Dear EAD experts,

I am seeking internal funding to support a "gap analysis" study of the legacy (non-EAD) finding aids of 8-10 Smithsonian archival units.   This study will analyze the existing finding aids, as well as the systems used to create them in each individual unit, and compare the format and content of the legacy finding aids against EAD Best Practices currently being implemented at the Smithsonian.

I would like to contract with an individual to complete this study.  The contractor should be an expert in the EAD format, as well as EAD authoring and creation tools and systems.   The contractor will provide the Smithsonian with a detailed report on the gaps and deficiencies in the legacy finding aids in both content and format and provide recommendations for EAD conversion for each group of finding aids.   Our ultimate goal is to convert as many as possible with an EAD conversion service, and to develop strategies for the in-house revision of those that are highly non-standard.

It is not within the scope of this project to develop methodologies for mapping legacy data out of complex in-house stand-alone systems.  However, since many of the units have started to adopt the Archivists Toolkit for the creation of EAD finding aids, an understanding of the AT is desirable and the possibilities for getting some of the legacy data into AT.

The legacy finding aids are typical of most legacy non-EAD finding aids and exist in hard copy, word processed documents, and databases.  I have completed a high-level survey of the number and types of non-EAD legacy finding aids throughout the participating units.  Although there are thousands of finding aids to be analyzed, the bulk of the finding aids created by each individual unit are fairly consistent within that unit.  Therefore, random sampling will work very well for some of the larger bodies of finding aids.

At this point, I am interested in hearing estimated hourly costs for such a contract - or other proposals.  This is not a RFQ and is simply a collegial question as to availability of such contractors and estimated hourly rates, or similar charges.  It is likely that the person would have to do much of the work on-site in Washington, D.C. - some of work could probably be done off site.  Once I have a better idea of costs, I can write the proposal.  If successful, an RFQ would be issued in February or March.

Thanks for your help.  Please respond to me off-list.

Barb Aikens

Barbara D. Aikens

Chief, Collections Processing
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
Ph: 202-633-7941
email:  [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>

Mailing Address
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Washington, DC  20013-7012