I've put together a small Java Web Start application called "EAD Conversion" as a proof of
concept tool to help transform text describing the container list of a collection into the 'dsc'
element of an XML EAD document.
It's available at:
EadConversion is a Java Web Start application. You will need a recent Java plugin if you do not
have one. It's available from:
This evolved as way to automate some of the drudgery involved in converting large textual
descriptions of the containers of a collection into an EAD XML document. The source
documents I have seen were similar in appearance, but were full of an enormous variety of
ways of representing information that was essentially a table with a section headings. Most of
the work involved in developing the tool was trying to sort out the relevant information and
identify the cruft.
You can see a very short example document from the Help menu - it is read and processed
as if it were being read into the program. I found I could usually copy textual information out
of a typical MS Word document, save it as a file, then open the file in EadConversion to
convert it. Fixing up the problems located in the original text can be done there or in an
intermediate tabular stage that can be manipulated as a spreadsheet.
As stated above, this is a proof of concept tool and cannot be expected to handle a wide
variety of inputs or generate the EAD tags which your organization might prefer. My
background is in programming, not in library science. The release of EAD Conversion is
intended to generate discussion of the usefulness of such a tool and what things it might do.
I'd appreciate any feedback on this application.