Thanks for your reactions!
In fact I did refer to both situations Kate mentions below. Mostly our
indexes refer to a specific recordgroup, but sometimes across a number
of record groups and even across a number of inventories! These are
really awful in terms of EAD ;-) But maybe the EAC-CPF option Michelle
proposes offers a solution ...
I quess we in the Netherlands have a lot of really old archives with
indexes made long ago and then later typed over or (partly) digitized.
So this is very similar to the example with the card index.
However the Lowell inventory is a good typical example of the
difficulties in EAD. (I would be interested in seeing the actual XML. I
imagine it to be quite large and hard to handle ...)
Sometimes the size of the EAD XML file is simply getting too big to
handle for stylesheets. Especially if the names are all on one level. We
have an inventory that is essentially a long list stating all commercial
corporations registered by the state in a certain period. This is an XML
file with the size of 20 MB. Our pdf-stylesheet can't make a pdf and the
browser using the HTML stylesheet can't load the page.
So I think the use of EAD has limitations just because it is a XML file
format, whereas ISAD(G) in principle poses no problems in incorporating
these large indexes. A solution could be like Elizabeth Perkes describes
in Utah: storing and handling the data in a database and only producing
EAD XML when needed
Van: Kate Bowers [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Verzonden: woensdag 11 juni 2008 14:59
Aan: Encoded Archival Description List; Gijsbert Kruithof
CC: [log in to unmask]
Onderwerp: Re: EAD and finding aid databases
My experience is that EAD does not accommodate indexes created prior to
ead very well, if at all.
For record groups or collections to which we had a specific index but no
inventory, such as:
We managed to derive an inventory of sorts, and add the index text to
the document, although such indexes cannot be <index> in EAD because
they do not make reference to a specific part of an inventory. I think
with Lowell (hua03003) we ended up using <c> even though these are not
We have a very different situation, however, with a card index that
indexes persons and topics across a number of record groups of
University records up to 1850. I think this latter scenario is the one
you are asking about. I have not attempted to encode this. The cards
are handwritten and thus do not lend themselves easily to transcription.
Collections Services Archivist
Harvard University Archives
Quoting Gijsbert Kruithof <[log in to unmask]>:
> Apart from our finding aids in EAD the National Archive in the
> Netherlands also has about 300 indexes, cardboxes and databases.
> They contain information about persons and places and other content
> not specifically described in the inventories. Some databases
> contain more than 100.000 items on which information can be found in
> an archive. (See for instance http://databases.tanap.net/vocrecords/)
> Because of their size and complexity these indexes and databases are
> difficult to incorporate in the EAD inventories. Maybe we are
> confronted here with the limitations of EAD as an XML file format ...
> Does anyone has experience in dealing with these 'finding aid
> We plan to create a Database Management System containing all the
> databases. This DBMS will be complementary to the EAD inventories
> and contain links to the inventorynumbers.
> But maybe there are other options. We would be very interested.
> We would especially like to know if someone has experience setting
> up such a system with regard to:
> - functionality for staff and volunteers
> - choice of DBMS and software: MySQL/PHP or SQL-server/ASP or
> something else
> - datamodel
> - linking functionality to EAD inventories
> - digitizing typoscript cards from cardboxes
> We appreciate all suggestions
> Gijsbert Kruithof
> Senior archivist
> Nationaal Archief
> The Netherlands
This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.