Jerome McDonough wrote:

> A database which can produce valid EAD is actually not as hard as you might
> think.

This has been a really interesting discussion and I, for one, continually more about a variety of technical solutions for encoding from the postings on this list.

I did want, though, to comment on the quote above. Producing *valid* EAD isn't the only issue. You can actually get a valid EAD instance without any recursion at all, since the DTD only requires, apart from some <eadheader> subelements,  that you use an <archdesc> with the LEVEL attribute set, one nested <did>, and nothing else. I'm sure Jerome wasn't referring to anything quite this simple in the quote above, but I think it is equally important to pay as much attention to standards-based archival description that will facilitate useful searches, retrieval, and presentation to end users, especially in multi-intitutional system environments.  Speaking for myself only, I'd say that the best database in the world used without attention to the quality of the descriptive data being encoded and the standards that went into formulating that data will only produce EAD instances that probably aren't worth the effort that went into their creation.

   Bill Landis
Manuscripts Librarian, Special Collections and Archives
The UCI Libraries, University of California
P.O. Box 19557, Irvine, CA 92623-9557
949 824.3113 [824.2472 FAX]
[log in to unmask]