UCL News


New archiving software from UCL LEADERS

28 April 2004

A research team from UCL's School of Library, Archive & Information Studies (SLAIS) has developed a groundbreaking software toolset for archivists and archive users.

Professor Susan Hockey

The toolset helps users work with electronic resources over the internet by integrating well-known international standards for describing archives and representing documents electronically for the first time. Users can view images of documents and search their text alongside descriptions and contextual information.

Developed by members of the AHRB-funded LEADERS project (Linking Encoded Archival Description to Electronically Retrievable Sources), the software is a result of collaboration between SLAIS and Portuguese company BookMARC.

Encoded Archival Description (EAD) and Encoded Archival Context (EAC) are standards for finding, recording and exchanging information. However, as stand-alone tools they cannot access the actual content of material.

Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) enables electronic texts to be searched and presented in many ways. Although EAD and EAC are usually used independently of TEI, integrating all three standards together with digital images brings vast benefits to users.

Project director Professor Susan Hockey said: "The toolset enables the creation of an online environment which integrates finding aids and authority records with transcripts and digitised images of archival material and is flexible enough to handle a wide variety of archives. In doing so, LEADERS is directly contributing to the enhanced provision of remote user access to archives."

Potential implementers of LEADERS can view a demonstrator application on the project website, which uses samples from UCL's Orwell Archive and the College Archive.

To find out more about the project, or to view the demonstrator, use the link below.