WNYLRC Workshop: Creating “Discoverable” Finding Aids with Empire Archival Discovery Cooperative
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Thursday, November 16, 2017
9:00 am to 4:00 pm

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WNYLRC Training Center/Board Room


The goal of the Empire Archival Discovery Cooperative (Empire ADC; www.empireadc.org) is to increase access to New York State’s archival collections by providing a central online repository for searching collection descriptions (called finding aids). The finding aids in Empire ADC adhere to national standards, namely Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS) and the Encoded Archival Description (EAD).

While EAD (informed by DACS) is the industry standards for creating and making finding aids available online, many small-to-medium-sized organizations face a number of resource barriers that block implementation of one or both standards, resulting in a number of hidden collections buried in the stacks. The Empire Archival Discovery Cooperative (or Empire ADC) seeks to change this.

This 2-part workshop will teach participants how to contribute finding aids to Empire ADC. You may register for one or both of the sessions.


The morning session will address best practices for creating finding aids, including a brief review of DACS, controlled vocabulary, and discussion of the minimum elements required for creating finding aids using the EADitor software. Participants who attend the morning session are encouraged to come with a prepared finding aid.*

The afternoon session will introduce participants to the EADitor software as it is being used by Empire ADC.  By using the EADitor, an XForms-based tool for encoding and creating finding aids, organizations may create well-formed finding aids without knowledge of EAD, and without a need for local technical support. This session will provide hands-on guided instruction on how to navigate the software and input data.


Upon finishing this workshop, attendees will:

  • understand the basic functionality for Empire ADC and how to add their organization’s finding aids to the site at http://empireadc.org/
  • have a basic understanding of archival description and minimum archival descriptive fields of Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)
    • have the skills to use the EADitor to create standards-compliant finding aids for online discovery
    • will be instructed in best practices for assigning subject headings to archival collections

    Audience: This class is for staff at organizations who want to use the EADitor tool to contribute finding aids to Empire ADC. NOTE: This class is not relevant to organizations that create EAD finding aids in-house using an XML editor or other archival content management system as those contributions will be facilitated through a harvesting process. For questions on harvesting, please talk to Jen Palmentiero, Empire ADC Project Manager (jennifer@senylrc.org) or call 845.883.9065 x116.

    *Participants who are new to archival arrangement and description are encouraged to attend the WNYLRC workshop, “Introduction to Archival Arrangement & Description” (November 2, 2017) prior to enrolling in this workshop.

  • *lunch is included
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Sarah Pinard and Jennifer Palmentiero
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About the instructors:

Sarah Pinard has served as the Processing Archivist for the University at Buffalo’s University Archives since January 2014. Her responsibilities include the appraisal, arrangement, description and preservation of institutional and manuscript collections, in both digital and print formats. She  teaches introductory archival research classes as part of Special Collections outreach and occasionally guest lectures for the Department of Library and Information Studies. Sarah has been a member of the Empire ADC Leadership Team since 2015. She is a Certified Archivist, holds the Digital Archives Specialist certification from the Society of American Archivists, and earned her MSIS from SUNY Albany.

Jennifer Palmentiero is the Digital Services Librarian at the Southeastern New York Library Resources Council (SENYLRC).

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