EAD 101 An Introduction to Encoded Archival Description

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					EAD 101: An Introduction to
Encoded Archival Description
XML and the Encoded Archival Description:
      Providing Access to Collections
       Oregon Library Association
            Eugene, Oregon
             April 16, 2004
    Elizabeth Nielsen, Senior Staff Archivist
        Oregon State University Libraries
         http://osulibrary.oregonstate.edu
              Overview
• Background on the description of
  archival materials.
• The nuts and bolts of EAD including
  examples of elements and attributes.
• Why is EAD (in addition to MARC)
  important to archivists?
• Demonstrate the NWDA finding aids
  database.
                  Why?
• Inform potential users/patrons about
  collections -- especially important for
  archival collections which are not
  “browsable” and with which most
  patrons are not familiar.
• Enhance access/use of collections by
  providing more detailed information.
• Improve reference assistance.
  Principles for Description of
       Archival Materials
• Different materials best served by
  different types/levels of description.
• Collection-level.
• Hierarchical.
• Item-level description only for certain
  materials (e.g. photographs).
      What’s a Finding Aid?
• Document that describes an archives
  collection.
• Two parts:
  – Collection-level information.
  – Inventory or container list at folder- (or
    item-) level.
        What Form Now?
• Usually created initially as word
  processing files.
• Posted on the web as HTML files.
• MARC records created and posted to
  local OPAC (OASIS), Summit (Orbis
  Cascades Alliance), and OCLC.
      Alice Edwards Papers
• HTML finding aid (OSU Archives
  website)
• MARC record
 Limitations to HTML and MARC

• Only “full text” searching of HTML
  finding aids.
• MARC records have to be created “by
  hand” from finding aid.
• Lack of consistency in format and
  content.
What is EAD?

  Encoded
  Archival
 Description
              EAD is …
A set of rules for designating the
  intellectual and physical parts of
  archival finding aids so that the
  information can be searched, retrieved,
  displayed and exchanged in a
  predictable, platform-independent
  manner.
                 EAD Rules
• Written in the form of an SGML (or XML) Document
  Type Definition (DTD).

• The DTD mandates which elements are mandatory
  for a “valid” EAD document; which attributes are
  mandatory; and the order for elements and
  attributes.

• DTD is NOT a content standard.

• DTDs are read by computers … humans prefer the
  Tag Library
        EAD development
• Development began in early 1990s.
• Version 1 of the DTD released in 1998.
• Version 2002 released in late 2002.
          Tag Library and
        Application Guidelines
• Computers read DTDs …
• Humans prefer Tag Library and additional
  guidance.
• Standard maintained by the Library of
  Congress Network Development and MARC
  Standards Office.
• Tag Library and Application Guidelines
  published by Society of American Archivists
  (SAA).
      Best Practice Guidelines

• Online Archive of California
• Research Libraries Group
• Northwest Digital Archives
            Role of BPG
• Ensure uniformity in structure and
  encoding of finding aids.

• Promote interoperability within the
  NWDA database among finding aids
  from diverse repositories.
        3 high-level elements

• <eadheader> -- provides information
  about the creation, revision, publication
  of a finding aid
• <archdesc> -- information about a
  body of archival materials at collection
  level
• <dsc> -- description of subordinate
  components; hierarchical
Sample <archdesc> elements
•   <unittitle>
•   <unitdate>
•   <origination>
•   <abstract>
•   <physdesc><extent>
•   <scopecontent>
•   <bioghist>
•   <controlaccess><persname>
    Attributes for <unitdate>

type=
era=
calendar=
normal=
certainty=
encodinganalog=
             Example
<unitdate
 type="inclusive"
 encodinganalog="245$f“
 era="ce"
 calendar="gregorian"
 normal="1895/1962">
 1895-1962
</unitdate>
    Sample <dsc> elements
<c01> -- [subgroup]
  – <unitid>
  – <origination>
  – <unittitle>
  – <unitdate>
  <c02> -- [series]
    <unitid>
    <unittitle
    <unitdate>
    <c03> --[item or folder]
    Back to Alice Edwards …
• Look at various pieces of encoded
  finding aid.
            Primary Reasons
•   Search
•   Retrieve
•   Display
•   Exchange
•   Retain hierarchy of folder- or item-level
    description.
  Northwest Digital Archives
          (NWDA)

Database of EAD finding aids from 13
 institutions in Oregon, Washington,
 Montana, and Idaho being developed
 with grant from National Endowment
 for the Humanities.
             Disclaimers
• NWDA database under development.
• Being moved to new server at this time.
• Stylesheet being enhanced and
  customized.
• Search engine not customized yet.
• Database only includes ~300 XML files
  at this time.
NWDA
Browse by Repository
Browse List of OSU Finding Aids
Edwards EAD Finding Aid
Search
Keyword Search
One Hit!
Hits in Context
Advanced Search
Hits for “Oregon State University”
         Application to Other
             Collections
•   Vertical Files
•   Pamphlet Files
•   Poster Collections
•   Any integrated group of materials with
    common features that benefits from
    collection-level as well as more detailed
    description (especially if that is
    hierarchical).
      Thank You.



         Elizabeth Nielsen
elizabeth.nielsen@oregonstate.edu
           541-737-0543

				
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