About the Database
The findings aids for this project have been encoded using the Encoded Archival Description document type definition (EAD.DTD), Version 2002, an XML-compliant data structure developed and maintained jointly by the Society of American Archivists and the Library of Congress.
Three EAD templates based on the complexity of the finding aid were created: a non-series template, a series template, and a subseries template. Using the RLG Best Practice Guidelines for Encoded Archival Description (RLG EAD Advisory Group, August 2002), we incorporated recommended ID attributes, encoding analogs and the normalization of dates in each EAD document.
The finding aids were created in Microsoft Word and the high-level elements were cut and pasted into the appropriate template. Each component-level container list was converted to a text file and then run through a perl script which applied the appropriate tagging. The container lists were then cut and pasted back into the template.
Further transformations of the data were made through a process written in Apache Ant: replacing bad data (invalid utf-8 characters introduced by Microsoft Word), changing entities to unicode, adding a unique id for most elements, and creating eXist database load files.
The data was loaded into an eXist database and then retrieved with X-Query calls. X-Query implements a subset of the XPath specification (a W3C recommendation). Web pages were dynamically generated with XSL Transformations (a W3C recommendation) and PHP.