Prepare your EAD files
Below are instructions for submitting EAD finding aids.
Note that you can also attach supplemental PDF files to your EAD collection guides, in cases where you have longer collection inventories and other descriptive information that is not encoded in EAD. For more information...
Your EAD files should conform to the minimum requirements defined in our OAC Best Practice Guidelines for EAD (OAC BPG EAD). If you're using XML authoring tools or custom solutions to create EAD files, you'll want to review the OAC BPG EAD to ensure that your encoding meets those specifications.
If you're using one of these collection management tools to aid in description and create EAD finding aids, please consult the relevant user guide to prepare your EAD files and ensure they align with our guidelines
Name your EAD Files
Finding aid file names must adhere to the following specifications:
- Include a ".xml" file format extension.
- May only include lowercase letters and numbers, underscores, or dashes.
- Periods may only be used for the file extension.
- Do not include punctuation at the end of the file name.
- Must not contain spaces.
Note: If you are using ArchivesSpace to export EAD files, please remove the auto-generated date/timestamp that is appended to the filename. Future finding aid replacement submissions will need to have the exact same filename as the originally submitted file, so we recommend maintaining a filename that is easily replaceable. New/different filenames will result in a duplicate finding aid.
Submit your EAD Files
The process for submitting EAD files is largely "self-serve." Once you've set up a connection to the OAC server, submitting an EAD file involves two steps: uploading the file, then processing the file.
1. Upload the File
First, upload the EAD file from your workstation to your EAD directories on our server, using the WebDAV connection. You have two different directories:
- Testing Directory: Use this directory to upload in-process EAD files. Use of this directory is optional.
- Production Directory: Use this directory to upload completed EAD files.
2. Process the File
Once you've uploaded the EAD files to a directory, process them online using one of the following interfaces associated with the directory.You'll need to log in with your OAC account.
- Testing Interface: Use this interface to validate and preview EAD files, before you're ready to publish them. Any file that you process here will not go live in OAC. If your EAD file does not have any encoding errors, you'll be presented with an option to preview the file. If your EAD file has any encoding errors (e.g., doesn't validate against the EAD 2002 DTD or schema, or has invalid XML), you'll receive a detailed report indicating the problem and line number in the EAD file where the error(s) occur.
- Production Interface: Use this interface to validate and publish EAD files. If your EAD file does not have any encoding errors, it'll automatically get queued for publication in OAC. Files typically take 24 hours to go online. If your EAD file has any encoding errors (e.g., doesn't validate against the EAD 2002 DTD or schema, or has invalid XML), you'll receive a detailed report indicating the problem and line number in the EAD file where the error(s) occur.
EAD Submission Errors
EAD files must meet the following minimal requirements, in order to be published in OAC. Files rejected by voroEAD due to errors should be corrected and resubmitted.
- Be well-formed XML.
- Successfully validate against the EAD Version 2002 Document Type Definition or EAD 2002 Schema. The Schema is available in two syntaxes: Relax NG Schema (RNG) and W3C Schema (XSD). Please use the EAD Validator, supported by the Society of American Archivists, to check for errors. (Choose "EAD 2002" as the schema in the dropdown.)
- Have a valid filename.
- Contain a second <titleproper> with a type attribute set to "filing".
- Contain valid attribute values in <eadheader> and <eadid>.
- Contain ISO compliant scriptcode and langcode attributes in <language>.
- Contain only one <unittitle> in the top-level <did>.
- Have a valid attribute value in <archdesc>.
- Have the top-level <unitdate>, within <did>, encoded outside of <unittitle>.
- Contain valid repositorycode and countrycode attributes in the top-level <unitid>, within <did>.
- If using the normal attributes in <data> or <unitdate>, they must be ISO 8601-compliant.
- Not contain unnumbered (recursive) <c> in the <dsc>.
- Not contain tabular markup (<drow>/<dentry>) in the <dsc>.
Check out our OAC BPG EAD for further guidance on correcting encoding errors.