8 Responses to A Place for Our Stuff: Evaluating Archival Content Management Systems

  1. Mark Custer says:

    William, this is a great post. While reading it, I thought about two other homes that you might want to consider for your EAC-CPF records:

    1) Anywhere online (but preferably somewhere like Github). Here’s a small set of EAC records that you can download in bulk, for instance: https://wiki.harvard.edu/confluence/display/connectingdots/Records . I’d love to get these files updated and moved to Github, however, at some point in the New Year.

    2) A database that can ingest XML (i.e. not a full-fledged Archival Content Management system). Try out BaseX, http://basex.org/ . It’s been extremely helpful to me while working with XML, and it’s similar to the database that EADitor and xEAC uses (eXist). As a standalone application, though, it’s super simple to install and it offers a lot of cool features right out of the box (try turning on the treemap view, looking at your database properties after indexing your XML files, etc.)

    Also, if AMNH’s EAC files are already available online, do let me know. I’d love to take a look at them in more detail.

    The project that you’re working on is great, and I’m glad that I can read about it on this blog!

    • Bill Levay says:

      Thanks for reading, Mark, and for the great suggestions. We’ll definitely look into BaseX if xEAC doesn’t work out for us. And yes, the goal is to have our EAC files available online once we have a system in place.

      • Amanda Ross says:

        Hi, Mark and Bill,

        I just wanted to put a plug in for BaseX* as well. I’ve been using BaseX and XQuery to build, manipulate, transform, and quality control XML, CSV, and HTML files, and I am working on EAD and EAC-CPF sets now.

        Thank you for your post, Bill!


        * I’ve also been working on XML-to-JSON conversion, but BaseX’s JSON module natively supports conversion to JsonML, which is less preferred by our open government initiative. If either of you happen to unlock that issue, please consider letting me know!

        • Iris Lee says:

          Thanks for the helpful feedback, Amanda! It’s good to know how these tools are being used in our field. We looked into BaseX — it has some great features but it didn’t meet a lot of our needs for editing and managing EAC records. When you say you manipulate files, do you mean you can edit content in-line through BaseX? So much of our workflow is based on building descriptions iteratively over time. Being able to update existing records was a major requirement for choosing a system. (I’m going to post more on this later.)
          We are going to use Git as a backup repository for our xEAC database. Mark, great suggestion!

  2. Vladimir Alexiev says:

    Nice post!
    BaseX is an XML database, just like eXist used by EADitor & xEAC. BaseX is supposed to be better/richer.
    Has anyone tried running EADitor & xEAC over BaseX?

  3. Vladimir Alexiev says:

    Regarding CollectiveAccess, did you install the EAD profile? It’s in providence/install/profiles/xml/isad_g.xml

    (on github: https://github.com/collectiveaccess/providence/blob/f47430f970b709f615522327ddb78bcb26758f0e/install/profiles/xml/isad_g.xml)

  4. Vladimir Alexiev says:

    Regarding CollectiveAccess: more precisely, that’s an ISAD(G) profile. There is also a DACS profile. EAD is available as an export target, but I’m not sure about import. See http://docs.collectiveaccess.org/wiki/Metadata_Standards

    • Iris Lee says:

      Thanks for the tips, Vladimir! Running xEAC over BaseX sounds like an interesting solution. We don’t have the technical staff to configure that here. But I would be curious to know how it could work!

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