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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.