The database discussion seems to keep coming up quite a bit. Michael,
if you search the back-log of posts to this lists, you'll find a
number of people and institutions which have posted info on their EAD
database projects and exchanged information on them. Everybody who
has heard my spiel about our database before, please feel free to
tune out :-)
The Berkeley Art Museum has developed a FilemakerPro database which
exports to EAD xml, MOA2 xml and TEI lite xml in the context of
Museums and the Online Archive of California. We're currently writing
a grant to re-design that database, which should allow museums to
funnel their data into a number of file exchange formats and
contribute collections to a number of online union catalogs such as
for example OAC, RLG and AMICO. You can find an article on an older
version of our current database with quite some detailed technical
information at http://www.bampfa.berkeley.edu/moac/imaging/index.html
I also happen to know through the grapevine that the OAC itself is
investigating what they call an "Archivists Workbench," which
includes a database generating EAD.
At 3:44 PM -0400 5/14/2002, Michael Rush wrote:
>I am feeling a bit intimidated by the next phase of all things EAD here at
>the Mass. Historical Society. So far I've been able to design a template
>for our finding aids, encode a few with XMetaL, and develop an XSL
>stylesheet to convert them to HTML. I'm still working on the container list
>portion of the XSL stylesheet, and anticipate sharing some questions
>regarding that soon, but I know I can figure it out.
>The next thing on our agenda is using EAD to provide access to item
>descriptions currently on catalog cards. We are slowly reorganizing
>hundreds of thousands of item cards by collection. Creating MARC records
>for these cards is unfeasible...it would make the online catalog entirely
>unuseable. The hope is that we will be able to deliver this item data via
>Inputting the data into a database and then extracting it into EAD seems
>like it would be the most efficient solution. It would allow data
>normalization, and could (hopefully) be done by part-time student help,
>whereas inputting the data directly into an EAD instance would create a
>greater likelihood of errors and would require the person performing the
>input to have more archival skill and experience.
>Seems sufficiently straight forward , but the HTML background that helped me
>get a quick handle on EAD and stylesheets doesn't help with database design
>and extraction. Starting at the EAD page at LoC I found and read several
>interesting help pages on EAD database extraction from Berkeley, but
>otherwise I've been at a loss to find anything that will point me in the
>I apologize for being long-winded, but I've struggled just figuring out what
>it is that I don't know and I needed to suss things out a bit. Here are the
>essential questions, as far as I can gather:
>What database software should I use? (Filemaker Pro and Access are the
>What data needs to be captured from the item cards? (I have a firm grasp on
>What EAD tags correspond to that data? (Likewise mostly under control)
>How to design the database to best capture the data on the cards?
>How does the data get extracted?
>How does the extraction mechanism affect how the database should be set up?
>Does the hierarchical nature of EAD complicate data extraction?
>And most importantly: Where do I start to answer these questions?
>Any guidance on this matter will be greatly appreciated. I don't want to
>reinvent the wheel, but I can't seem to find any other wheels.
>Wishing I took a database management class in library school,
>Michael Rush - Manuscript Processor
>Massachusetts Historical Society
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Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive
Digital Media Developer http://www.bampfa.berkeley.edu/
Digital Imaging SIG Chair, MCN http://www.mcn.edu/visig_subscribe.taf
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