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ARCHIVES Home

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ARCHIVES  June 2006, Week 4

ARCHIVES June 2006, Week 4

Subject:

Re: EAD and DACS - It's Greek to me!

From:

"Lucas. Arel" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Lucas. Arel

Date:

Thu, 22 Jun 2006 07:44:14 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (98 lines)

Perhaps you've had private communications that have straightened out this
issue for you--and maybe better ones--but just briefly so as not to bore the
experts on the list:

DACS (which I have on the shelf next to me) replaces APPM (*Archives,
Personal Papers, and Manuscripts*) as the US standard for description of
archival materials.  It sets out the changes made in professional standards
through 2004, along with those elements of description that remain the same,
including (from the Table of Contents):  Levels of Description, Identity
Elements, Content and Structure Elements, Conditions of Access and Use
Elements, Acquisition and Appraisal Elements, Note Elements, Description and
Control Elements, Identifying Creators, Administrative/Biographical History,
Authority Records, and Forms of Names.  Each element and form has copious
examples and a clear set of examples written for MARC 21 and EAD.  The
appendices include a glossary, "companion standards" (such as AACR and FIAF
Cataloging Rules), crosswalks (to and from EAD, MARC21, ISAD(G), ISAAR, and
APPM), and truly "Full EAD and MARC 21 Examples."  This standard is
available from the Society of American Archivists (SAA) at
www.archivists.org.  I highly recommend that, if you are in the US or using
US rules, you purchase and use this really well-written manual.

As you can see, yes, it is compatible with EAD (Encoded Archival
Description).  EAD, however, is just a Web encoding tool that was shaped out
of the formatting language XML.  XML in turn was evolved from IBM's old
formatting language SGML, still in use in some places.  XML has the
advantage of encoding a great deal of metadata, as well as being compatible
with archival description standards.  It is a way of presenting your
description, not (like DACS) a way of describing.  Explanations of EAD and
XML are available on the Web at (among many other places)
http://www.loc.gov/ead/ and http://www.w3.org/XML/  There is a helpful EAD
listserv available through the Library of Congress.  (XML, by the way, has
many other good uses, including TEI or Text Encoding Initiative, and
RSS--Really Simple Syndication or other interpretations.)

DACS classes are available through the SAA and many local and other
professional groups.  EAD classes are similarly available.  Check the SAA or
your local or other group continuing education listings if you are
interested.  Unless you are prepared to adopt or your institution has
adopted EAD, though, I cannot recommend classes in this subject.  It is
highly specific and very much like learning a programming language.

Hope that helps.

Arel
(the usual disclaimers)
Arel Lucas, C.A.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott Campus

-----Original Message-----
From: Archives & Archivists [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf
Of Taylor, Evelyn
Sent: Wednesday, June 21, 2006 5:58 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: EAD and DACS - It's Greek to me!

 
Hello and Help! (Boy - you guys have sure come in handy, lately!)

I am not a cataloger and am a complete newbie (totally!) in the world of
cataloging and its descriptive world, so I am in need of a non-Greek, in
the simplest terms possible, explanation of what DACS (Descriptive
Archives, a Content Standard) is - as compared to EAD (which I thought I
knew) - ah, do they work together or not?? If not, which would you
recommend as a course of study?

Thanks!
Evelyn

Evelyn Taylor, University Archivist
Cal. State Univ., Channel Islands

A posting from the Archives & Archivists LISTSERV List sponsored by the
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A posting from the Archives & Archivists LISTSERV List sponsored by the Society of American Archivists, www.archivists.org.
For the terms of participation, please refer to http://www.archivists.org/listservs/arch_listserv_terms.asp.

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