Baylor University Poage Library

EAD Workshop Report 2000


University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia
June 25 - July 1, 2000

BACKGROUND

COURSE

INSTRUCTOR

PARTICIPANTS

FACILITY

DETAILS

END PRODUCTS

RECOMMENDATIONS

COST SUMMARY

BACKGROUND:

Some months ago in anticipation of processing the papers of Bob Bullock, The BCPM staff set out to determine the best long-term process for doing this which would not only create a Finding Aid but also a searchable database. In consultation with numerous archivists through the Archive ListServ, a web page was created concerning the pros and cons for the various methods currently used for Finding Aids. The staff determined that the relatively new Encoded Archival Description initiative might be the best direction to take. This was presented in both the Progress and Plans sections of the FY2000 Annual Report: . Funds were allocated in the BCPM Bullock Archives budget for the Collections Manager to attend a Encoded Archival Description workshop. | TOP |

COURSE:

Implementing Encoded Archival Description (Session I). Encoded Archival Description (EAD) provides standardized machine-readable access to primary resource materials. This course was aimed at archivists, librarians, and museum personnel who would like an introduction to EAD that includes an extensive supervised hands-on component. Students learned SGML encoding techniques in part using examples selected from among their own institution's finding aids. Topics: context out of which EAD emerged; introduction to the use of SGML authoring tools and browsers; the conversion of existing finding aids to EAD. | TOP |

INSTRUCTOR:

Daniel Pitti, Project Director at the University of Virginia's Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities since 1997. Previously, he was Librarian for Advanced Technologies at the University of California, Berkeley. He was the Coordinator of the Encoded Archival Description initiative and was the creating force behind the current EAD movement. He proved to be an informed and congenial instructor. | TOP |

PARTICIPANTS:

  • Susan Anderson. American Antiquarian Society. Worchester MA.
  • Michala Biondi. New York Public Library. New York NY.
  • David Peter Coppen. Eastman School of Music. Rochester NY.
  • Sergey Glushakov. Open Society Archives. Budapest Hungary.
  • Debra Hansen. San Jose State University. Fullerton CA.
  • Ann Hodges. University of Texas at Arlington. Arlington, TX.
  • John Rees. National Library of Medicine. Bethesda MD.
  • Ben Rogers, Baylor University. Waco TX.
  • Loren Scherbak. Smithsonian Institute. Washington DC.
  • Kristin Standaert. Illinois Institute of Technology. Chicago IL.
  • Karen Weiss. Smithsonian Institute. Washington DC.
  • Heather Wolfe. Folger Shakespeare Library. Washington DC. | TOP |

FACILITY:

The workshop took place in the University of Virginia Library which was built on the side of a hill in 1938. The front door is at the top of the hill on the fourth floor. There is a large bank of general access computers to the right of the front entrance. To the left is a coffee shop. Both the circulation and reference desks are across from the computers. There were many other computers for general access placed throughout the library. I did not see any attempt to monitor who used the computers. The EAD class met in a computer lab inside the library. Windows NT was used and the connection was very fast. | TOP |

DETAILS:

Workshop classes met from 8:30-5 for five days. Instruction involved implementing Encoded Archival Description (EAD) Document Type Definition (DTD) in the preparation of archival Finding Aids. Using this procedure, finding aids can be created which are independent of any software program enabling them to be shared across platforms. The EAD initiative is an attempt to create finding aids that are universally available and searchable.

Using SoftQuad's XMetal software to create the EAD documents , participants learned how relatively easy it is to implement the EAD DTD. The software inserted the needed tags, provided a menu of other acceptable tags and attributes, and validated the document. Another piece of software, NoteTab , was used to convert the EAD to XML and HTML simultaneously using an XLT style sheet. Creating the style sheet correctly was the hard part. Unfortunately, the EAD class did not address how to do this. Fortunately, other archivists have created style sheets which they willingly share.

The HTML version of the EAD document was formatted by a style sheet which created a Table of Contents at the beginning of the HTML document. The samples below illustrate how this works. Length could be a problem in a larger Finding Aid, but such web documents can be broken down into smaller parts. | TOP |

END PRODUCTS:

• Sample Finding Aid generated from EAD by the class for Duke University

• Kirkpatrick Finding Aid generated from the EAD document

• Web page created for the Kirkpatrick papers using Claris HomePage

• Kirkpatrick Finding Aid generated from the EAD document with slight
modifications made in the HTML

• XML tagging generated from the EAD for Kirkpatrick Finding Aid:
(The codes may appear differently on Netscape and Microsoft Internet Exployer 5.0.
Currently, only IE5 handles XML tags | TOP |

RECOMMENDATIONS:

• Implemention of EAD in BCPM Finding Aids using XMetal and NoteTab is possible if the end product is sent to the Texas Archival Resources Online project. The ability for Baylor to develop its own server for EAD is neither necessary nor desirable because the purpose of EAD is to extend access beyond the walls of the institution. A good example of this extensibility is the Online Archive of California . The education discount price of XMEtal is $249.00 + $89 for one year Tech Support. (The undiscounted price is $495.00)

• Request an ITC staff person, hopefully John Hoffman, be available to provide support for implementation of SGML, XML, and XLT.

• Utilize NoteTab software to generate a HTML web pages which can be added to the BCPM web site with links to the TARO site. The cost of NoteTab is only $19.95.

• Collaborate with the TARO project which will make it possible to search all the finding aids in the TARO database using a single search query or to search the finding aids from an individual repository. Free-text searching, as well as searches limited to subjects, names, and genres will be possible, as will the ability to search only the narrative portion of the finding aids or the container lists. The user interface will be designed collaboratively by technical staff and archivists from the participating institutions.

- Requirements for participation in TARO:
1. Repositories should be able to devote at least 1 computer to running the XMetal software (software used for editing XML and SGML files. The specs for this computer are at: http://taro.lib.utexas.edu/hardware.html

2. Should be willing to use the finding aids guidelines developed by the TARO project.

3. Should have collections that are of national interest.

- The TARO project will provide:

1. Centrally managed server hardware/software

2. Centrally managed Quality Assurance/Testing of finding aids after markup

3. Centrally managed search engine (being developed as part of the TARO project)

• Investigate the feasibility of outsourcing the conversion of existing finding aids to EAD. TARO estimates this cost to be $3.00 per typed page. This cost could be prorated over 3-5 years. Converted finding aids will still need to be checked carefully by BCPM staff for consistency, uniformity, and accuracy.

• Provide training in EAD for additional staff when available and feasible. SAA may hold a two-day EAD workshop in Austin in the near future. | TOP |

COST SUMMARY:

XMetal Software = $249.00

XMetal Tech Support = $89.00

Notetab Software = $19.95

EAD Conversion: $3.00/page x 2,000 pages prorated = $6,000.

CONCLUSION:

My thanks to Baylor Unversity for allowing my participation in this EAD Workshop.

Ben Rogers, Archivist and Collections Manager
Baylor Collections of Political Materials

| TOP |

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