Technical Overview of EAD Requesting with Aeon

A while ago I wrote a post detailing how data in DIMES is imported into Aeon to populate requests. Since then, I’ve had conversations with several individuals asking about the technical details of this implementation. As a way of documenting that work, and also offering some direction for future Aeon implementers, I thought I’d pull together a post describing the interaction in technical terms, since there’s limited documentation on how to do external EAD requesting for Aeon. I pieced together this information by looking at existing implementations, particularly Princeton’s archival discovery system, with a lot of false steps along the way. I hope to help others avoid the same frustrations and pitfalls! Continue reading

OCLC Research Webinar: “Achieving Thresholds for Discovery: Addressing Issues with EAD to Increase Discovery and Access”

If, like me, you missed out on yesterday’s webinar from OCLC Research titled “Achieving Thresholds for Discovery: Addressing Issues with EAD to Increase Discovery and Access,” you can now view a recording of the presentation. It’s worth your time to listen to Merrilee Proffitt (OCLC Research) talk about her recent article on EAD tag analysis in the Code4Lib Journal, and also to listen to Dan Santamaria (Princeton University) talk about the work of his institution’s Archival Description Working Group in improving their archival description as well as their discovery system for archival materials. A few months back, I wrote about a presentation that Dan and others from Princeton gave at SAA this past August, and found that this webinar nicely complemented that earlier presentation.

New York State EAD Consortium Pilot Project

I wanted to let everyone know about a new effort underway in New York State to test the feasibility of a state-wide consortium for EAD finding aids. The RAC has been involved from the beginning of this project, which started with a 2011 survey of archives, special collections, historical societies and other institutions in New York State that hold unique materials to determine the level of EAD implementation at the state level. This survey found a very strong support for a finding aid consortium in the state. Continue reading

How do our finding aids get from ATReference to DIMES?

Our finding aids get from AT Reference to DIMES in what is basically a three-step process:

  1. Data is exported from ATReference as EAD files
  2. Those files are then indexed in DIMES
  3. And finally, transformation processes are run on those files to convert them and have them display in a web browser.

On the surface, this is a relatively simple process. However, each of these steps involves a number of different technologies and paradigms for information storage, retrieval, and display. Continue reading