SPEC Kit 307: Manuscript Collections on the Web · 67
If finding aids are being marked up in EAD, please comment on whether the time and effort to
create EAD records equals the benefits of such records. N=51
“Absolutely. User access/awareness of the collections’ existence and content has resulted in increased use of
and questions about materials in the collections. The potential for improved searching is vastly increased. The
effort has also brought with it a standardization of approach and application across the areas of the Libraries that
process manuscript collections.”
“Although we have taken advantage of EAD and XML to represent finding aid information in a variety of ways
that would not have been possible otherwise, we need better tools for both markup and user deliver (including
search) to achieve even greater benefits.”
“Because we are part of an important consortial project that requires contributed finding aids to be marked up in
EAD, yes.”
“Can’t tell yet.”
“Currently, we mount our EAD records to the Online Archive of California’s (OAC) Web site for which usage
statistics are kept. Based on this information, I would have to say that the time and effort to create EAD records
equals the benefits. Numerous reference requests are received each month for the collections with EAD finding
aids on OAC and users tend to include information from the container lists with their requests.”
“Done as part of using ARCHON.”
“Encoding requires little effort and results in a product that is both more accessible to researchers and more in
keeping with professional standards.”
“Even though we have not been able to determine if researchers have found the EAD records on the Web, this is a
standard we want to follow.”
“Grant-funded mark-up; not much cost to us, so yes.”
“Most definitely. The fonds are picked up by Web crawlers and they turn up in Yahoo and Google.”
“No. The payoff for the time and expense of creation is negligible.”
“Not so sure, given existing and future search engine capabilities.”
“Not yet, our records are available through ArchiveGrid. We do have some enquiries from that interface, but
probably more through word of mouth and Google searches which would not require EAD.”
“Online finding aids are used by patrons and by library staff. They are an invaluable resource and worth the time
“Partnership between Special Collections and Library School.”
“Probably not as we are duplicating effort by having both EAD and HTML versions of the finding aids. We are
working to remedy this, but it takes time.”
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