On Sat, May 11, 2013 at 1:01 PM, Wilhelmina Randtke <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> EAD is the appropriate metadata schema for a finding aid. HTML is not a
> metadata schema.
> HTML in no way implies that a computer can read and process your finding
> aids.  It has nothing to do with metadata.  HTML is about visual display
> for people.


However, EAD is no silver bullet as there are multiple ways you can
legitimately code the same finding aids. This means that stylesheets and
translation tools that work for one institution or set of finding aids
won't necessarily work for another. But it is still clearly the best way to

Although MARC has been used to describe archival collections, it is not an
appropriate tool. For starters, MARC is designed to describe individual
items where EAD is designed to describe collections of materials. MARC
lacks a good way to express important archival elements, has technical
limitations that makes it impossible to encode some things, and it's
hopeless for expressing complex hierarchical relationships. MARC cannot
achieve equivalent functionality to EAD (even if it can be used for some
purposes) which is why EAD to MARC crosswalks typically have the MARC tags
buried right in the EAD -- i.e. the transform is hand coded on a record by
record basis.

RACHEL: are you positive this stuff really is in HTML and that what you've
seen isn't simply translated from EAD (i.e. did your archivist say they
were just doing finding aids in HTML)? I was under the impression that
manually HTMLizing finding aids fell into disfavor long ago as maintenance
is far more difficult and incompatibility with the rest of the world is