I have recently been assigned to the archives division of my library.
We are planning to implement EAD/DLXS for our manuscripts collections at
our library by first using all of the basic description elements
recommended in the High-Level <did>.
We are also thinking of beginning to convert our older, more detailed
collection inventories into EAD; however, many of our collections have
not been fully processed, i.e. have not been intellectually arranged
into a hierarchical structure (series, subseries, box, file folder).
These older inventories are in a variety of formats, including
typewritten pages, word processing documents, etc. Some of these
inventories have been created using an Excel spreadsheet. It is easy to
sort the spreadsheet into a series arrangement by sorting on the series
column(s), and thereby determine the box and file folder for an item a
researcher may want to look at. It is also easy to sort the spreadsheet
by date to obtain a chronological arrangement of the finding aid if this
helps the researcher.
From my initial reading of the EAD documentation, EAD presumes a
completely processed collection into a hierachical, intellectual
arrangement by series and/or subseries, then by boxes with the
series/subseries, and file folders, items, or volumes within the boxes.
The physical arrangement of the collection corresponds to the
intellectual arrangement of the materials in the collection, and both
correspond to the logical ordering of the finding aid.
My questions are these:
1. How have libraries handled the retrospection conversion of finding
aids into EAD for collections which are not fully processed; i.e.,
physically arranged in hierarchical intellectual series, subseries, box,
and file folders [etc.} and/or for which the finding aids have not been
created in a corresponding hierarchical manner? What kind of tagging
structures in EAD might accomodate a non-hierarchical arrangement? Are
2. Is the High-Level <did> as far as most libraries go in implementing
EAD in these cases?
3. Are most libraries going back to fully process older collections
according to the hierarchical structure of EAD or not? Staffing is an
Thanks in advance for any help with these questions.
Anna M. Schein, University Librarian and
Associate Curator, West Virginia and Regional History Collection
West Virginia University Libraries
P.O. Box 6069
Morgantown, West Virginia 26506-6069
Tele: (304) 293-4040 x 4065
Fax: (304) 293-6638