Hi Ryan --
One possible solution for easy (non-XML-knowledge) EAD encoding is the
work done by the Online Archive of California (a project of the
California Digital Libraries Initiative).  They have developed HTML
forms that you can just fill out, press a button, and it generates the
EAD for you.  Whether you could use one of their templates "as is" or
would have to tinker with it I couldn't say, but you might want to take
a look.  A list of the templates is here .  More
general information including other EAD resources is here  and here .

Michele Combs.
Librarian for Manuscripts and Archives Processing.
Special Collections Research Center.
Syracuse University Library.
222 Waverly Avenue.
Syracuse, NY   13244



From: Encoded Archival Description List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf
Of Ryan Lee
Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2008 12:21 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: EAD for volunteers and/or techiphobes

Hi all,
This is my first posting to this list.  
I am a new hire with a little EAD experience who has been asked to
implement encoding finding aids in EAD.  EAD exists in a very simplified
form currently, but it is only created in a simple database that is tied
to the MARC record that supposedly can be exported into EAD, but we
would like to do more.  The problem is that most of the staff here have
little to no experience in XML, and much of the work of processing and
creating finding aids is done by volunteers who have little to no
experience with XML or technology in general.  Both parties also seem to
suffer from a bit of techniphobia.  I am need of ideas to sort of break
down this barrier and bridge the technology gap.
My question is:  Does anybody have experience in training volunteers or
technphobes in EAD?  Any success stories?  Are there tools out there
that make it so you can do EAD without having to know XML, or where you
don't have to use an XML editor?  I know about the Archivist's Toolkit
and a couple other similar software programs, but I don't know enough
about them to see if they fit our needs.  In general, are there any
ideas out there from past experience for making EAD easier to learn and
more intuitive without making it too simplified?
In my EAD experience, we had a template and guidelines to follow, but we
had to do the encoding in an XML editor and had to know a little about
XML in order to be successful.  I am trying to make it as painless as
possible without compromising too much.  Is that possible?
Thank you for any answers to these questions that you can provide.
Ryan K. Lee
Metadata Specialist
LDS Church History Dept.
50 E. North Temple Rm. 289E
Salt Lake City, UT 84150
(801) 240-2173
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