THE ELLA WINTER PAPERS: USING EADAND WEB 2.0 TOOLS TO ENHANCEONLINE DISCOVERYBy Ryan McComasLIS 698 – PracticumDean GianniniPratt Institute
PROJECT IDENTIFICATION Gain practical experience in an archive Encode a finding aid with EAD to strengthen online discovery through searches Conceptualize the use of Web 2.0 tools for Archives 2.0
NATURE OF THE WORK Primary goal: to act as a processing intern and complete a finding aid to the addition of the Ella Winter Papers It is starting to become common practice in archives to use something like EAD, particularly the larger ones like RBML. I began to think about the implications of things like twitter, blogs, podcasts, and wikis on an archive.
FINDING AIDS It progressively describes parts of an individual collection, summarizes the overall scope of the material, conveys details about the individuals, and organizations involved, and notes the conditions under which the collection may be accessed
ANALYSIS I was to encode my finding aid with EAD, allowing for interoperability, strong online discovery, and high searching capabilities. With the use of EAD, links can be provided to the catalog and related digitized content when available, like images of correspondence, photographs or even audio.
ANALYSIS Digitized collections are useful for researchers who are unable to physically see the collection.
ANALYSIS EAD will make it possible to have better access, along with still providing the hierarchical structure provided by a paper finding aid
ANALYSIS The information in the finding aid is organized in a hierarchical manner through component elements: <eadheader> : Bibliographic and descriptive information about the finding aid <frontmatter>: Information on the creation, publication or use of the encoded finding aid <archdesc>: Description of the content, context and extent of the materials in the collection
ANALYSIS Archivists can use EAD to make their finding aids accessible in an online environment, but how can they bring more interaction with users? Web 2.0 tools: One must wonder what the role of archivists and librarians is now that we are entering an age of Web 2.0 that includes applications like wikis, blogs, and podcasts.
ANALYSIS Archives 2.0: The concept is not based on specifically the tools integrated into online finding aids, but rather a change in thought and procedure in how we approach users and how we provide archival content. Ukoln
ANALYSIS Finding Aid 2.0? Better navigation, more interoperability Will knowledgeable researchers make contributions to online finding aids? Researchers can form connections with archivists, curators, and other researchers, forming a mutually beneficial relationship
ANALYSIS How is the RBML working towards an Archive 2.0?
ANALYSIS The RBML is working towards this goal by creating blogs for processing a certain collection. Users can comment and share the process through different social media outlets. The interaction with users is still low, by the count of comments on the blogs. Users may be consuming the information, but are not actually engaging with the archivists on it
THE FUTURE Archivists need to interact with users more in the digital environment. This will mean the democratization of archival control and letting archival data be re-appropriated across new contexts outside the current online finding aid. Promotion of the digital collections
FINDING AID 2.0? The goal of the project is ‘to expand the capability of EAD, make the archival and research experience collaborative and participatory, and challenge the traditional finding aid structure.’ The two most notable Web 2.0 features are commenting and recommendations.
CONCLUSION •Regardless of thoughts on Web 2.0 tools, archives must be open, transparent, user- centered, a facilitator to access, and attract new users •Archives must use shared standards like EAD and DACS, be innovative and flexible, and keep abreast of new technologies, which may or may not include Web 2.0 applications
CONCLUSION •The Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia is taking steps towards becoming an Archives 2.0 by utilizing blogs and Twitter to interact with users. •While I am simply encoding my finding aid with EAD (one step towards making it discoverable in an online environment), I am also utilizing the blog format to talk about my experiences and research for anyone to see