Here at LoC the EAD 2002 XML finding aids are rendered into PDF via
XSL-FO using my stylesheet. (EAD_2002_fo-1.xsl) This was made
possible by our best practices document (EAD group). Once a standard
is created, it is much easier to generate other formats.
EAD Help Pages has a blurb on our workflow:
You can see pdf samples of these on our site.
Google: "library of congress" "finding aid" site:hdl.loc.gov
There are number of points about PDF rendering from EAD 2002 XML that
will interest all parties involved.
1. The HTML stylesheet that comes with the EAD 1.0 to 2002 conversion
toolkit (EAD_2002_HTML_conv-1.xsl) is a sister stylesheet to the
XSL-FO stylesheet. My design was to create a XSLT stylesheet based on
the DTD that could be used for multiple markup languages. This has
been a great success and is open to others to imitate the
2. At present, EAD coders can use this HTML stylesheet to see a close
representation to what they will see in the PDF. This gives users a
good idea of how they can code their finding aids for the best
display. The TOC that is created in the HTML becomes bookmarks in the
PDF. The user does not need to create @ids for the stylesheet to
3. The metadata is take directly from the EAD 2002 XML document. In
my division at least, I generate the EAD 2002 eadheader and some
archdesc children directly from the collection level MARC record (via
Z3950/marcslim xml : thanks Net Dev, et al.). This enables rich
content to rise to a very high level and receive excellent presence
on the web.
4. A single document enables full text searching. PDF readers have a
number of great searching abilities.
5. Most of the other advantages of PDF format are simply its ability
to be live across platforms, etc.
6. Security settings are available. Various metadata embedding is
7. In the very near future, 508 compliance can be attained by the PDF
reader, without further formatting or restructuring the PDFs.
We use XSL Formatter from Antenna House. This PDF renderer offers a
wide range of unicode capabilities for embeding sundry character sets
into your PDF document which can be searched, copied, and pasted at
In any case, EAD 2002 XML rendered into PDF via XSL-FO is a
benefitial relationship and prospering in many ways here at LoC.
Library of Congress
--- "Jennie A. Levine" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> That sounds like an excellent idea for a panel either at SAA or at
> MARAC. Or even just a big discussion/brainstorming session.
> interested in thinking about it? :)
> Another aspect to all of this (at least for us) is wondering where
> entry point will be to users entering our site from, say, Google,
> making sure they can understand where they are. Since we don't
> know how Google searches, although it seems to do some sort of link
> following, we can hope that finding aids such as the Carpenter one
> mentioned earlier will be indexed by virtue of links being followed
> picking up different "views" of a given finding aid. This is
> I want to experiment with a little more.
> I also wonder if anyone has any experience with something like
> which supposedly allows you to create fairly sophisticated print
> versions of your finding aid, or to easily create PDFs from your
> file. I haven't tried to play around with Michael Fox's EAD to
> has anyone else? I'm adding that to my "to do" list.
> I may be getting sort of off-topic here - it's hard to stay on
> because there are so many interesting "problems" here.
> L Rebecca Johnson Melvin wrote:
> > Jennie, hi -
> > I urge you to put together a MARAC session called "Elegant and
> > - make it a discussion session with some invited leaders to
> > brainstorming over issues of length, hierarchies, stylesheets,
> > navigation, etc. We all share the pain of large collections and
> > finding aids. :-)
> > Rebecca (reading from home where I dare not open your Agnew
> > Jennie A. Levine wrote:
> >> Michele,
> >> I would be interested in responses to this as well, just as a
> point of
> >> discussion.
> >> We've had several similar scenarios and dealt with each one
> >> differently. We have one collection where we try to show both
> box and
> >> reel locations by putting the reels and frames in the <physdesc>
> >> in the <c02> and <c03> levels as appropriate. I don't know how
> >> "right" that is, but that worked with our style sheet. The
> Guide to
> >> the Papers of Djuna Barnes has about 2200 "rows"
> >> (for example)
> >> I do think that is difficult to read on a screen, or even on a
> >> printout, and not lose your place. We are working on revising
> >> style sheets to be more hierarchical in display to "solve" this
> >> problem (it's pretty cool so far, actually, and I hope we'll be
> >> to show people live in a month or so - it's similar to the James
> >> Madison Carpenter Finding Aid found here -
> >> http://www.hrionline.ac.uk/carpenter/browse.html), and maybe
> >> the print versions to list things like Series and Subseries next
> >> each item so that people can tell quickly where they are.
> >> Our Papers of Spiro T. Agnew guide is over 12,000 "rows" (only
> open if
> >> you are certain of your browser stability and Internet
> >> Series III, Subseries 5, which is even difficult to navigate to
> in our
> >> current stylesheet, is a PDF, just to try to keep the finding
> aid from
> >> crashing people's browsers. (You can do a "find" for "Subseries
> >> to find the link).
> >> I really dislike the way we had to handle this - it just feels
> >> to me. It wasn't too hard to make the PDF since all of our EAD
> data is
> >> in database form, but still it was an extra step I'd like to
> >> And I have seen other posts on this listserv with questions
> >> elegant and seamless ways to break up finding aids and am not
> sure if
> >> anyone came up with any answers? If they did, I'd love to know!
> >> So, I don't have any answers - but I share your pain and am
> >> in solutions people might have.
> >> Jennie
> Jennie A. Levine
> Curator for Historical Manuscripts
> Archives and Manuscripts Department
> Hornbake Library
> University of Maryland
> College Park, MD 20742
> (301)314-2709 FAX
> [log in to unmask]
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