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Encoded Archival Description (EAD) Sites on the Web

This document contains descriptions and Internet links to early implementers of the Encoded Archival Description (EAD) Document Type Definition (DTD), a use of Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) for archival finding aids. Traditionally, finding aids have been printed listings and descriptions of the contents of archival collections. The use of SGML and the EAD DTD now allows these documents to be encoded in machine-readable form so that they can be made available electronically through the World Wide Web. A growing number of organizations with archival collections have been experimenting with the EAD DTD to create Internet accessible finding aids. Descriptions and links to these Web sites is provided here in support of the project to develop the EAD DTD.

The development of the EAD DTD is currently in its "beta test" phase (the second phase of pre-release testing). Developers of the EAD DTD hope to complete this phase of testing in late summer 1997. The anticipated availability date for the public release version of the EAD DTD will be announced later in 1997. The Library of Congress, Network Development and MARC Standards Office has agreed to serve as the maintenance agency for the EAD standard. This list of early implementers is being provided as part of that maintenance support.

More information on the history and development of the EAD DTD is available from the EAD Standards Home Page, also maintained by the Library of Congress. Links to draft Application Guidelines and and EAD Tag Library are also available from the EAD Standards Home Page.


Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive Collection Guides Search

This is an example of an implementation of EAD for museum collections. Guides to the collections, comprised of essays by curators and scholars including overviews and organization of collections, as well as artists' biographies and historical context of their creation and collection are provided. Available in a form which is searchable and converted to HTML on the fly or in native EAD SGML.

Berkeley Digital Library SunSITE

The Berkeley Digital Library SunSITE provides information on two projects of interest to EAD users. The FindingAids site provides access to information on the development of EAD which began at the University of California, Berkeley (under the direction of Daniel Pitti); papers delivered at the Berkeley Finding Aids Conference in April 1995; and examples of finding aids encoded with the original FINDAID DTD, the precursor to EAD.

The CalHeritage site provides access to the California Heritage Digital Image Access Project, an NEH-funded initiative to create a prototype database that will provide collection-level access to twenty-five thousand digital representations of primary source material documenting California history, which have been selected from the collections of The Bancroft Library. The project involves embedding digital representations of original archival materials within finding aids that have been encoded with the beta EAD DTD. The finding aids are served as HTML files converted on-the-fly from SGML files via Electronic Book Technologies' DynaWeb server.

California State University, Dominguez Hills

As a beta test site for the EAD DTD, the California State University, Dominguez Hills, Archives recently provided access to its first EAD conformant finding aid. The prototype they have made available is a finding aid for the 1910 Los Angeles International Air Meet. They hope to add other finding aids comforming to the new EAD standard.

Duke University EAD Project

The Special Collections Library at Duke University was one of the earliest participants in the original Berkeley Finding Aids Project (BFAP), and it encoded a number of finding aids with first document type definition, known as the FINDAID DTD. This early prototype was developed by Daniel Pitti, then at Berkeley. The SGML finding aids are served in SGML or may be converted on-the-fly to HTML from OCLC's FRED. (See also http://odyssey.lib.duke.edu/findaid/)

The Special Collections Library is in the process of converting the markup of these finding aids from the FINDAID DTD to the Beta version of the EAD DTD as well as adding other finding aids to the original group. It also is participating in the American Heritage Virtual Archive Project (see handout on EAD Cooperative Projects) and has created a website that includes an EAD-American Heritage template and access to information about that project. Also available are links to draft copies of the EAD Applications Guidelines and Tag Library, which were compiled by Anne Gilliland-Swetland and Tom La Porte under contract with the Society of American Archivists.

Durham University Library's electronic document collections

The EAD encoded finding aids for Durham University Library Archives and Special Collections are now available via Dynaweb as HTML for ordinary WWW browsers. While the system should sense whether or not your browser supports "frames", if your browser supports Java scripts, this should be enabled so that searching works smoothly. Approximately 100 finding aids (at present handlists for DUL Archival collections) are available. This URL may be slow to load.

The Harvard/Radcliffe Digital Finding Aids Project (DFAP)

In February 1995 the Harvard/Radcliffe library system established a project to oversee the design and deployment of a new computer application system to store, search, and retrieve digital finding aids in EAD. Eight institutions within the library system are participating: Business School, Design School, Divinity School, Gray Herbarium, Houghton Library, Law School, Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, and the Harvard College Archives. The Digital Finding Aids Project website includes a history of the project, guidelines developed by the project team for using the EAD DTD within the Harvard/Radcliffe system, a list of team members, and approximately sixty-five SGML-encoded finding aids.

Iowa Women's Archives

This site provides access to finding aids from the University of Iowa Libraries' Iowa Women's Archives. Finding aids are in SGML and HTML (not necessarily both).

Library of Congress Finding Aids Project

This page provides links to all the archival finding aids at the Library of Congress which have been encoded in SGML using Encoded Archival Description. At present the EAD finding aids are being produced for LC's manuscript collections, performing arts collections, and prints & photographs collections. The Library of Congress has been active in developing and testing markup of archival finding aids using the EAD DTD. Visiting the Library's Navigating Finding Aids in Panorama help page provides assistance in using the Panorama navigator and will also let you see what an SGML finding aid looks like. The SGML finding aids and associated Panorama style sheets and navigators may also be obtained through anonymous FTP. The page also includes links to other kinds of online finding aids for collections at the Library of Congress, primarily in ASCII format, that may be found in these and other collections housed in various reading rooms.

This site is under development and will be enhanced as the EAD project proceeds. Future improvements will include the ability to search across encoded finding aids for all Library divisions, and links from catalog records to finding aids. The Library will also investigate HTML conversion of the SGML finding aids for the convenience of researchers not using SGML-aware browsers.

University of California, San Diego, Mandeville Special Collections Library

The Mandeville Special Collections Library at the University of California, San Diego, has been an early participant in the EAD project and has mounted approximately seventy-five finding aids encoded with the beta EAD DTD. The finding aids are available for viewing in both HTML and SGML versions. The HTML and SGML coding is produced simultaneously by means of an export routine from a processing database where the finding aids are created and stored. The SGML version is indexed and searchable by means of Verity Query Language. Each finding aid is also linked to its MARC-AMC bibliographic record in ROGER WEB, UCSD's library catalog.

University of Virginia

The University of Virginia (UVA) is one of four institutions participating in the American Heritage Virtual Archive Project (see handout on EAD Cooperative Projects). In connection with that project, the university has mounted a website that includes a copy of the original project proposal to the National Endowment for the Humanities, procedures and guidelines for implementing EAD at UVA, instructions and a help sheet for selecting and tagging finding aids at the university, copies of outdated and current EAD conversion guidelines, a list of project staff, and other information about the American Heritage Virtual Archives Project. A database of UVA finding aids is scheduled for public release in the near future.

Yale University Library EAD Finding Aids Project

Yale University has also been an early participant in the EAD project and helped to test both the alpha and beta versions of the DTD. This site contains links to the Library of Congress and Berkeley sites mentioned above and provides access to more than three hundred finding aids recently encoded with the beta version of the DTD from the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale Divinity Library Special Collections, and Yale University Library Manuscripts and Archives. The SGML finding aids are stored, indexed, searched, and delivered via OpenText Livelink software (version 7). Links to the finding aids are also available from the university's OPAC "Orbis." The site contains information about viewing SGML finding aids through the Panorama browser and explains how to interpret Panorama's navigator panel.


American Heritage Virtual Archive Project

This is a collaborative project between the University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University, Duke University, and the University of Virginia designed to explore various intellectual, political, technical, and economic factors involved in creating and maintaining a shared union database of EAD finding aids and of digital representations of items described in such finding aids. The project, which is partially funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, focuses on collections documenting American history and culture. Available at the participating sites are draft copies of the EAD Applications Guidelines and Tag Library, which were compiled by Anne Gilliland-Swetland and Tom La Porte under contract with the Society of American Archivists; retrospective conversion guidelines developed by the project participants as a supplement to the Gilliland-Swetland and La Porte guidelines; templates; and other information and tools relating to the project.

University of California EAD Project

The UC EAD Project is a two-year pilot project to develop a prototype union database of EAD finding aids created throughout the University of California system. The project's coordinators are located at the University of California, Los Angeles, and other participants include the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the University of California campuses at Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz. The goal is to produce a database of thirty thousand pages of finding aid data encoded using the Beta version of the EAD DTD. To facilitate the development of the prototype database, the project participants have created both generic and customized templates to use during the encoding process. These templates and other information about the project are available at the Berkeley sunsite listed above.

Museum Computer Network EAD Site (MUS-EAD)

MUS-EAD is a project of the Museum Computer Network (MCN) Special Interest Group to test implementation of the EAD DTD in a museum environment. The museum community finds EAD theoretically appealing because it is based on an international standard and because of the DTD's ability to handle many layers of information about a collection. The MUS-EAD Project is designed to test whether the EAD DTD, which was designed primarily for archival inventories and registers, is truly applicable to the many types of collections held in museums. The goal is to encourage as many museums as possible to encode at least one of their collection guides in EAD and to provide feedback to the MCN, which will report the group's findings to the EAD developers and to the Society of American Archivists EAD Working Group.

The MCN will mount all the finding aids together on the MCN website, where users will be able to search across the guides as well as within single guides. To facilitate participation of as many museums as possible, the MCN has created a "starter kit" for using EAD, which consists of a copy of the EAD DTD, templates, Author/Editor rules files for Windows and Macs, the draft copy of the EAD Tag Library (produced by Anne Gilliland-Swetland and Tom La Porte under contract with the Society of American Archivists), an example of a tagged collection guide, information about the MUS-EAD listserv, and links to information about SGML and other EAD sites.

Research Libraries Group (RLG)

This site provides information on RLG's project to enhance national and international access to primary sources through digitized finding aids linked to RLIN collection-level records. It includes information about RLG's archival server ARCHES and the FAST (Finding Aids SGML Training) Track series of regional workshops designed to train RLG members in using the EAD DTD. New Access to Archival Collections: The FAST Track


Fred: The SGML Grammar Builder

Fred is an ongoing research project at OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc., to study the manipulation of tagged text. Fred is a grammar builder that can automatically build a DTD from tagged text, whether that text adheres to any existing DTD or not. Fred includes a translation language that allows direct mappings based on tag names, attributes, and structure. Some repositories, such as Duke University, are experimenting with using Fred to translate on-the-fly their EAD SGML finding aids into HTML for distribution over the Web.

Guidelines for Electronic Text Encoding and Interchange (TEI P3)

The text of Guidelines for Electronic Text Encoding and Interchange is made available by Humanities Text Initiative at the University of Michigan. TEI, the "Text Encoding Initiative", grew out of a planning conference sponsored by the Association for Computers and the Humanities (ACH). The conference was funded by the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and held at Vassar College in November 1987. Thirty representatives of text archives, scholarly societies, and research projects met to discuss the feasibility of a standard encoding scheme and to make recommendations for its scope, structure, content, and drafting. During the conference, the Association for Computational Linguistics and the Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing agreed to join ACH as sponsors of a project to develop the Guidelines. The guidelines make (with relatively rare exceptions) no suggestions or restrictions as to the relative importance of textual features. The philosophy of the Guidelines is "if you want to encode this feature, do it this way". Very few features are mandatory. They have been written largely with a focus on text capture (i.e. the representation in electronic form of an already existing copy text in another medium) rather than text creation (where no such copy text exists), however, they should be equally applicable to text creation, and the two terms text creation and text capture are often used interchangeably.

Repositories of Primary Sources

Provides links to more than 1,200 websites related to archives throughout the world. Some of these sites include finding aids via gopher and WAIS, telnet, or EAD.

National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections

In addition to information about the NUCMC program and Library of Congress resources, this page contains information on EAD, archival education, professional organizations, and links to archives and manuscript repositories throughout the United States.

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The Library of Congress

Comments: lcweb@loc.gov (10/30/97)