Sharing Your Finding Aids in CONTENTdm: Encoded Archival Description (EAD) Files in Mountain West Digital Library

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Western CONTENTdm Users Group Conference

Publication Date

June 2009


Six libraries and archives from the Mountain West Digital Library (MWDL) consortium are using CONTENTdm to open up access to their Special Collections materials via Encoded Archival Description (EAD) finding aids. A custom script extracts 35 fields from a set of finding aids in XML and creates a tab-delimited spreadsheet for uploading them into CONTENTdm using the multiple file import option. Inside the CDM collections, thumbnails and XSLT stylesheets customize displays of finding aids for each library or archive. Automatic "x-links" within the finding aids connect to digitized photographs, correspondence, and other archival materials, where available. A central interface on the mwdl.org website allows unified searching of all of the region's finding aids. This method works in CDM 4.3 and CDM 5. The session will also review CDM 5's new built finding aid import functionality and discuss possible future directions for handling finding aids in CDM.