Sunday, 10 June 2012

Week 1: EAC-CPF

This week, I had the incredible opportunity to learn about Encoding Archival Context-Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families from Dr. Katherine Wisser (Simmons College). Dr. Wisser was the Chair for the SAA sponsored committee who developed this encoding standard. The basic premise is finding a way to standardize, contextualize and ultimately link together, the primary subjects of our collections. The Historymakers is one of the first repositories to utilize these conventions and our data will be used as EAC-CPF is continuously improved and distributed.

Dr. Wisser’s last slide which used North Carolina politician, Terry Sanford as an example, showed how an EAC-CPF record could connect Sanford’s materials across four different repositories. Researchers would benefit enormously from an implementation of this standard. Dr. Wisser spent two days lecturing and while we learned a lot about archival encoding standards, we also had an opportunity to get to know her personally and hear about her professional journey in archives. Her words of advice were very encouraging and reinforced that we had everything we needed to achieve similar levels of success, namely a passion for what we are doing.  

This week at the The HistoryMakers, I met everyone on the staff and was introduced to office protocols. I also began the arduous task of producing finding aids for the oral history interviews. Our first example was for Sylvia Waters (dancer) and I went on to the first individual on my list, Hon. William “Bill” Shaw, an Illinois Senator and the mayor of Dolton, IL. Dr. Reed lectured on Africa, The Middle Passage and Blacks in Colonial America.

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