I was recently wondering the same thing. We reorganized our archival collection in a format that would allow for easy EAD mark up sometime in the near future. However, we never did get around to the mark up part. Our goal was to have our documents findable on the web. We posted our finding aids in PDF format to our website, and when I searched the web, I did find our documents. Of course, this might depend on what search engine you use. I do know that google makes PDFs searchable.
Technical Services Librarian
132 The Riverway
Boston, MA 02215
From: Encoded Archival Description List on behalf of Chris Prom
Sent: Thu 3/1/2007 10:01 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Way EAD_XML?
I don't know if you remember me, but we met at the ICA meeting in
Iceland last year. Really enjoyable time.
In any case, my personal opinion is that the only real reason to
have an EAD/XML instance at this point is for interoperability,
in other words, if you wish to share with other systems. That,
however, is a VERY compelling reason, at least for me.
From the end user's point of view, EAD is meaningless, except to
the extent it may make the collection more accessible outside of
the local context. For example, if you wish to share your
National and University Library descriptive it with other systems
or international consortia, you can probably get it into EAD
format pretty easily from your SQL source, then send those files
to whoever is responsible for the project.
In the Archon database system that we set up at University of
Illinois, we run the SQL source into both HTML and EAD using PHP
scripts. This works perfectly fine--the differences between the
two scripts are relatively trivial and if you tech staff has a
script to do html output, they should be able to tweak it for ead
output with relatively minimal fuss, as long as you can provide
them very specific directions and tweak the output to make sure
it is well formed and valid. (As an aside, I have found it A LOT
easier and more compact to write a PHP script than it is to
monkey around with a verbose or complex XSLT sytlesheet).
If you have any interest in seeing how our scripts work, you can
download the archon application from www.archon.org. After you
have it installed, look in the templates/ead folder. Or if you do
not wish to do that, I can share the relevant PHP scripts with
you off list. One caveat about our EAD script: there is a slight
bug in the current release, which prevents the output of certain
fields in the <c0x> levles, this has already been fixed in our
source code and will be corrected in the next release of our
software, scheduled for Late April or early May.
Christopher J. Prom
Assistant University Archivist
University of Illinois Archives
1408 W. Gregory Dr.
Urbana, IL 61801
e-mail: [log in to unmask]
On Thu, 1 Mar 2007, [iso-8859-1] Írn Hrafnkelsson wrote:
> Dear list members
> I was wondering if some one out there could help me.
> We in the National and University Library of Iceland, Manuscript Department, have built an in-house SQL database for describing and cataloguing our private and personal archives. And now we are in the process of making our finding aids in EAD style for each collection for web display.
> My coworker, from the IT department, says that there is no need for making EAD_XML documents at this point. He says: We have no need for them and can just make them later. It is just enough to have them in HTML to display on the web.
> So the questions are
> 1. Way to make the EAD documents in XML, is there some need for that?
> 2. We have all the information in our SQL database and can make HTML documents for each collection, is that not enough?
> 3. Is it of any good for the user to have access to the XML document
> 4. Is not just for you archivist and manuscripts people to have the documents in XML
> With hope for some answers and maybe you could direct me to some papers or documents with some answers.
> Írn Hrafnkelsson
> National and University Library of Iceland
> Manuscript Department