The beta version of the EAD Cookbook is now available to anyone who is
interested in helping to test it before it is formally made available
through the SAA EAD Roundtable Help Pages.

What is the Cookbook?

Archives and libraries implementing EAD face many options: what software to
use to create documents, what elements and attributes to employ in encoding,
how to configure their software for maximum efficiency, and how to create
print and web-ready versions of their inventories.  During the meeting of
the EAD Roundtable at the 1999 Annual Meeting of the Society of American
Archivists, attendees agreed that a simple model encoding scheme with an
accompanying suite of software tools for "authoring" electronic finding aids
and stylesheets for "publishing" them would be very useful.  This cookbook
has been developed to accomplish that end.  It functions as an extension of
the EAD Tag Library and the EAD Application Guidelines.  To use it, one must
have a basic understanding of the EAD element set.

What's in the Cookbook?

The Cookbook has two components:

1.    The Cookbook itself- a 44 page document now in MS Word95.   This
publication contains a prototype EAD encoding scheme that defines a set of
basic elements, attributes and default text that an archives might adopt as
standard encoding practice.  This prototype is based on recommendations in
the EAD Application Guidelines, the guidelines of several EAD implementation
projects, and comments from earlier reviewers.   The second part of the
document is a set of step-by-step instructions for installing and using the
various electronic tools that accompany the Cookbook and which are described

2.  Electronic tools to aid in creating and publishing EAD finding aids on
the web and in print form.   The basic tool is a template that contains all
of the default elements, attributes, and  text specified in the encoding
prototype.  This makes data entry a matter of filling in the blanks on the
template.   Templates are available for three software products: XMetaL,
Author/Editor, and WordPerfect 9.   There are also accompanying files for
keyboard macros, styles, and customization files particular to each of these
software applications- all designed to simplify and expedite data entry.

Finally, there is a set of stylesheets written in the XSL Transformation
(XSLT) language that can be used to convert EAD documents based on the
prototype encoding scheme into HTML for distribution on the web.

The stylesheets produce a presentation whose format is drawn for several
existing models.   You can see examples of the output at          (frames version)            (no frames

As mentioned previously, the Cookbook contains detailed instructions for
using all of these tools.

How can I participate?

I will be glad to send the appropriate files to anyone who wishes to help
test these products if

1.   you tell me whether you will be using XMetaL, Author/Editor, or
WordPerfect 9

2.   you promise to really, truly, actually test the products and

3.   you promise to send me your comments and one encoded finding aid by
June 2.  The finding aid need not be extensive; I'm looking for examples to
test the stylesheets against a variety of implementations other than my own.
I will incorporate any and all suggestions into the final version to the
extent reasonably possible.

This distribution will not include the stylesheets until they have been
tested further.   However, I will use the stylesheets to convert the finding
aid you send me into HTML and send the file back to you as quickly as

I hope this will become a useful tool that will further reduce the learning
curve for implementing EAD.   Your help in making that possible is greatly


Michael Fox
Acting Assistant Director for Library and Archives
Minnesota Historical Society
345 Kellogg Blvd West
St. Paul MN 55102-1906
phone: 651-296-1014
fax:  651-296-9961
[log in to unmask]


Michael Fox
Acting Assistant Director for Library and Archives
Minnesota Historical Society
345 Kellogg Blvd West
St. Paul MN 55102-1906
phone: 651-296-1014
fax:  651-296-9961
[log in to unmask]