Partnering for Discoverability: Knitting Archival Finding Aids to Digitized Material Using a Low Tech Digital Content Linking Process

http://journal.code4lib.org/articles/11997

„As libraries continue to ramp up digitization efforts for unique archival and special collections material, the segregation of archival finding aids from their digitized counterparts presents an accumulating discoverability problem for both patrons and library staff. For Utah State University (USU) Libraries, it became evident that a system was necessary to connect both new and legacy finding aids with their digitized content to improve use and discoverability. Following a cross-departmental workflow analysis involving the Special Collections, Cataloging and Metadata, and Digital Initiatives departments, a process was created for semi-automating the batch linking of item and folder level entries in EAD finding aids to the corresponding digitized material in CONTENTdm. In addition to the obvious benefit of linking content, this cross-departmental process also allowed for the implementation of persistent identifiers and the enhancement of finding aids using the more robust metadata that accompanies digitized material. This article will provide a detailed overview of the process, as well as describe how the three departments at USU have worked together to identify key stakeholders, develop the procedures, and address future developments.“


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