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EAD  September 2002

EAD September 2002

Subject:

Re: Request for Systems Information

From:

Andre Kahle <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Encoded Archival Description List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 26 Sep 2002 17:28:17 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (120 lines)

to Liz Shaw,

Hello,

Here, at Societe d'histoire de La Prairie-de-la-Magdeleine, in Quebec,
Canada, we use a software developed in-house with Foxpro for DOS (2.5) by a
professional programmer.  This software complies with the canadian RAD
standard (ISAD-G compatible) and is essentially a guide for entering
archival descriptions at any level (fonds, series, sub-series... file or
item) coupled with a powerfull and very fast search engine and all the
reporting functions needed to produce most finding aids.  An indexing tool
that can optionally use a thesaurus and an authority file complete the
basic software. It also comes with a HTML module that outputs all
descriptions and finding aids in HTML format and an Import/Export module to
facilitate the exchange of data.

There is also a utility that transforms the description data in XML format
for sending to a Quebec-wide union database, the Reseau de diffusion des
archives du Quebec (RDAQ) which is part of the Canadian Archival
Information Network (CAIN).

This project started in 1995 and it was soon realized that other
institutions (those in Quebec are mostly RAD-oriented) needed such a tool.
So it was decided to commercialize it under the name ARCHI-LOG.  Input from
our users helped us make our software more user-friendly and more efficient.
We now have 50 institutions ranging from the small historical society, to
universities and to the archival service of the city of Montreal as clients
and satisfied users.

We are now ready to distribute a Windows version that really enhances
beautifully the already efficient existing software.  From the start, we
had decided to internationalize our software since the Quebec market is
mostly french while the rest of Canada is english.  So english and french
versions are already available.  It would be very easy to add other languages.

We know that acceptance by the archivistic community is conditionnal to the
confidence that using our software (or any other one) does not entrap users
descriptions into a proprietary data format that would make it difficult to
export data to another application software.  This is the reason that
compelled us from the start to make available a tool to help convert
archival descriptions to our database, but also to help extract the data
from our database.

Since many Canadians use EAD for their archival descriptions, we are also
considering a way to export our RAD-encoded data to EAD-XML files to help
them use the best of both worlds.  We are thus actively looking for
information on a RAD-EAD-RAD crosswalk.

We also have built a tool for librarians needing to work with the MARC-21
standards.  This software, called BIBLIO-LOG, converts marc-files into a
xml-oriented database and offers a user-interface for the entry or
modification of every field and sub-field of the marc record.  The same
searching tool used on the ARCHI-LOG project is available here.

We know that some institutions have used the Marc format to store their
descriptions so we think that this latter software could also be helpful to
archivists.

These are the tools that we have developped and use.  To attain the kind of
involment needed for such a project and to make a success of it, we needed
a commitment from individuals that would become familiar with both the
archivistic world and the software development world.  And since there is a
cost to this, our users accepted the idea that they become our financial
partners by buying licences to our software.

This pooling of financial resources by those Quebec institutions that
acquired our software has resulted in the making of a number of tools that
facilitate the work of their archivists and help them become more
productive and efficient.  An important side-effect has also been easier
and less costly means of making their archives known to searchers from all
around the world.  Another side-effect has been the building-up of a
software industry more keenly aware of the needs of the archivistic community.

I hope this helps you understand what is going on in the archivistic
community of Quebec.

Andre Kahle, ing.
Societe d'histoire de La Prairie-de-la-Magdeleine
[log in to unmask]
http://pages.infinit.net/infoka/archilog.htm



A 12:27 2002/09/26 -0400, vous avez écrit :
>Hi EADers,
>
>The Technical Committee of the Archivist's Workbench, a project to
>develop tools that automate some aspects of archival representation is
>seeking information on tools that institutions have built to facilitate
>their collection management, generation of archival description or other
>archival tasks. We hope that this tool would become freely available to
>the archival community.
>
>In many cases, individual archival institutions or consortia  have built
>databases in tools such as Microsoft Access to do things like manage
>collection level information, manage donor information, support
>appraisal functions  or to generate descriptive output such as EAD.
>Consortial efforts have built web forms for data entry into common
>databases.
>
>We would like to know what things have been done, who is doing them,
>what sort of technical infrastructure they are using, what archival
>functions their tool supports, what standards (descriptive or otherwise)
>they have based their data model on.
>
>If you have built such a tool for inhouse or consortial work we would
>like to ask you a few questions. If you have, or you know of a group
>that we should know about, please let me or Clayton Redding
><[log in to unmask]> know about it.
>
>We would really like to get a sense of the how the archival community is
>automating these tasks.
>
>Thanks
>
>
>Liz Shaw
>[log in to unmask]
>

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