Thresholds for Discovery: EAD Tag Analysis in ArchiveGrid, and Implications for Discovery Systems
by: Marc Bron, Merrilee Proffitt and Bruce Washburn
The ArchiveGrid discovery system is made up in part of an aggregation of EAD (Encoded Archival Description) encoded finding aids from hundreds of contributing institutions. In creating the ArchiveGrid discovery interface, the OCLC Research project team has long wrestled with what we can reasonably do with the large (120,000+) corpus of EAD documents. This paper presents an analysis of the EAD documents (the largest analysis of EAD documents to date). The analysis is paired with an evaluation of how well the documents support various aspects of online discovery. The paper also establishes a framework for thresholds of completeness and consistency to evaluate the results. We find that, while the EAD standard and encoding practices have not offered support for all aspects of online discovery, especially in a large and heterogeneous aggregation of EAD documents, current trends suggest that the evolution of the EAD standard and the shift from retrospective conversion to new shared tools for improved encoding hold real promise for the future.
Bron, Marc, Merrilee Proffitt and Bruce Washburn. 2013. "Thresholds for Discovery: EAD Tag Analysis in ArchiveGrid, and Implications for Discovery Systems." Code4Lib Journal, 22 (2013-10-14). http://journal.code4lib.org/articles/8956