Friday, February 29, 2008

Colonizing another corner of the digital realm: NWDA

Over the past several months, Archivist Karen Peterson has been hard at work converting the first of our many legacy finding aids into Encoded Archival Description (EAD) and preparing to set down OHSU's first stakes in new territory: the Northwest Digital Archives.

Begun in 2002 with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, NWDA joined the Orbis Cascade Alliance in 2007. That shift opened membership to participating Alliance institutions, of which OHSU is one. Historical Collections & Archives joined the bandwagon, along with seven other new NWDA members.

This week, we learned that we have become the first of the eight new members to actually deposit some finding aids into the database. There are now guides to four collections from HC&A available in NWDA:

Elizabeth Curtis French Papers
Oregon Dietetics Internship Program Collection
Catherine Anna Prideaux Holmes Papers
Robert Leon Rose Papers

NWDA includes functionalities which allow searching within and across finding aids, as well as by material type and category (most of ours fall into "Science, Technology, and Health").

With nearly five thousand collections from 31 different repositories in the Northwest, there's sure to be something for nearly every researcher. Check back regularly: if other repositories have as much of a backlog of legacy finding aids as we do, this is only the tip of the iceberg!

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