EAD – the old fashioned way

WCSU Archives’ former EAD Production Guide

Welcome to 2005, when the world was a bit different.

This guide provides the elements we used to utilize for the creation of EAD-encoded finding aids for the collections of Western Connecticut State University. Our production of EAD relied on NoteTab as the XML editor and MS Excel for an encoding template.  Today we utilize ArchivesSpace to export EAD and to manage locations, authorities, accessions, and digital objects (sort of).  We still utilize the below EAD template when collections require major renovations. For example, one can utilize the template below and create a “dummy” collection to import into ArchivesSpace using the Background Jobs module.  Once the “dummy” collection has been imported, you can click a component in that “dummy” and click to transfer it to an existing resource; you then can delete the “dummy” when you are finished.

Therefore, these template and tools outlined below are still useful and they still work as is (sort of).  The Excel macros will not work the same but they are actually unnecessary – just follow the directions on the EAD template spreadsheet.

EAD created from these templates are designed to conform to local content standards based on those of delineated by RLG.

Brian Stevens, Archivist and Special Collections Librarian, Western Connecticut State University.

1. Getting Started

The links below are files that are needed to configure NoteTab for EAD production. These may be downloaded. To download the file, right-click on the link, select “Save” and place in the folder specified in the link. Install all these elements before moving to the directions.

NoteTab Resources

EADCookbookforNoteTab.exe EadCookbookforNoteTab.exe
This is a self-extracting exe that will create a directory called eadcb under C:. You will need to replace some of the default library files. Chris Prom at the University of Illionois came up with this tool in the early 2000s and you’ll have to have Windows to run it.
EAD Cookbook for New.clb EAD Cookbook for New.clb
This WCSU version of the clb file configures NoteTab to work with EAD XML files. It should be placed in the NoteTab libraries directory under Program Files (for example: C:\Program Files\NoteTab Pro\Libraries). It includes a NoteTab clip called “big conversion” which takes the product of the Excel template and strips out formatting. It also includes “EAD Schema Validation” – a clip that does just that in concert with xmlStarlet
xmlStarlet (for Windows) xmlStarlet
A Java application for validating an EAD document against the new EAD schema (ead.xsd). This should be installed in C:\Program Files. If not you will need to edit the “EAD Schema Validation” clip accordingly.
Clip for removing Excel formatting Big conversion clip
This is the clip that is used in concert with the Excel EAD template and will save a file in eadcb/EADfiles/ with the file name of the eadid value.

Excel Templates and macro code

MS Excel EAD template for schema users eadTemplateSchema.xls
Google drive version
MS Excel EAD template for DTD users eadTemplateDtd.xls
VB code for Excel macro macro.txt
Directions on the use of this template is included in the file. The file is set as “read only.” You don’t need the macro to use the template but it’s an easy way to retrieve everything you need from the template. To set-up the macro:

  • open macro.txt and copy all the contents onto your clipboard
  • open eadTemplate.xls in Excel, and click Tools/Macro/Record New Macro.
  • create a macro called “bigConversion”
  • in the “store in” box, select “personal macro workbook
  • you will see a tiny prompt like the one below, click the square stop button.

  • click Tools/Macro/Macros and you will see a prompt like the one below

  • click “Step Into.” This will open VB editor. Delete all the content of that macro in the Module1 (Code) and paste in what you copied onto your clipboard from macro.txt

  • click the Save icon and close the VB editor.

XSD, Character Entity Reference Files, and style sheet

EAD Schema file ead.xsd
XLINK Schema file xlink.xsd
Entity Files Zipped entity files
Generic xslt style sheet yOURsTYLEsHEEThERE.xsl
These files should all go into the EADFiles folder in which you will be creating your finding aids.The WCSU Archives stylesheet based on one of James Ford Bell’s style sheet and was embellished with code written by Leslie Myrick and Brian Stevens. This file should be placed in c:/eadcb/EADFiles.

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2. Directions

  • Fill out the Excel EAD template carefully using established best practices for content*
  • Paste into a blank NoteTab document (make sure that you have the EAD Cookbook For New clip book open in NoteTab (clip books are represented by tabs at the bottom of the page)
  • Double click the bigConversion clip
  • Validate the EAD
  • Make sure you have a stylesheet with same name you assigned in the Excell template. By default the name of the stylesheet is yOURsTYLEsHEEThERE.xsl which is a generic style sheet provided here to download.
  • View the xml document in your browser

* For content help see:


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3. Examples

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