EAD Application Guidelines for Version 1.0
Appendix D: Implementation Checklist
Most repositories will face a multistep process when implementing EAD:
- Converting old finding aids
- Creating new finding aids
- Publishing finding aids on the Web
Each step presents its own challenges, and, as explained more fully in chapter 2, chapter 4, and chapter 5, a broad range of options is available. The following checklist will assist you in thinking about the framework in which EAD can function in your repository.(129)
- 1. Evaluate the role that finding aids play in your current access or reference services environment.
- a. How are your finding aids currently used?
- Who uses them?
- What is the range of circumstances under which they are used?
- Which of these circumstances reflects the highest level(s) of use?
- What kind of data is most often sought in your finding aids?
- Which kinds of queries can be answered effectively using your finding aids, and which cannot?
- Would online finding aids maintain the current level of effectiveness and also possibly address some of the areas in which finding aids are not so effective?
- Would online finding aids create new audiences for your materials?
- b. What is the current state of your finding aids?
- In what physical format are your finding aids?
- How complete are they? How much confidence do you have in the accuracy of the information they contain?
- How consistent are the structural components of your finding aids and the data they contain? How clearly are the components labeled?
- What guidelines have you followed for the construction of your finding aids?
- How many finding aids do you have that you would immediately or eventually wish to convert to EAD? How many pages of text do they represent?
- At what rate are you currently producing new finding aids?
- c. Does your repository currently create MARC records, and, if so, what is the relationship of those records to your finding aids?
- 2. How will you handle the conversion of existing finding aids?
- a. How will you prioritize conversion of existing finding aids?
- Your most prominent collections
- Your most heavily used collections (alternately, your least used collections)
- Finding aids that are "easiest" to convert (that require the least massaging)
- Finding aids that might be used more effectively if available online
- Collections that are split between multiple repositories for which a "virtual finding aid" might be created
- Collections relating to digital materials that are available online
- b. Which method(s) will you use for conversion?
- Convert in-house
- Outsource to a vendor
- Participate in a cooperative project that provides a conversion service
- 3. By which method(s) do you hope to provide user access to your finding aids?
- a. By links from a Web-based online catalog
- b. By searching on the Internet via a Web crawler such as Alta Vista or Yahoo!
- c. By going directly to your institution's Web site and browsing the finding aids
- d. By using a search engine at your Web site
- 4. Determine what resources you will need in order to be able to create EAD-encoded finding aids and publish them on the Web.
- a. What staffing will you need?
- b. What training for that staff will be needed?
- c. What technical support will you need? If not available within your repository, is there another unit within the larger institution that can lend expertise, or can you join a consortium that is already using SGML/XML applications? Is there a possibility of joint systems development or of sharing resources and expertise?
- d. What documentation will you need to acquire, and how many copies?
- EAD DTD files or recompiled versions of the DTD for specific software applications (.rls file for Author/Editor, .lgc file for WordPerfect)
- EAD Tag Library
- EAD Application Guidelines
- Encoding guidelines for consortial activity
- e. What local conventions will you need to develop?
- Standard format that all your finding aids will follow
- Standard ways of entering data into specific elements
- Stylesheets to control display of your finding aids
- Authoritative forms for search terms not covered by standard authority sources
- f. What software might you need to create and publish new encoded finding aids? (No one site will need all of these.)
- SGML/XML authoring package
- Word processing software with SGML/XML capabilities or add-on conversion programs
- SGML to HTML converter or HTML authoring tool
- Conversion tools such as perl scripts, macros
- SGML/XML parser
- SGML/XML browser
- Stylesheet authoring software
- Search engine
- g. What hardware will you need to create and publish your finding aids?
- Computer workstation
- Local network connection
- Internet connection
- Backup mechanism
- h. How will you handle quality control?
- i. How will encoded finding aids be maintained and updated?
- j. How will you handle server maintenance and troubleshooting?
- 5. Analyze the costs associated with each of the processes above.
- a. Which costs can be covered under your existing budgetary structure?
- b. Which costs represent new areas of expenditure? Which are one-time costs, and which will be ongoing?
- c. Which costs are likely to diminish over time, and which will increase?
- d. Which costs might be covered by external funding, such as from grants?
- e. Are there any hidden costs that need to be examined further?
- f. Are there likely to be any cost savings in other areas as a result of EAD implementation?
- This checklist is based on an earlier version prepared by Helena Zinkham for use at the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, May 1996.
Copyright Society of American Archivists, 1999.
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