Hi,
 
I promised to compile responses to a query I sent out nearly two months ago investigating how people have dealt with introducing EAD in places where are less-than-tech savvy staff or volunteers, and I am just now finding the time to do so.  I apologize for the delay, and I thank all who responded.  Here are snippets or summaries of responses I received:

There is someone at the Utah State Archives who has worked out a way to convert at least pieces of the finding aid (folder lists) into XML by first typing them into Excel and then using a Mail Merge function.  Here’s the URL for a video-audio presentation on that online.   

http://archives.state.ut.us/containerlist/containerlist.html

(At least 2 others suggested this for container lists)

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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).  ... 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/ .

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 I would also recommend Archon (www.archon.org).   Simple fill-in-the-blank form, that when done, produces an EAD as well as a MARC record

(At least 2 others suggested this as well)

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We started implementing EAD last year.  Our staff has been using the EAD Xforms tool created by Justin Banks (Available at:  http://www.archivists.org/saagroups/ead/tools.html). 

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The german bundesarchive and the company I am working for (www.startext.de) have developed a eclipse based tool called „mex“, which is available for free (Open Source) for example under http://sourceforge.net/projects/mextoolset/

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In my case, after introduction, I printed out sample EAD encoded examples from www.loc.gov/ead and highlighted the tags, gave a finding aid examples, had them map between the two, and then introduced oXygen as an xml editor. Many were happy to learn, the finding aids were validated. All were happy!

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[Conversion vendoers are available, such as those used by Syracuse University.  Didn't get a name of the vendor.]

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At the University of Rhode Island...we designed our program so that undergraduates with no experience using XML/EAD would be able to input the data from finding aids. We use NoteTab software (a free download, or $20 for an expanded version), which allows the user to write scripts to guide users through a series of inputs that outputs a complete XML document.             

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Happy Friday to all!

Ryan Lee

Ryan K. Lee
Metadata Specialist
LDS Church History Dept.
50 E. North Temple Rm. 289E
Salt Lake City, UT 84150-3420
(801) 240-2173
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