I used Dreamweaver for creating and implementing EAD templates and samples while working as the Archivists of the James D. Watson Collection at the Center for the History of Molecular Biology at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
Dreamweaver offers a variety of benefits for EAD creators. First of all, while it is not an Open Architecture application (that is, it is proprietary software), many institutions are already licensed for multiple users. You will have to check with your IT department first, especially if you plan to have more than one employee installing it in your archives, to insure you do not violate licensing agreements. Second, Dreamweaver offers two functions which I found to be very helpful:
1. The “Validate XML” tool. Using this tool, Dreamweaver provides alerts to the existence of *most* parsing and well-formed errors. It is relevant to say that found it necessary to use a second validation method because Dreamweaver missed several XML errors that had to be removed before they were ingested into the CMS. A simple second check method XML file validation is to open the saved XML file using a web browser such as Internet Explorer. If the raw XML document is well-formed and parsed correctly, it will display the XML tree view.
2. The “Snippets” tool. Once a single well-formed document is completed, it is possible to create templates. I have created several templates using Dreamweaver snippets including collection, series, and item level templates. (I plan to create an oral history template soon). This is done by dividing an EAD document into major sections of code and saving those sections as snippets. I created a “master snippet library", so that both collection and series level EAD finding aids can be comfortably accomplished with a library of 22 snippets.
I did not use Dreamweaver to validate against a DTD. I used a second tool for this purpose. Several Open Access EAD validation tools are available to download off of the internet to validate against the Library of Congress’ EAD.dtd and other DTDs. If you happen to be a contributor to the OAC, they offer an Open Architecture (free) tool called OAC BPG Validator which is available at http://www.cdlib.org/inside/projects/oac/toolkit/validator/
. The BPG Validator validates documents against their Best Practices Guidelines, which are available online to read: http://www.cdlib.org/inside/diglib/guidelines/bpgead/
. The templates and EAD finding aids I designed comply with these best practices, which are also DACS compliant.
On a personal note, Dreamweaver was a nice transitional tool after XMetal, though the learning curve was steep. But I have found that *free* tools like Notepad (that comes standard with Windows) and XMLPad (which can be obtained from download.com) work just as well. If you plan to create a template for non-EAD trained employees, you might want to consider creating fill-in-the blank type Word template. In this case, the EAD template designer ensures a well-formed and valid document (both against XML and EAD standards) by doing all the necessary coding. The template designer plans for variable content. For example it is possible to use brackets with a short general descriptor for content entry only; i.e.; [Collection Name] and visibly highlight it in the relevant portion of the EAD document. If you decide to use this, just be sure to save the final version in Notepad to get rid of some pesky character errors generated by Word.
----- Original Message ----
From: Deirdre Joyce <[log in to unmask]
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Tuesday, May 8, 2007 1:13:59 PM
Subject: using dreamweaver 8 for ead??Has anyone ever used dreamweaver 8 for ead and xslt? We are in the process of recussitating a moribund archival unit and hope to get some of our new finding aids online in ead format. We currently have dreamweaver 8 software for web page development and thought that it *might* be easier to keep/produce all of our web docs with this software. Suggestions? Thoughts? Deirdre Joyce
University Archivist & Special Collections Librarian
Robert R. Muntz Library
The University of Texas at Tyler