Adding Archival Finding Aids to the Library Catalogue: Simple Crosswalk or Data Traffic Jam?
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Dalhousie University Archives and Special Collections (DUASCSC) has been producing Encoded Archival Description (EAD) finding aids to describe its archival collections since 2003. The EAD descriptions started as a way to convert the collection of print and electronic (MS Word and WordPerfect) finding aids into a stable, software neutral format. As the collection of finding aids grew it became apparent that we needed a way to search these documents beyond what was possible via a basic browse on the DUASC website. As a result, we embarked on a systematic crosswalk of the EAD finding aids into MARC format for inclusion in the Novanet library catalogue. This has facilitated searching and discovery of the materials by a much broader audience of Dalhousie University Library users as well as users from all of the other Novanet member libraries in Nova Scotia and the general public. This article describes the primary motivation for the project and the technical aspects of converting the EAD finding aids into MARC format for inclusion in the Novanet catalogue.