Sorry, the url in the previous post was missing a slash. It should be
Head of Processing
Minnesota Historical Society
345 Kellogg Blvd West
St. Paul MN 55102-1906
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**NOTE NEW AREA CODE EFFECTIVE JULY 12, 1998**
> From: Fox, Michael
> Sent: Friday, April 23, 1999 9:29 AM
> To: 'EAD List'
> Cc: Fox, Michael
> Subject: HTML or ASCII
> The Minnesota Historical Society is facing the same situation that David
> de Lorenzo described in his post on this topic but are taking another tack
> which might be informative.
> APEX will be converting between 3-4,000 pages of finding aids for us this
> year. We have been very happy to date with the accuracy of their double
> entry keying. It lets us get a lot of conversion done that we could not
> manage in-house, especially for older, shall be say messier-appearing,
> inventories. Because we have a lot of inventories, estimates are between
> 15 and 20,000, we need to pay a lot of attention to the cost overhead of
> such an operation.
> And again, like David, we see the need for three versions: the EAD master
> version that we receive from APEX, an HTML version for our Web customers,
> and a nicely printed version for our in-house patrons.
> We are treating the EAD-encoded version of inventories as the master file
> for all the reasons that Daniel Pitti described in an earlier message:
> portability, platform and software neutrality, and reuseability. In a
> phrase that I think Bill Landis coined, we are treating our finding aids
> as data and not as text. We have chosen to create and maintain our files
> in xml mode.
> The creation of a derivative html version is extremely simple using the
> transformation capabilities of XSL stylesheets. The processing assistant
> copies the xml file into the proper directory, activates the xsl processor
> (we use James Clark's free XT program), types in the source file name, the
> stylesheet file name, and the output file name, and presses the return
> Once the processor has done it's thing, the output file is mailed to our
> Webmaster for posting to the Web site. The whole proces takes no more
> than 2-3 minutes per collection. We think that we produce a fairly
> sophisticated Web output, one that integrates completely into the look and
> feel of the Society's overall Web site design. For an example see,
> The final step is to produce nicely printed copies for our reading room.
> At this very moment we are experimenting with two options. One is to
> simply print out the html version. With a browser like IE 5.0 that
> supports CSS2, we can even get page breaks where we want in the document.
> However, because we want to add running headers and footers to the
> document, we probalby will want to use MS Word. Word 97 and Word 2000
> both can readily import an HTML document (like the one generated in the
> our previous step) and convert it into Word format. No need to strip out
> tags and reformat anything. We use lots of tables in our HTML output to
> format the text. These are converted directly into Word tables and retain
> the same formatting, useful for container lists that have a highly
> indented structure. It's simple- just go the menu bar in Word, open the
> HTML file, and wait 10 seconds while Word does the work. Then it's a
> matter of adding headers and footers, appropriate page breaks and other
> light editing to ge the file looking the way you want. I suspect that the
> same functionality will be available in WordPerfect 9 when it comes out
> later this month for those of you of that persuation.
> The overhead on each of the latter two steps is both minimal and cost
> effective. They are possible, in fact, because EAD is about structure
> and not content and is therefore reuseable for other purposes in a way
> that word-processing, html, and pdf files are not.
> Michael Fox
> Head of Processing
> Minnesota Historical Society
> 345 Kellogg Blvd West
> St. Paul MN 55102-1906
> phone: 651-296-1014
> fax: 651-296-9961
> [log in to unmask]
> **NOTE NEW AREA CODE EFFECTIVE JULY 12, 1998**