Coming August 11, 2009

Reusing EAD beyond HTML and PDF

Using XSLT to get useful outputs from EAD other than HTML or PDF

Given the investment of time and money required to recreate useful EAD instances (for those uninitiated into Encoded Archival Description, see and, it’s critical to squeeze as many derivative outputs from the data as possible.  HTML is the minimum (via XSLT), PDF is nice (via XSL-FO), but what else can be wrung from EAD, the clammy dishtowel of archival description?

I’d like to present on how to write XSLT style sheets for some combination of the following: generating tab-delimited text files for use in creating labels (or anything else friendly to forms) via Mail Merge; generating folder-level MODS records for an entire collection; and making batch editorial changes to a group of EAD instances.  My demos will be with EAD, but can be applied to any flavor of XML.

Comments RSS TrackBack 4 comments


in August 7th, 2009 @ 14:55

I am a sucker for conversations about uses of EAD beyond putting your finding aid on the web. When I think of EAD I see structured data for the taking. My work on ArchivesZ ( has taught me some hard lessons about unique encoding approaches across institutions. Would love to learn more about ways to make XML behave better, especially EAD.


in August 8th, 2009 @ 15:51

Hey Mike- this is similar to what I proposed on re-purposing data from the Archivists’ Toolkit. Maybe a good combo talk?

Mike Rush

in August 10th, 2009 @ 08:32

Well, the best way to make EAD behave better in the long run will be to revise it. We’re probably going to move to an EAD 3.0 Strict and Loose split. But, in the meantime, we can chat about fun things line repurposing structurally messy XML!

Sibyl – I think we’re a good match for a session. This is pretty much the session I am planning for the Spring 2010 New England Archivists meeting. It’ll be good to have a dress rehearsal.

Mike Rush

in August 10th, 2009 @ 08:34

I’m probably going to split off a piece of my topic into a Dork Short. I’ll present how to write a very brief XSLT stylesheet for bulk XML maintenance. Basically you write a stylesheet that outputs everything as is, and then you add a template or two that match the element(s) or attribute(s) you want to adjust. Voila! Simple, but a useful trick.