I'm from Florence, Italy and I built for State
Archive of LUCCA (Italy) what we call e-ASLU, a structure EAD-like which
describes all the archive as a tree up to the leaves (documents, parchments,
maps) with their images. This is all XML/XSLT native without Data
Well I thought a lot about the question of
getting easy way to fill the structure of this XML Structure and I concluded
it was much more important to learn something of
common tools to handle XML than building easy interface for the
Handling Archives is also a question of tools to
do it and then of knowledge of these tools. If you don'k know tools you have at
disposal, you cannot know what realy are you freedom degrees in making your
The word "technology" is very often an "alibi"
for a phobia that has no sense.
When pen was invented people could speak of
technology but, an instant after, all people started to use it and in a short
time it become an every-day-normal-use tool. Somebody made resistence, exactly
I consider tha "centrality of data" the most
important issue for an Archive, with the possibility of using, handling showing
etc. own data directly by the owner (the Archive and the archivists). Today we
have a tool like XML that permits to avoid intermediates to see, handle and show
data: this is a great freedom degree and we cannot delegate to external
"technology specialists". We must know them.
Finally to give a direct answer, I always say
I could demostrate that Informatics is a great
solution (because I believe it) but I would be able to demostrate that it is
very dangerous and at the end unusefull (if I don't believe it).
That is: if you think you have find the right
road (I agree), you must force even if somebody will remain
I remember that knowledge makes it
LUCCA e-ASLU project manager
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2008 6:21
Subject: EAD for volunteers and/or
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
LDS Church History Dept.
North Temple Rm. 289E
Salt Lake City, UT 84150
(801) 240-2173[log in to unmask]
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