Stephen does a nice job of summarizing some of the less expensive
options for authoring EAD finding aids. However, one ought not to dismiss
too readily native SGML/XML authoring tools like Internet Archivist,
Author/Editor. XMetaL, etc. They offer a number of features like easy
setup, built-in parsing, macros, and templates which probably will enhance
productivity; one may well recoup their cost over time. For the
adventurous and those on a limited budget, other options may be quite
sufficient, affording some degree of local customization.
Part of the challenge is to evaluate the authoring paradigm that
works best for you and your workflow. There seem to be three models-
fill-in-the-blanks, select the next tag, or convert text created in a text
Bottom line: you don't need big bucks to do EAD
> From: Stephen Yearl[SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Saturday, March 27, 1999 1:18 PM
> To: Multiple recipients of list EAD
> Subject: Re: EAD Software Experience
> Charles Cofone wrote:
> > We recently received a catalog from Gaylord which offers a product
> > called "Internet Archivist Software." The catalog claims that this
> > "makes it possible to encode yuour finding aids to the Enclosed Archival
> > Standard without having to compile complex files."
> There is nothing complex about the files involved: all can be
> manipulated within a simple text editor.
> > Has anyone on the List had any experience with this product? What are
> > strengths, weaknesse? Is it worth purchasing?
> Never used it, but IA <http://www.interface.com/ead/>is a product that
> was recommended by consultants, prior to my
> arriving at the CHS, to compile finding aids to 20 - 30 nationally
> significant collections held here. The product as I understand it has
> some interesting features, not least of which is the ability to save
> directly to HTML (remember that, so far as the majority of web users are
> concerned, only HTML can be viewed in a regular browser). The most
> fundamental problem with IA is simply that it only works with the EAD
> (v. 1.0) DTD. If the DTD ever changes --- and it surely will --- you
> will need to buy an update from Interface Electronics (the Co. that
> markets IA). This is obviously problematic, and sort of places you at
> the company's discretion.
> There are other commercial products that you may be interested in; these
> are generic SGML/XML editors that can work with *ANY* DTD (EADb, v. 1.0,
> TEI, CIMI, or even one you might want to create yourself). Examples:
> Near & Far Designer: $1395 <http://www.microstar.com>
> Adept Editor: ca $ 1500 <http://www.arbortext.com>
> Adobe Framemaker+ (SGML edition) 5.5 $ ca. 2K <http://adobe.com>
> There are a whole bunch of others (try
> <http://www.oasis-open.org/cover/sgml-xml.html>), all of which will
> allow you to enter-in the DTD du jour, without paying for extra support.
> As the preceding are rather costly you might consider Corel's
> WordPerfect 8 (Academic discount ca. $90) which will take any DTD you
> give it, and present you with a familiar and easy to use working
> environment. There is, apparently, something similar for M$ Word but I
> know nothing about it.
> Our preference at the CHS (admittedly to prove a point that EAD can be
> effectively created for less than a total software-cost outlay of $100)
> is to use a text editor and MS Word templates created in-house. Once in
> the EAD format a variety of output options are available... but to
> answer those is not to answer your question.
> The CHS is currently working on an embellishment to NoteTab (an
> excellent freeware text editor, probably the best Win32 editor I have
> ever used, <http://www.notetab.com/>) to allow swifter
> EAD editing. This is directed specifically toward CHS's particular
> implementation of the EAD tagset, but it may provide a base for other
> implementations. The scripting language for NoteTab modification is
> extremely easy to lean and is far simpler than M$ Word's VB scritping...
> and in some ways more powerful for the basic-to-intermediate user. In
> any case, it is more than suited to the job. When the extensions to
> NoteTab are complete they will be available for download from the CHS
> Hope this help you,
> Stephen Yearl, Project Archivist
> [log in to unmask]
> Connecticut Historical Society
> 1 Elizabeth Street
> Hartford, CT, 06105