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 http://www.cdlib.org/inside/projects/oac/toolkit/templates/ .  More general information including other EAD resources is here http://www.cdlib.org/inside/projects/oac/  and here http://www.cdlib.org/inside/projects/oac/toolkit/ .
 
Michele

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