Joint EAS Section and TS-EAS annual meeting recording

Thanks to everyone who attended the joint annual meeting of the Encoded Archival Standards (EAS) Section and the Technical Subcommittee on Encoded Archival Standards (TS-EAS) on August 3, 2022. A recording of the meeting is available at the Society of American Archivists' events site:

This year's meeting featured a moderated panel and discussion on encoded archival standards in the context of aggregators of archival description (e.g., Archives Portal Europe, Online Archive of California, Archives Hub, ArchiveGrid, etc.). The panel featured 13 representing archival aggregation services across the United States and Europe. Representatives from the Building a National Finding Aid Network (NAFAN) also provided updates and participated in the discussion.

The meeting's agenda and speakers are listed below.

  • Updates and announcements from:
    • EAS Section (Bo Doub)
    • TS-EAS (Karin Bredenberg)
    • TS-EAS subteam for EAC-CPF (Silke Jagodzinski and Marie Elia)
    • Building a National Finding Aid Network (Adrian Turner and and Jodi Allison-Bunnell)
  • Moderated discussion on archival aggregation sites:
    • Jodi Allison-Bunnell, Montana State University Library
    • Maija Anderson, Orbis Cascade Alliance
    • Kerstin Arnold, Archives Portal Europe Foundation
    • Jennifer Brcka, Hesburgh Libraries, University of Notre Dame
    • Karin Bredenberg, Kommunalförbundet Sydarkivera
    • Kira Dietz, Virginia Tech
    • Samantha Dodd, Texas Archival Resources Online
    • Oliver Götze, Archivportal-D
    • Margaret Kidd, Virginia Commonwealth University
    • Merrilee Proffitt, ArchiveGrid / OCLC Research
    • Chela Scott Weber, OCLC Research Library Partnership
    • Jane Stevenson, Archives Hub
    • Adrian Turner, California Digital Library

The moderated panel's discussion questions are listed below.

Representative / maintainer focused:

  1. Which standards and formats does your archival aggregator accept and/or utilize?
    • Examples include EAD 2002, EAD 3, EAC-CPF, MARC, PDF, Encoded Archival Guide (EAG), HTML, txt, doc, docx, etc.
  2. How well do encoded archival standards (EAS) support the goals of the aggregation service?
  3. How labor-intensive is the process for contributing archival description to the aggregation site?
  4. As a representative of an archival aggregation service, what barriers have you encountered in getting contributors to participate? Have you encountered challenges in ingesting certain forms of archival description into the site?
  5. What do you think are the main factors in ensuring long-term sustainability of an aggregation service? 

Contributor / user-focused:

  1. As a contributor to or user of an archival aggregation website, what barriers have you encountered in contributing to or using the aggregation site?
  2. How well do encoded archival standards (EAS) support your work as a contributor?  Are there things that you wish you could do but can’t because of EAS limitations? Examples include creating links to other resources, formatting text, display options, and others.
  3. As a contributor to or user of an archival aggregation website, what features and infrastructure elements of the archival aggregation service have you used?  Are there services you would like to see offered?
    • Examples of features include hosting of content, keyword search, search engine exposure, and a contribution site for its participating institutions.
  4. As a contributor to an archival aggregation system, do you have concerns about inconsistent or incomplete overlaps between archival description published on your institution’s website vs. a regional aggregator site vs. a national or international aggregator site?

Questions about end users (researchers seeking archival resources)

  1. How much information is provided by the aggregator regarding visit/use statistics? Are you able to discern how much traffic your finding aids get on the aggregator site vs. a local/institution-specific website, and how do those compare?
  2. Are maintainers and/or contributors able to view statistics on user base: geographical, academic vs non, etc.
  3. Archives Portal Europe vs. U.S. regional aggregators geographical user base (are people using from outside home region? Are people contributing from outside home region?)
  4. What is the typical user’s purpose for getting to this aggregator site? User needs / profiles
  5. What kind of user experience testing is carried out, if any? Who are the test users targeted in these usability studies? What kind of feedback has been received?