I know this is off topic, but I thought I'd risk sharing it. I'm on
sabbatical this semester, teaching an experimental class in "Advanced
Archival Description" in the Public History program at the University of
South Carolina. The course includes a lot of EAD, less MARC, and the Model
Editions Partnership (MEP) DTD for publishing historical documents. I've
required the students to subscribe to the EAD list and asked them to write
a brief review (2 pages).

They said (in part):
        "Unlike most listservs, the EAD listserv is actually an
informative list that truly provides useful information to its
subscribers. Though traffic is low, the knowledge shared always
helpful....The topics always are related to EAD and subscribers rarely
stray from the thread. It is a useful listserv."

        "The experiences I have had in the past with list serves have not
been agreeable ones. Most of the time the topics and quality of discussion
have been of little or no value. However, with the EAD List Serve this is
not the case....As with any non-moderated list serve there are postings
that should never been sent to the list. The EAD is not immune to this.
The few times a personal message was posted the rest of the list community
ignored it unlike some list serves where the erroneous post created a
thread on list etiquette that dragged on for days... The results of this
give the EAD list an air of professionalism that other professional lists
sometimes lack."

        "As with any ListServ, the value of the information to be gained
from the EAD ListServ varies, and it certainly relates to the extent of
one's level of EAD understanding as well as whether the issues being
discussed are pertinent to one's particular situation. As a rule, the list
is useful in helping a newcomer understand EAD and think critically about
the issues involved."

        "Overall, I have found that the EAD listserv to be a great
introduction to EAD. Observing the discussions has helped me see the
implications of the information of which I have read."

        "The listserv devoted to the discussion of encoded archival
description is a useful tool for the novice or the veteran....For the many
archivists who work alone, such web resources as this listserv and other
online reference works have proven indespensible in disseminating an
understanding of EAD from the large institutions to more remote areas."

        "This sort of discussion [a particular thread just discussed]
helps to bring EAD alive for the beginner. While classroom exercises are
very useful and enlightening, they have a tendency to abstract the
situation. However with the use of things like the EAD Listserv, the
novice can see how EAD is applied to finding aids in the 'real world.' "

        "This list is definitely worthwhile to archivists actively
involved in the use of EAD for their finding aids. There was a good blend
of practical and intellectual questions;..."

Elizabeth H. Dow, Ph.D.   [log in to unmask]
Special Collections -- Bailey/Howe Library
University of Vermont
College of Library and Information Science
University of South Carolina