Hello everyone,


Please forgive me for a slightly off-topic question.  My institution is
in the early stages of setting up a music archive.  It will contain a
combination of physical artifacts (memorabilia, musical instruments),
books and printed music, and sound recordings in various formats.   We
(the library) will be pushing to have as much of the collection as
possible digitized in some way--photographs of artifacts, scanning
manuscripts, sound files, etc-though a lot of the music is commercially
produced and cannot be made available digitally.  We hope to hire an
archivist to process the collection and I intend to make the case for
requiring an EAD encoded finding aid.


My question for the group, then, is can anyone suggest any good software
that can deal well with a mix of digital content and surrogate records?
Something that will provide immediate access to digital content and an
appropriate record or pointer for items that are not available online?
There's been some talk about doing traditional library cataloging for
the collection, but most of us (including me and our other cataloger)
are agreed that that really does not do an archive justice, especially
since it hides the records from search engines and would make searching
just that archive difficult for a lone researcher who did not know our
system.  We're not yet at the point of saying we want a single piece of
software for the internal processing and administration stuff as well as
the public-facing discovery tool, but I tend to think if we can get
something that does it all, that will make things simpler since we will
not be able to have dedicated software folks to provide support.


Also, (more on topic) when dealing with an item-level search, how often
is EAD providing the metadata?  I realize that EAD can handle item
specific description.  Are many (or any) software packages using EAD as
the primary mechanism for that, or do they tend to repackage the data or
require a second "cataloging" of the item in the software itself,
outside of EAD entirely?




Mark Sandford
Special Formats Cataloger
David and Lorraine Cheng Library
William Paterson University
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(973) 720-2437