure so the XML transformation and search/retrieval tools
can be utilised to access precise information within an individual or
collection of finding aids.
Hope that points you in the right direction.
Room 626 IS Building
Department of Library and Information Sciences
School of Information Science
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
On Tue, 23 Apr 2002, L.H. Grant wrote:
> I am new to the list so please forgive me if this topic has already been
> discussed. Essentially, I would like to know how people knowledgeable in
> this area view the practical scope or influence of the EAD particularly as
> it relates to Web pages and other digital material such as PDF, WORD and
> other similar types of files.
> Do many of you view the EAD as having limited reach and application ? For
> instance, given the nature of the EAD, do most see it as a tool for use by
> government and academic institutions? I perused some of the listserv's
> archive and surmised from what I read that most institutions that have
> adapted the EAD were those with substantial resources and the ability to
> designate and train one or more in the use of the EAD. Does this make the
> use of the EAD impractical with smaller institutions, groups or individuals?
> Also, given the effort required to use the EAD, I wonder what guidelines are
> used in selecting the digital material for EAD inclusion. Is it only what
> is considered the most important documents?
> Finally, there are over 2 million Web pages added every day and many
> thousands of pdf and word files as well. Is it practical to even consider
> using the EAD for a fraction of this amount? Other than a few select
> institutions, have webmasters incorporated the EAD into their sites on any
> appreciable level?
> Thank you,
> Research and Development
> IconFind, Inc.
> 4849 El Cemonte Ave., #169
> Davis, CA 95616 USA
> tel: (530) 756-6477