EAD Roundtable Meeting Minutes 2005

Thursday, August 18, 2005, New Orleans

  1. Kris Kiesling (University of Texas at Austin) reported on the EAD Working Group. Within the last few months the group has had two major activities. Daniel Pitti (University of Virginia) has been working on the EAD schema and an alpha version is due soon. Preliminary results from the EAD Tools Survey conducted by Katherine Wisser (Duke University) were released. Results show that numerous archivists are using the EAD Cookbook, but there are still needs that were identified through the survey: a tools portal, more stylesheets, an EAD-to-MARC converter, and application guidelines for EAD Version 2002. Kiesling commented that the guidelines are in the works. The Working Group will continue to respond to results of the survey.
  2. Ben Primer (Princeton University), SAA Council Liaison to the EAD Roundtable, gave a brief overview of Council’s activities and priorities for the year. He also announced a recent decision that groups can endorse a maximum of two sessions for future SAA conferences. [This will not apply to the 2006 meeting because it is a joint conference.]
  3. Michael Fox (Minnesota Historical Society) challenged a member of the Roundtable to work on a proposal regarding the display of online finding aids and search results. He wonders is a web site is a better model than what is current common practice.
  4. Merrilee Proffit (RLG) discussed two major EAD-related activities at RLG. One is that the open sources version of the RLG EAD Report Card has been released. The product will help archivists validate their finding aids against the RLG Guidelines. The new version can be downloaded and mounted on archivists’ work stations or on their own web server. It can also be adapted to work with a repository’s own guidelines. Second, RLG is in the midst of a redesign of Archival Resources called Archive Grid. She asked members to evaluate the beta version of the site and to make recommendations for improvements.
  5. Brad Westbrook (University of California, San Diego) gave a brief update on the progress of the Archivists’ Toolkit Project (funded by the Mellon Foundation). They are into the second year of the project whose goal is to build a database for core archival functions with outputs into EAD, EAC, METS. During the first year they drafted the specifications and are now building the database. The project website is www.archiviststoolkit.org. Comments are encouraged. He and other team members are giving a more detailed presentation on Saturday.
  6. Stephen Yearl (Yale University), web master for the EAD Roundtable, discussed the work on the EAD web pages and our plans to build a dynamic web site, hopefully during the coming year. Our work will depend on SAA web activities.

Featured Speaker: Clay Redding

Clay gave a presentation regarding his work with JPEG 2000 and EAD.

Election of Vice-Chair for 2005-06

Prior to Redding’s presentation, the two nominees for Vice Chair were introduced by McCrory and each briefly commented on their thoughts about the Roundtable’s work in the coming year. Lara Friedman-Shedlov (University of Minnesota) and Michael Rush (Yale University) are the two nominees. Rush was elected to the position.

New Business and Announcements

McCrory discussed the concept of providing active content for the EAD Help Pages, an issue being addressed by Roundtable leaders during this past year. The goal will be to provide more content for archivists, especially providing the opportunity for archivists to contribute their stylesheets, transfer codes, etc. to an interactive site without the webmaster having to be involved. One technology that might be appropriate is Wiki. With the proposed changes in SAA’s web site, our interest is timely, but it won’t happen immediately. SAA Webmaster hopes to roll out new technologies early in 2006, so we hope to identify our core needs to present to SAA as they do their planning in the next few months. She asked Roundtable members to give input regarding the types of information they need and ideal technologies.

McCrory then turned over the meeting to the new Chair, Leslie Czechowski (University of Pittsburgh), who welcomed Michael Rush as the new Vice Chair and closed the meeting at 5:30 pm.