The Tao of the DAO: Embedding digital objects in finding aids

Blog post written by Noah Huffman, Duke University Libraries

At Duke, we’ve been creating finding aids in EAD (Encoded Archival Description) since the late 1990s.  Prior to implementing ArchivesSpace (June 2015) and its predecessor Archivists Toolkit (2012), we created EAD through some combination of an XML editor (NoteTab, Oxygen), Excel spreadsheets, custom scripts, templates, and macros.  Not surprisingly, the evolution of EAD authoring tools led to a good deal of inconsistent encoding across our EAD corpus.  These inconsistencies were particularly apparent when it came to information encoded in the <dao> element, the EAD element used to describe “digital archival objects” in a collection.

As part of our ArchivesSpace implementation plan, we decided to get better control over the <dao>–both its content and its structure.  We wrote some local best practice guidelines for formatting the data contained in the <dao> element and we wrote some scripts to normalize our existing data before migrating it to ArchivesSpace.

 

See the complete blogpost here: http://blogs.library.duke.edu/bitstreams/2015/07/06/the-tao-of-the-dao-embedding-digital-objects-in-finding-aids/

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