Improving Online Access to Archival Data
Archives are memory institutions whose original mission was to preserve and provide access to a set of carefully selected, arranged and described documents to a small number of scholars interested in their contents. For those specialists, the usual way to find information in an archive is by way of “finding aids”, i.e. descriptions of the arc-hive contents that reflect the hierarchical structure by which data are physically arranged in an archive. With the increased availability of archival holdings accessible on the Web, archives are now widening the range of users, and the use of online finding aids has proved to be too complicated for the non-specialists. This is mostly due to the hierarchical nature of the description, usually represented on line with a standard called EAD (Encoded Archival Description). This paper is the synopsis of a Master Thesis, where a methodology has been developed to represent the information contained in finding aids with a different standard, namely EDM (Europeana Data Model), which is used by the Europeana digital library and is becoming the de-facto standard for metadata interoperability. EDM allows a much more intuitive representation of the archive content and the possibility to access data from many different access points.
KeywordsArchive EAD finding aid EDM Europeana Data Moodel
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