Michael *

We're in the process of implementing an EAD search interface using swish-e, though we haven't yet put it up for public use so we don't know how our users will like it.  After consultation with our public service folks we've chosen to offer the following four options: 

1) Alphabetical browse by collection name (titleproper and subtitle) or creator name  (originator/persname or originator/corpname)

2) Browsing by particular local subject areas -- these are our own subject areas we're particularly strong in, not LCSH; for example "Church and clergy" "New York State" "Dance/theatre."  For this we're using <subject source="local"> in the EAD.

3) "Quick Search" has a single text box, full-text search

4) "Advanced search" has 3 fields with Boolean operators, options for each field are:

   * collection title (titleproper and subtitle)
   * creator (originator/persname or originator/corpname)
   * subject (lumps together persname, corpname, title, geogname, subject, occupation)
   * year (YYYY, looks at unitdate for collection as a whole, not at the individual c0# level)
   * type of material (genreform)
   * itemtitle (searches all <unittitle> elements at all c0# levels)
   * any

We're still working out some quirks and finalizing how we want the search results displayed, but we hope that we will have included most, if not all, options that researchers might need.  Interestingly, our public service staff seem most excited about it for their own use, anticipating that it will help them substantially in answering reference questions, etc.

Michele C.

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

>>> [log in to unmask] 5/11/2007 3:11:04 PM >>>
Hi all,

Here at Yale we are gearing up for replacing our finding aids 
database and the question of EAD tag searching has come up.  Our 
current database offers no field searching options, so we're starting 
fresh in that regard and may or may not choose to provide any such 
options.  In the past I've seen shops that have focused on allowing 
users to search certain sections of finding aids - say <bioghist> or 
<scopecontent> - and others that have focused on enabling searches of 
access point elements - such as <persname>, <subject>, etc.  All 
options are potentially on the table.

In your experience, what EAD-element specific searches are useful to 
your users?  Are there any fields that are particularly useful to the 
good folks who do public services?  I have my own thoughts on the 
subject, but I very much want to hear some different perspectives.


Mike Rush

Michael Rush  |  [log in to unmask] 
Processing Archivist / EAD Coordinator
Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Yale University
P.O. Box 208240
New Haven, CT 06520-8240
Tel: (203) 432-8123  Fax: (203) 432-4047