Yes, definitions always are the sticking point, aren't they?
Some days I'm just happy to have a handwritten list of what we think might be in a collection.
A very few (58) of our collections have beautifully written, fully standardized, DACS-compliant, EADs--online for the world to find. (BTW, our institution--a special collections has about, and my math gets fuzzy, over 2,500 manuscript collections, 1,400 photographic collections, and 400 SMU archival collections.) So, the percentage is insignificant.
But, we keep working and trying. And each summer this is what our graduate students work on.
Southern Methodist University
P.O. Box 750396
Dallas, TX 75275-0396
From: Encoded Archival Description List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Michele R Combs
Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2009 2:54 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Survey of % of finding aids converted to EAD?
> From: Encoded Archival Description List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Rees, John (NIH/NLM) [E]
>I think it's a tough statistic to pin down without first defining what you are after.
John makes a very good point. I guess I was thinking of "finding aid" pretty broadly, as "something that aids in finding stuff in the collection" LOL!! One could define it more strictly as "a description that meets the DACS minimum content requirements." But that would leave out institutions that for example went straight from MARC to EAD, with the result that some DACS-minimum data may be missing. I'd go with the broader definition, I think.
Once you've defined finding aid, it breaks down into two related questions:
"What percentage of your collections have a finding aid?"
"What percentage of your finding aids are encoded in EAD?"
And from that one could calculate "What percentage of your collections have a finding aid that is encoded in EAD?"
As someone else pointed out, however, this begs the question of page count; we have some finding aids that are 2 pages and at least one that's 900 pages. So I'd also be curious "What % of your hard copy description page count has been converted to EAD." I'm not sure how easy that would be to find out. We had to do a page count of our hard copy finding aids when we started our EAD conversion a few years ago, but many institutions might not have that data handy :)
(be green - don't print this email!)
Special Collections Research Center
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Ave.
Syracuse, NY 13244
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