About Data Creation
Archives Hub Descriptions
We take in descriptions of archive collections from a range of institutions. Descriptions can be at collection level or they can be multi-level. They can be summary descriptions, designed to give the researcher an overview of a collection, or they can be detailed descriptions, with substantial contents information.
Format of Descriptions
The Archives Hub takes in descriptions in the Encoded Archival Description (EAD) format.
EAD is a machine- and human-readable XML standard, which has been developed specifically for use with archival descriptions, and which maps to ISAD(G) fields.
EAD is an international standard created by the archival community. It provides a software- and hardware-independent way of storing data, so it is interoperable, and not tied to any particular system.
EAD descriptions are text files, which means they can be created with many different tools and applications, and large amounts of information can be stored in very little space.
EAD provides structure, but it is also flexible, and can be used for a wide variety of finding aids.
Many contributors use the Hub's EAD Editor. This is useful if you want to create descriptions from scratch, or want to create them using text taken from elsewhere, such as a word processor (NB: save word processed documents as 'plain text' before cutting and pasting into the Editor).
Using the Hub EAD Editor means that you will create a valid EAD description, and you do not require knowledge of EAD tags or attributes.
EAD files can also be created by using any XML-editor, such as Oxygen or XMLSpy. If you are using an application like this you may like to read more about the Hub EAD requirements. The Archives Hub cannot support the use of these applications, but we can advise about creating Hub compliant EAD.
If you have a software system, such as Axiel Calm or ArchiveSpace, you may prefer to provide us with the exported descriptions. In this case, we need to work directly with you to received the descriptions. If you do want to use the Editor with your descriptions, you should not use it without first submitting descrptions to us for initial processing. This means we can transform your descriptions into Hub EAD, ready for editing using the EAD Editor.
Other options for the creating of descriptions, or for converting current descriptions to EAD, may require you to investigate ways of mapping data. You may be able to get help from the EAD community.
Descriptions can always be revised. Our new adminsitration interface allows revisions to be uploaded and to overwrite the old version.
Please contact us if you would like to contribute to the Archives Hub or have any further questions.