Hi Susan *

My responses are given below under each of your questions.

Michele C.

Michele R. Combs
[log in to unmask] 
Manuscripts Processor
Special Collections Research Center
Syracuse University Library
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244
(315) 443-2697

>>> [log in to unmask] 5/17/2007 11:52 PM >>>

 > what technology they are using  for the storage and
> presentation of your  finding aids?

EAD finding aids are stored as .xml files on the file system (no database at present).  

> What do you use to index, transform, display?

The last step of the finding aid production process uses XSLT to generate 1) an HTML version, which is what's served out to the remote user, and 2) a printer-friendly version (no background color, no links, formatting more suitable for paper, etc).  The decision to serve out HTML rather than XML was made so that the XSL transformation wouldn't have to be done on the user's end; this way they don't need an XML/XSL-aware browser and the load time is faster on large files.  The XSLT style sheets we use came originally from the EAD Cookbook but have been heavily modified for our needs.

Indexing of the EAD XML is done using swish-e ( and php.  Search queries are input by the user in an HTML form with php code to search the index and display a list of search results (name and basic info for each collection).  Search results link to the HTML versions.

> Is it all linked to your Library Catalogue software if you are a library?

We are in the process of creating collection-level catalog records, or editing existing ones, for all our manuscript collections, including adding links in the 856 field to the HTML versions of the EAD finding aids so they're accessible directly from the MARC record.