Support EAD Tagging Research

In case you haven’t seen this request via other channels, please consider supporting the research effort described below into how different organizations encode finding aids using EAD. As someone who has dug into the gory details of eleven institutions’ finding aids to extract data for my ArchivesZ project, I am here to tell you that this work is VERY important. With better standards in place we will have a better foundation upon which to create interesting new tools and services to support archivists and researchers.

Is part of your job is to encode finding aids in EAD? Then please ask if you can send a dozen of them to the researchers on this project!

Seeking EAD records from repositories that have implemented EAD

Standards have been entering the archival lexicon at a fast pace to ensure data reliability, enable data aggregation, and manage data over the long term. However, we have not yet examined the use of these standards across the archival community. As we move into the next phase of standards-creation, a broad look at current implementations will help to inform the next generation of these standards. To do this, Kathy Wisser (Simmons College) and Jackie Dean (UNC Chapel Hill) are conducting research on EAD tag usage in the encoding community.

This project is intended to inform the TS-EAD revision process of the standard, and results will be disseminated through traditional publication avenues.

We are seeking a sample of encoded finding aids from institutions that have implemented EAD. If you are willing to participate in this project, please submit via electronic mail 12 to 15 finding aids to by December 15, 2010.

The goal of the project is to identify encoding behavior and not to evaluate the quality of the encoding or the content of the finding aid. We will be noting the presence and absence of elements and attributes and the way that elements are used within the context of an EAD instance.

All results will be anonymized; no institution-specific information will be linked to the results. Institutions willing to participate will be acknowledged.

In order to obtain an accurate account of the use of the standard, we are looking for EAD instances from as many institutions as possible. We hope you will consider contributing to this effort.

If you have any questions about the project, please contact:

  • Kathy Wisser (Simmons College –
  • Jackie Dean (UNC Chapel Hill –
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Posted on 6th December 2010
Under: access, archival community, ArchivesZ, EAD, metadata | No Comments » | Print This Post Print This Post

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