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Opening Archives Program

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Opening Archives is our name for a program of support for archival collections. The goal of Opening Archives is to enable institutions of all types to contribute EAD Finding Aids to Archives Florida.

EAD Finding Aids are archival finding aids (collection guides and inventories) encoded in XML according to the Encoded Archival Description (EAD), a standard maintained by the Library of Congress and the Society of American Archivists.

Archives Florida is a growing database of finding aids (guides and inventories) to collections held by archives in Florida. Any archive, library, historical society, museum or similar agency in Florida with archival collections is eligible to contribute finding aids to Archives Florida if the finding aids adhere to the EAD standard and follow the Statewide EAD Best Practice Guidelines.

Archives Florida grew from a grant-funded initiative named Opening Archives: Improving Access to Primary Sources in Florida. In 2006, a grant from the State Library and Archives of Florida supported four regional workshops that trained more than 80 people from 40 organizations. Additional project funding in 2008 allowed FCLA and its partners to offer additional Introduction to EAD workshops, and to contract with the Society of American Archivists to teach additional workshops across Florida on topics such as EAD stylesheets. In 2010, the Opening Archives team was awarded an NEH Preservation and Access grant to expand this statewide education program to include training on EAD-related topics such as Archon and DACS.

The Opening Archives project continues to train librarians, archivists and curators to create EAD finding aids as part of their routine collection processing and workflow. Please contact FLVC or members of the Opening Archives steering group if you would like more information about implementing EAD, contributing EAD finding aids to the Archives Florida database, or our related training programs and services.

New Survey: Archival Education Needs in Florida

Over the past few years, several Florida institutions have partnered in an initiative called Opening Archives in Florida, which provides education and training to archivists and others who care for historical records. In December 2009, the Opening Archives team was awarded an NEH Preservation & Access Education and Training Grant to support our statewide education program, Advancing Access and Preservation Best Practices in Florida. Please take a few moments to respond to this brief survey. Your responses will support and guide future archival education activities in Florida.

Opening Archives Contacts

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John Nemmers University of Florida Steering Committee (Co-Chair) Training/Consultation Expertise: EAD, DACS

Tomaro Taylor University of South Florida Steering Committee

Sandra Varry University of Central Florida Steering Committee

Eddie Woodward Florida State University Steering Committee Training/Consultation Expertise: EAD, Archon

Resources for Contributors to Archives Florida

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Statewide EAD Best Practice Guidelines (PDF)

Recommended EAD Encoding Model (TXT/XML)

2008 Introduction to EAD workshop Workbook, templates and files (.zip file, 14 MB)
Includes add-ons to customize NoteTab to produce good EADs.

DigiTool EAD Procedures Manual (PDF)
Instructions for using customized NoteTab templates to create EADs, and for loading them into Archives Florida in DigiTool.

An open source application, supported by FLVC, that can be used instead of NoteTab to create, maintain and display EADs.

EAD Validator Web page
For use when you have an EAD ready to load into Archives Florida. Includes a validator, a tool to create a Dublin Core metadata record, and a tool to create an HTML version of the EAD for your own website.