That's a great response, you make many good points. When I read the original post at, it appears to be a criticism of EAD implementation and not of EAD as an encoding/structure standard itself. There's plenty of room in EAD to have detailed item description, just because it may not happen in one particular archive as part of processing is not the fault of EAD, but an issue of planning and management of processing resources.

Of course, it also helps tremendously to have a content management system where one can go into as much detail as desired for preservation and digitization. In our case, we use AXAEM which outputs EAD for finding aids and MARC catalog records from one database.

Gina Strack

Arrangement & Description
Utah State Archives & Records Service
Phone (801) 531-3843
[log in to unmask]
* State Archives office hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.*

On Wed, Dec 18, 2013 at 1:37 PM, Megan McShea <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Kate Theimer of ArchivesNext has graciously let me use her blog to respond
to a post on the blog of, an archival audiovisual
preservation firm in NY. The original post, entitled "Does the Creation of
EAD Finding Aids Inhibit Archival Activities?" made the argument that
creating EAD finding aids is a waste of resources for making audiovisual
archives accessible.

I ignored the post when it went up in May, but when it was highlighted in
AVPreserve's recent newsletter, I started getting e-mails from colleagues
who knew about our current CLIR project
( involving processing and
AV archives. So I finally took the bait.

Here's my response, in case anyone has an interest:

Megan McShea
Audiovisual Archivist
Archives of American Art