EAD tools project

Last week, I wrote about the backlogs project. Thanks to those who contacted me with suggestions and pointers. I think I’m close to having a fully populated working group, and I’m excited by the institutions and projects that will be represented.

The next project I’d like to tell you about is the EAD tools project. Have you noticed that there is a rather large number of EAD tools that have cropped up over the last two or three years? Well, I have. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a good thing that there are so many tools. But I think the very fact that we have so many makes it difficult to compare one to another. Some of the tools are just about EAD creation, others go into the realm of collection management.

The current project description says that we’ll be looking at open source tools, but colleagues in Programs and Research have persuaded me that we shouldn’t rule out commercial tools. It will be the first happy chore of the work group to come up with the rationale and to scope the exercise.

I have a few people who have expressed interest already, but if you are interested in participating or just in more details, please let me know.

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6 Comments

  1. OK, I’ll bite. What is an EAD anything?

    I bet this kind of private language from other communities of practice makes library folk nutty, huh?

  2. Mark, we’d be happy to have you on board for the EAD Tools group. Some of the tools bleed over into delivery — it will be up to the group to scope out where the edges are.

    Orcmid, I am so sorry. Where are my manners? EAD = Encoded Archival Description. It’s an XML data structure standard. More information can be found at http://www.loc.gov/ead/

  3. I’m interested. Yes, I agree with Mark, existing delivery options need to at least be noted. I’ve worked with DLXS, and it seems that right now only XTF is a valid contender, though it won’t search within fields. On the creation side, at TN we worked with XMetal templates, but here at AL we’re trying out Archivists Toolkit. My personal interests are in manipulation once the EADs are made: pulling out MODS or DC or MARC records, inserting links to digitized content for which you have developed item-level metadata elsewhere, sucking out the subjects, creators, and titles for browse pages — and batch-repairing problems with earlier renditions.
    A handy open-source toolkit could be very helpful. :-)

  4. Yes, we do know of those two products here, especially Pleade. We are still formulating how we’ll decide which products to review, but these are on the (long) list!

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