Archive of Posts in "EAD Articles"

Interpretation, Unraveling, and Examination of EAD3

The contents of this post relate to EAD 2002.

A few weeks ago, I finally downloaded the most recent releases of EAD3 from GitHub in preparation for designing the EAD3 version of EADiva (more coming on that, but not until the official one goes live). I finished going through it yesterday and made copious notes, essentially untangling things as I went.

I started farther down, in the attribute & model section and then did the rest. What I have isn’t perfect, but I was still so pleased with it as a work-in-progress that I decided to share in case it was helpful or interesting to others. You can view it here and leave comments if you see something you have a question about/think I got wrong.

This is the RNG file because it’s just so much easier to read RNG than XSD, at least in my opinion.

View my notes on the EAD3 RNG schema.

Sample EAD Finding Aids Now Available on EADiva!

The contents of this post relate to EAD 2002.

Thanks to generous and quick responses by Syracuse University Libraries Special Collections, University of Connecticut’s Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, and the Thomas and Katherine Detre Library and Archives, EADiva now has a selection of “live” EAD samples, actual files being used by actual repositories.

Some students reading EADiva have asked for these and I think they’re a great resource for anyone who wants to see how the elements function in the real world. I’m hoping that even more repositories decide to participate, but these five finding aids are a great start.

What can you do with these? Well, you can view them on the site, download the XML file, and look at how the repository’s catalog displays the finding aid to the public. If you download them, please make private use only, of course.

If you have Archivists’ Toolkit installed locally you can import the EAD files and examine the resources created by each.

You may try your hand at creating XSL Transformations for the files. Besides using the W3 Schools, try this XSLT tutorial in the basics. Taking some time to learn about XPATH will make XSL much easier.

Code4Lib Article on EAD Tag Usage Analysis

The contents of this post relate to EAD 2002.

In the newest issue (22) of the Code4Lib included a fascinating article analyzing EAD tag usage across repositories. The team analyzed EAD-encoded finding aids, using the beta ArchivesGrid discovery system to document usage and more. The article includes both raw data about how often things were used, or repeated, in finding aids. The authors note that “not all elements are created equally,” so we needn’t expect, say, 50%+ usage of <frontmatter> (which is actually down at 37%) because it can be entirely generated using information from <eadheader>.

It’s definitely worth reading to see what current (perhaps not best) practices are across 120,000+ documents. The authors address not only % of usage of such heavily-used tags as <unitdate>—which was not used as often as I thought it would have been within <did> (73%)—but also the variance in descriptive practices which may make it less useful for sorting. For example, if <unittitle> is “Records” or “Reports,” searching that field along is not going to produce useful results unless, say, the <persname> or <corpname> or other relevant field is included as well.

Also, thanks M. Bron, M. Proffitt and B. Washburn for the EADiva recommendation.