Candidate Statements and Biographies for 2012 Elections

Statements and biographies for the four candidates (Mark Custer, Kristy Dixon, Suzanne Maggard and Aaron Rubinstein) running for EAD Roundtable Co-chair.

Mark Custer

Biography: Mark Custer is the EAD Manager at the Smithsonian Institution. Previously, he worked at East Carolina University’s Joyner Library as Text and Markup Coordinator and Digital Archivist. He earned a BA in English Literature from Indiana University, Bloomington, and an MLIS from Syracuse University.

Mark has been working with EAD finding aids since 2007, at which time he was assigned a task of converting Joyner’s finding aids from EAD version 1.0 to EAD 2002. As projects often do, that project multiplied into a variety of others, each being focused on the management and enhancement of EAD data. There are two projects, in particular, which epitomize this variety and also highlight the opportunities afforded to archivists when working with standards-based description:

  1. Mark worked in his spare time to encode EAD finding aids for two different institutions, which did not yet have EAD expertise, in order to discover what it would take to build a “Stationary Encoding Program.” The idea for this project was inspired by North Carolina’s innovative Travelling Archivist Program.
  2. Mark worked with his colleagues to introduce a Google Maps-based “geobrowse” feature ( to provide another means to access and explore Joyner’s archival collections. This project was implemented in just over two weeks’ time, thanks in large part to the EAD standard.

Statement of interest: While working on these and other projects, I have been grateful to the EAD community—especially the EAD Listserv and EAD Help Pages—for providing guidance and helping me to learn more about the standard. Therefore, if given the honor and privilege to serve as the next EAD Roundtable co-chair, I will work to encourage and assist others as they begin to implement complementary standards, such as EAC-CPF, as well as to migrate their finding aids to the next version of EAD, since it is precisely these sorts of collaborative projects that will continue to increase expertise in the community.

Kristy Dixon

Biography: Kristy Dixon is Head of Digital Projects and Metadata at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University. She received her MLIS from the University of Alabama in 2004. She worked extensively with EAD at her prior position as Head of Digital Programs and Collections at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and led the special collection’s implementation of Archivists’ Toolkit. She has trained librarians, archivists, and library students in EAD creation and implementation.

Statement of interest: We as archivists have made great strides in profession-wide EAD adoption and standardization since the standard’s inception. However, we need to continue to grow and adapt to evolving technologies with an eye toward interoperability. As co-chair of the EAD Roundtable, I will work to encourage communication among the Roundtable members as well as facilitate discussion between the EAD Roundtable and other communities and committees working to revise and advance the standard. I will also strive to help bridge the gap between new EAD users and experienced users through outreach initiatives and knowledge sharing.

Suzanne Maggard

Biography: Suzanne Maggard is Reference/Collections Librarian at the University of Cincinnati.  She has worked with EAD since the beginning of her archival career in 2006.  Prior to joining UC, Suzanne worked at The Filson Historical Society in Louisville, Kentucky as a Special Collections Assistant, where she implemented a project to make The Filson's traditional card catalog and print finding aids available online, devising an EAD program from scratch.  At the University of Cincinnati, she coordinates the conversion of finding aids to EAD using the OhioLINK EAD tool.  In 2011, she was appointed to the OhioLINK EAD Task Force which manages this statewide EAD repository. She holds an MA in United States History from the University of Cincinnati, and a MSLS from the University of Kentucky.   She is a member of the Society of American Archivists, the Midwest Archives Conference, and the Society of Ohio Archivists.

Statement of interest: I am excited to be nominated for EAD Roundtable Co-Chair.  As roundtable co-chair, I will bring a fresh new perspective of working with tight budgets and staff and capitalizing on collaborative opportunities.  I began my career at a small independent historical society with an amazing collection, but limited funding and no IT staff, yet I was able to implement the use of EAD.  Since 2008, I have worked at the University of Cincinnati, Archives and Rare Books Library as a Reference/Collections Librarian where I initiated and lead the effort to transform legacy finding aids in various formats to EAD and to ensure that they meet DACS standards.  I have been lucky to have the statewide OhioLINK Finding Aid Repository available for my use and I have capitalized on the collaborative nature of such a system.  From my experience, I know we need more national collaboration in archival cataloging in order to make it easier for researchers to locate our materials and understand our finding aids.  We also need to recognize the limited funding and limited staffing of many of archival institutions.  The soon-to-be released ArchivesSpace is a huge step in the right direction and I will work to ensure the EAD Roundtable continues to seek ways to make EAD more accessible to all archivists.

Aaron Rubinstein

Biography: Aaron Rubinstein is the University Archivist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Before taking his position at UMass, Aaron was the Archivist for Digital Collections and Tufts University. As a member of the TS-EAC and a participant in the Dublin Core Abstract Model Revision, the National Archival Authorities Collaborative, and LOD-LAM (Linked Open Data - Libraries, Archives, and Museums), Aaron has been involved in many of the important developments in contemporary archival description and metadata in general.

Statement of interest: I would like to serve as Co-Chair of the EAD Roundtable because descriptive standards in our profession are coming to a cross-roads. New technological opportunities, new standards, and revisions to old standards are pushing us to view our descriptive practices from a new perspective. I am a strong believer in this change. I have been working on publishing archival metadata on the semantic web, a member of the TS-EAC, and have led work at Tufts and UMass that pushes archival description forward. I am also a champion of archivists' traditional approaches. How can we push our practices forward while still doing what we do best: providing rich context and a powerful means of accessing records that go beyond item-level access?

My interests drive me to want to participate and lead in a forum to help archivists further their understanding of these descriptive changes as well as advocate for the traditional archival practices that work well. Acting as the Co-Chair of the EAD Roundtable would put me in a perfect position to do this.