Elizabeth H Dow wrote:
> When I teach EAD, I stress the value of tagging as a way to add
> intelligence to the text. Yesterday I got this question from a
> "We're doing all this encoding in part so that search engines can
> search these documents better and understand when Washington
> is a city or a person's name. What kinds of search engines are
> we talking about? Not Yahoo or Google. Can you give us a demo
> of one of these search engines?"
> I know that the Women Travel Writers Project set up tag-based searches
> in DynaWeb, but they've gone away. Does anyone know of others?
Thinking about "major" non-library search engines like Google and Yahoo,
it does seem unlikely that they will ever be made "EAD-capable" per se,
because that's only a single XML DTD and I can't imagine they'd spend
time on a single one when they want to be able to handle any/all of
them. What they might do is eventually build in the ability to
understand and index on Dublin Core elements in a document, or elements
that are mapped to Dublin Core, since those are so basic. This means
that any DTD whose elements can be easily mapped to DC -- like EAD --
will be more comprehensible and indexable than one whose elements don't.
So in a sense you're doing EAD as an investment in search engines'
Even if they don't, having your documents in EAD means you can easily
generate an HTML document with the appropriate "meta" tags, which does
help the major search engines more accurately index your material
(though it doesn't add and features to the searching side).
However, once you get away from the "big guys" that index and search the
entire web, there are lots of examples. Dozens of libraries offer the
ability to search their EAD finding aids through custom or commercial
search applications. Ours, for example, is a really really simple one
built from freeware and perl scripts, but from the advanced search
options it's clear that we're definitely using the EAD tags:
One of my favorite things our search offers is the ability to search on
the <genreform> tag (in the advanced search it's called "Type of
material"). So if students want to find all the collections with
photographs, for example, or with diaries, it's easy to do.
A far larger-scale system that's using EAD finding aids with XTF, but
which offers fewer EAD elements in its advanced search options, is the
Online Archive of California, here:
(More detailed info about the OAC's use of EAD is here
http://www.cdlib.org/inside/projects/oac/toolkit/ and here
Moving outside the US, the UK's Archives Hub is a terrific example which
allows searching on quite a few EAD elements:
You might also find some good implementations of EAD searches here
Syracuse University Libraries
Special Collections Research Center
Syracuse, NY 13206
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I object to power without constructive purpose.
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