Archive Grid (which
is a mix of MARC records, EAD, and HTML) does not currently search or sort by
dates. Part of this is because of the dissimilarities in formats,
will be moved into the WorldCat.org platform (as
“We are not our users,”
Merrilee Proffitt, Senior Program Officer
OCLC Programs and Research
From: Encoded Archival
Description List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
Behalf Of Custer, Mark
Sent: Thursday, January 15, 2009 8:47 AM
Subject: back-end systems for EAD, and other questions
Yesterday’s post about “normalized dates” has me thinking once again about how dates are used (or not used) in EAD records. As far as I can tell, RLG’s ArchiveGrid doesn’t permit searching by date (I could be wrong on this, though, as I don’t have full access to it, but it does use Lucene to index its records; though I suppose that most of these records are just MARC records?) and Proquest’s Archive Finder does permit searching by date, but it doesn’t really allow you to do very much (i.e. there’s no way to rank your results by “relevancy”).
This leads me to a question: what sort of back-end systems are archives using for their EAD records? (are there any surveys out there that has this information, or should we start one???)
At ECU, we're using an XML database only, but we aren't doing any advanced searching by date (primarily because, at this time, if you did search for something like "1912", it's not going to limit your results very much; and then, really, you're just back at the whole "browse by collection name" situation). However, you can do a keyword search for "1912", and the results that are returned to you will be ordered by the number of hits in each document, which, in my mind, is only a small difference in functionality, but perhaps more useful (in most occasions) than simply limiting your results to any and all collection date ranges that contain the year "1912".
leads me to another set of questions: is anyone out there using the
"bulk" attribute as
I think it's great that we're encoding our documents so well, but I keep wondering if we're harnessing that information in the best possible ways yet (and perhaps the best solutions won't be tied to our encoding practices at all).
Text & Markup Coordinator
ECU Digital Collections