ArchivesZ Data Challenges: Forest History Society

The Forest History SocietyAmanda Ross, project archivist for the Forest History Society, sent me 57 EAD finding aids to include in the ArchivesZ project. These are the data challenges that the current data extraction script does not address:

The most dramatic issue, seen across all the finding aids in this set, is that no subject data was extracted from any of the finding aids. My working theory for the moment is that this is due to the use of <list> and <item> tags as shown here:

<head>Subject Headings</head>
<list type="simple">
<item><genreform source="lcnaf" encodinganalog="655">Audiotapes</genreform></item>
<item><persname source="lcnaf" encodinganalog="600">Ainsworth, John H., 1909-</persname></item>
<item><subject source="lcnaf" encodinganalog="650">Businessmen -- United States</subject></item>

This is in contrast with this example of encoding from Syracuse University:

<head>Subject and Genre Headings</head>
<subject encodinganalog="650" source="local">Adult education</subject>
<persname encodinganalog="600" source="lcnaf">Adolphson, L. H.</persname>
<persname encodinganalog="600" source="lcnaf">Bradford, Leland Powers, 1905-</persname>

Or this sample from Oregon State University:

<controlaccess id="a12">
		  <persname encodinganalog="600" source="local" rules="aacr2"
		  role="subject">Aitken, Frances Alva, 1889-1970.</persname>
		  <corpname encodinganalog="610" source="local" role="subject"
		  rules="aacr2">Oregon Agricultural College. Class of 1910.</corpname>
		  <corpname source="lcnaf" encodinganalog="610" role="subject">Oregon
				Agricultural College--Students.</corpname>
		  <geogname source="lcsh" role="subject" encodinganalog="651">Corvallis
		  <subject encodinganalog="650" source="lcsh">Student

Both the Syracuse and OSU examples are handled by the current state of the data extract script.

Amanda pointed me to the NCEAD Best Practice Guidelines for EAD 2002. Down in Appendex G: How Do I Encode…, the second question down is “What if I have multi-part scope notes, biographical notes or subject headings?” followed by exactly the <list> and <item> tag usage as is being done for the Forest History Society finding aids. This format clearly should be handled.

So, no fun tag stats for this run – but I hope to fix my ruby script so that the Forest History Society finding aids can be incorporated into the data set I use for testing version 2 of ArchivesZ. My ruby script to do list is getting quite long!
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Posted on 6th May 2009
Under: ArchivesZ, EAD, metadata | 2 Comments » | Print This Post Print This Post

2 Responses to “ArchivesZ Data Challenges: Forest History Society”

  1. Joyce Chapman Says:

    At the Southern Historical Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill we also encode our terms using and , according to the NCEAD Best Practice Guidelines. I believe that most institutions in the state do.

  2. Joyce Chapman Says:

    Oops, those tags didn’t come through! We also encode Subject Headings using item and list tags 🙂

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