Some of the price will depend upon the skill set needed, which is directly proportional to how your finding aids have been written. For instance, I converted all of our legacy finding aids to EAD myself back in 2000 using the existing tools I had available to me at the time, including an HTML editor and WordPerfect. It took me three months to do about 600 finding aids, including huge container lists. All of this was done just as an archivist on staff, at whatever salary I was making at the time (you can pro-rate that to your own staff's average salary). The only EAD training I had at the time was an SAA class that showed the basic how-tos. I had to come up with a style sheet on my own.

Now that we've moved all our finding aids and container lists into a database, using the EAD Schema, we've had to find a way to get the date information into actual date fields so that it will appear normalized on output. Since the container lists used dates in every conceivable pattern possible, there was no way I could create a script to pull all of that out and get it imported to date fields correctly. We sourced that part out. A database consultant spent two weeks in my office a month ago at $135 an hour and got it all done. Here's a sample of the type of date patterns found in the <unittitle> field that he had to contend with:

Scrapbook, 1916-1934
1933; A, Jan-Feb
Vol. A:  Oct. 7, 1910 - Oct. 7, 1913; Vol. B:  Aug. 4, 1914 - Apr. 3, 1923
Extraditions of Fugitives to Utah; Oct. 1954 - June 1958
1852 Claims
State Applications; 1934-1939; Industrial Commission
Civil Conservation Corps; 1937, Sep-Dec
H 1905
1955 [1956]; Agriculture, Drought Disaster
1949-1956; Criminal Identification and Investigation
1916; "P" General Correspondence; Jan. 7-Apr. 25, 1916
1913-1914, Nos.12 to 14
3035-3095, Jan. 5, 1869 - May 24, 1869
1860 Bonds, Certificates, Oaths--Territorial Offices
Jan 22 1857
28; May 11 1872
1328; Jan Jul 79
1968, Feb 28-29
1977, 42nd session, vol. I, p. 71-end
Proposed projects; Provo River Project; 1940
Minutes; 1924, Apr-1926, Sep; Minutes; 1926, Nov-1929, Jul
Griffenhagen and Associates, Jul-Oct 1939
1960, Dec 6-Jun 14, 1961; Book 73
1919 - 1921 (not a date, a case file range)
1799-1840, 1914-1915 (first two numbers are case files, last two are dates)
Maine; 1977-1978, 1980, 1982-1983
1994-2041 [Vol. 3, 1920-1921]
August 5, 1891-June 3, 1893 [Volume E]
1988, Jun-1989, Nov
[1890, Apr 21]-1891, Apr 15 (Book H)
1940: Salt Lake, November 1-15

Amazingly, he was able to distinguish between case file numbers and years, plus find all the "from" and "to" days, months, and years, even if they presented themselves as a scrambled string. Now that he's done all the hard scripting work, if other institutions need to utilize it, that could probably be arranged. He doesn't know EAD, however. I just took the data he gave back to me and ran with it.

Elizabeth Perkes
Utah State Archives

>>> Ryan Lee <[log in to unmask]> 6/17/08 2:03 PM >>>
Please excuse cross-postings.

Hi all,

Previously on the EAD listserv, I submitted a query to those who were using, or had used, consultants or contractors to encode their finding aids in EAD, and if so, how much did it cost.  I got limited feedback, so I want to send out a related e-mail to those on the EAD and Archives listservs to see if I can get more response.  And, please do not confuse this with a job announcement.  It is merely for informational purposes from which we are hoping to get some feedback, and to clarify the intent of my previous e-mail.

In my institution, we are looking to possibly hire someone temporarily as an EAD consultant.  We are looking for someone to come in and analyze where we stand as far as archival description and whether our finding aids or registers comply with EAD standards.  This person would also need to be able to analyze our current (very basic) use of EAD, and determine how it needs to be altered to not only meet the basic EAD standards, but also comply with local or regional best practices.  The greatest task for this person would be to implement these new standards through training of staff and volunteers, many of whom have little technical expertise, especially in XML.  We would need someone who could adapt these standards at a very basic level, using whatever tools out there.

We are looking less for a vendor service to send our finding aids to, and more for a temporary contractural service with someone with a great deal of experience in implementing EAD.

My question is NOT who of you out there could do this.  My question is: Does anyone out there have experience hiring or working with someone in a similar situation?  If so, how much did they charge for such a service (ideally an hourly rate)?  Or, on a general note, can someone suggest where to go to find information on rates to charge for a temporary consultant doing any number of things in an archival setting?

We are just trying to get a ballpark figure to work into our budget, and I am needing this information by the end of the week.  So, if anyone out there can provide me with any information, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

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

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