While I was processing an audio collection, I asked the listserv if there is an EAD to MODS crosswalk. No one replied. The reason I asked was exactly because of this item level description so important for items such as unique audio recordings. In the end, I encoded the finding aid using EAD, without getting into specific tracks (you can check it out at: http://www.creativeaudioarchive.org/links). I would agree with Amanda that implementing MODS would be a much more streamlined process in cataloging/processing/describing individual tracks on a digital/analog sound carrier. If you use EAD, you might consider using a <c0> wrapper with item level for each track and then a <scopecontent> nested within your <c0> to further contextualize the recording or its representation.

I would like to see a related encoding between MODS and EAD if that is possible. Don't know if it would be redundant given MARC 21 and DC are already part and parcel, but it would give EAD an added functionality, especially as MODS is utilized readily in the digital and hybrid environments.

I would assume that

On Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 8:48 AM, Harlan, Amanda <[log in to unmask]> wrote:



I'm working on an audio collection of gospel music at Baylor University called the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project.  When selecting descriptive metadata schemas to describe each album all the way down to the track level I looked at EAD, MODS, DC, MARCXML, etc.  I decided to go with MODS, because it gave me the most flexibility in terms of hierarchy in describing the albums and then describing the tracks.  I found that EAD did not give me this type of freedom in describing albums at the item level then track level.  Also there was the concern of interoperability within an EAD document.  There were other issues also, but I am using EAD for the collection level description because it is the best by far in terms of describing a collection as a whole.  Hope this helps! J


Amanda Harlan

Metatdata Librarian

Baylor University Libraries
One Bear Place, #97148
Waco, TX 76798


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From: Encoded Archival Description List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Creighton Barrett
Sent: Sunday, April 27, 2008 3:42 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: EAD and audio tracks


Hello all,

Can anyone provide examples of EAD-based finding aids and/or catalogs that offer highly detailed item-level descriptions?  Audiovisual collections would be especially useful.  Is anyone using EAD to, for example, describe (rather than simply list) the tracks on an individual audio reel?  How about including multiple accession numbers related to a track? 

I'm working with a collection of folk songs that really needs to be described at the 'track level.'  Each recording has been duplicated several times and has a great deal of accompanying documentation (i.e. lots of contextual information).  There are also duplicates at several different institutions.  This means that each individual recording (originally on acetate discs) is now in possession of a unique set of accession numbers and describing the collection even at the item-level (the reels and cassettes) is ineffective.  I know this could be done with a database of some sort, but the collection also needs a finding aid.  Would it be best to just build a database and then construct an XML finding aid using data from the database?  Has anyone done this sort of thing?  At what point is there too much information in a finding aid? 

I know I've asked a lot, but I'd appreciate any feedback. 


Creighton Barrett
MLIS Candidate (2009)
School of Information Management
Dalhousie University

Never be afraid to laugh at yourself, after all, you could be missing out on the joke of the century.
- Dame Edna Everage