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 http://databases.tanap.net/vocrecords/)
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