Last year, we released a new tool for the Online Archive of California (OAC) called RecordEXPRESS. This tool made it even easier for OAC contributors to create collection guides using a simple web form. RecordEXPRESS also enables contributors to attach supplemental PDF files—such as container lists, inventories, and legacy finding aids—to those guides.

This PDF attachment feature has proven to be very popular—so popular, in fact, that many contributors have requested that we extend it to new or existing EAD collection guides (that is, guides created through tools other than RecordEXPRESS, such as Archivists’ Toolkit or XML editors).

We are pleased to announce that this is now possible: namely, that OAC contributors can attach supplemental PDF files to new and existing EAD collection guides.

What’s the big deal?

Although EAD remains the “gold standard” for archival description, there are cases where it may not be feasible or cost effective to create or encode descriptive information. Attaching a PDF provides a handy option for providing users access to all of the information a contributor has about a given collection.

Just like with RecordEXPRESS, any full text embedded within attached PDFs are indexed and searchable in the OAC, so end users can retrieve all of the collection information that is relevant to their research.

How to do it

The process for attaching a PDF to an EAD collection guide involves uploading the file to our servers, adding a link to it from a new or existing EAD collection guide, and then publishing the EAD using our standard publication workflow. Read the full instructions here.

View an example of a collection guide with a PDF attachment (see “Additional collection guides”).

Thanks to our testers

We would like to thank the following OAC contributing institutions for helping us test this new service: Hoover Institution Archives; Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens; UCLA Library Special Collections; UC Riverside Special Collections and Archives; and UC Santa Cruz Special Collections and Archives.