Is EAD too complicated???

Earlier today I sat in on a session dedicated to addressing the barriers to EAD implementation. According to a soon to be published OCLC- RLG survey only 70% of archives currently encode using EAD.

So why is that???

As the session chair Jacquelyn Ferry observed at the close of the session- she’s been hearing about the same implementation obstacles for 10 years.

Unfortunately, this session fell a little short of providing practitioners with clear steps and solutions to fully implement EAD. Jay Gaidmore of Brown discussed the benefits of consortia when confronting EAD. When he worked at Old Dominion University, UVA served as the central institution or host for several VA archives on a VA Heritage Project that works to make collections/finding aids available through EAD implementation.

Prudence Backman discussed the role the New York State Archives serves as the central or point organization for an NY effort to implement and aggregate thousands of state documents using EAD.

One concrete suggestion that both Gaidmore and Backman emphasized was the decision to encode at either the collection or series level to speed up the process of getting finding aids on-line faster.

As someone finishing her MLIS and about to enter the profession as an active practitioner, I hope we can move further away from re-stating barriers to EAD implementation and closer to concrete manuals or guides written or presented by archivists who have overcome such obstacles.

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