On Thu, Jul 31, 2014 at 12:58 PM, Connizzo, Nick <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
My personal feeling is that we might need to sunset EAD and move to a different description standard that better integrates with linked data, but obviously that's a massive effort. EAD always seemed to me to be, frankly, the way to electronically re-create the paper finding aid. Maybe that's being unfair, but we can do so much more with our data. We need to be thinking less "how can I make my finding aids work in a world of linked data?" and more "how can I get my data into this network?" The finding aid is just one way to do it.

I've always thought of EAD as describing a finding aid more than describing archival content. It's the finding aid itself that describes archival content. (EAD3 may be changing this.) 

But what this question gets to is, do we need finding aids? There's been research on this topic, with people on both sides. Some think everything should be described in a database (pick a level) and we query the database.  Personally, I don't think the finding aid is going away. It's the best way to describe the complex relationships between creators and their content. However, as Nick suggests, I think we'll start to see additional ways to get archival description into the linked open data world. I admit that I have only superficial knowledge of BIBFRAME, but shouldn't we be able to map/transform things, even if it has an intermediate format/schema in between? EAD-->MODS-->BIBFRAME/LOD

Nathan

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Nathan Tallman
Digital Content Strategist
University of Cincinnati