My experience is that EAD does not accommodate indexes created prior to ead 
very well, if at all.

For record groups or collections to which we had a holdings-specific index 
but no inventory, such as: and , we managed to derive 
inventories of sorts, and add the index text to the document, although such 
indexes cannot be <index> in EAD because they do not make reference to a 
specific part of an inventory.  I  think with Lowell (hua03003) we ended up 
using <c> even though these are not really components.

We have a different situation, however, with a card index that indexes 
persons and topics across a number of record groups of University records 
up to 1850.  Is this latter scenario the one you are asking about?  I have 
not attempted to encode this.  The cards are handwritten and thus do not 
lend themselves easily to low-cost transcription, although I would very 
much like to have them transcribed.  I suspect I would either not use EAD 
or use some very unorthodox EAD encoding for this data.


At 08:37 AM 6/11/2008 +0200, Gijsbert Kruithof wrote:

>Apart from our finding aids in EAD the National Archive in the Netherlands 
>also has about 300 indexes, cardboxes and databases. They contain 
>information about persons and places and other content not specifically 
>described in the inventories. Some databases contain more than 100.000 
>items on which information can be found in an archive. (See for instance 
>Because of their size and complexity these indexes and databases are 
>difficult to incorporate in the EAD inventories. Maybe we are confronted 
>here with the limitations of EAD as an XML file format ...
>Does anyone has experience in dealing with these 'finding aid databases'?
>We plan to create a Database Management System containing all the 
>databases. This DBMS will be complementary to the EAD inventories and 
>contain links to the inventorynumbers.
>But maybe there are other options. We would be very interested.
>We would especially like to know if someone has experience setting up such 
>a system with regard to:
>- functionality for staff and volunteers
>- choice of DBMS and software: MySQL/PHP or SQL-server/ASP or something else
>- datamodel
>- linking functionality to EAD inventories
>- digitizing typoscript cards from cardboxes
>We appreciate all suggestions
>Gijsbert Kruithof
>Senior archivist
>Nationaal Archief
>The Netherlands

Kate Bowers
Collection Services Archivist
Harvard University Archives
Cambridge, MA 02138
voice:  (617) 495-2461
fax:    (617) 495-8011
email:  [log in to unmask]