OAI isn't really a replacement option for EAD. It simply acts as a dissemination method for the harvesting of descriptive metadata, such as EAD, Dublin Core, MARC, etc. So even though there is a standard for using OAI metadata, what is actually doing the descriptive work in each OAI instance is the qualitative metadata (your DCs, EADs, what have you).
If you're looking for a *much* less cumbersome approach to providing access to collections (or an entire agrregation of records ala <eadgrp>), it sounds like you should look into the Research Support Libraries Programme Collection Description (RSLP CD < http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/metadata/rslp/ >). If you're questioning the extra functionality and complexity of EAD -- much of which comes from the encoding of container lists -- then RSLP CD might be for you, because it mostly focuses on collection-level data. It uses both qualified and unqualified Dublin Core in RDF properties, and appears to be closely aligned with ISAD(G) in terms of its structure.
After looking this over last year, I came away very impressed with it and wanting to know more about it. I believe one of the heads of this project, Pete Johnston, is on this list and might be able to give more information (and correct any misinformation I likely just gave you!).
In support of EAD, however, I must say do not give up on it due to cost and complexity. Tools are coming that will help ease the burden. And, there is no crime in NOT doing EAD at this time and point. EAD is the adopted standard of choice right now, and as tools are developed in the next year or so, the complexities and costs will lower greatly. Unless there's pressure from above to be cutting edge with some fashion of XML, I'd wait EAD out to see what happens in the next year or so.
But whatever you choose to use, it can still be imbedded in and disseminated through OAI.
American Institute of Physics
Center for History of Physics
Niels Bohr Library
One Physics Ellipse
College Park, MD 20740
>>> [log in to unmask] 04/26/02 12:03PM >>>
So, what might the prospects be for OAI (Open Archives Initiative) providing
a lower cost, less complex, more accessible, more universal alternative? How
much is the extra functionality used?
Plattsburgh State U of NY
----- Original Message -----
From: "Elizabeth Shaw" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, April 23, 2002 2:15 PM
Subject: Re: Intended scope of the EAD (2nd try at sending)
> 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
> institution's doors.
> 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.
> Liz Shaw
> Visiting Lecturer
> Room 626 IS Building
> Department of Library and Information Sciences
> School of Information Science
> University of Pittsburgh
> Pittsburgh, PA 15260
> Phone: (412)624-9455
> Fax: (412)648-7001
> 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
> > this area view the practical scope or influence of the EAD particularly
> > 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 ?
> > instance, given the nature of the EAD, do most see it as a tool for use
> > 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
> > use of the EAD impractical with smaller institutions, groups or
> > Also, given the effort required to use the EAD, I wonder what guidelines
> > used in selecting the digital material for EAD inclusion. Is it only
> > 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
> > using the EAD for a fraction of this amount? Other than a few select
> > institutions, have webmasters incorporated the EAD into their sites on
> > appreciable level?
> > Thank you,
> > Lee
> > Research and Development
> > IconFind, Inc.
> > 4849 El Cemonte Ave., #169
> > Davis, CA 95616 USA
> > tel: (530) 756-6477
> > http://www.iconfind.com