Encoded Archival Description: Are Finding Aids Boundary Spanners or Barriers for Users?
Journal of Archival Organization Volume 2, Number 1, ISSN 1533-2748
The article reports the results of a usability study of an EAD interface. Findings indicate that subjects had trouble understanding archival terminology and how best to search for information in finding aids. Furthermore, they were not familiar with the structure or contents of finding aids. In addition to building interfaces that minimize archival jargon and rely heavily on users' prior understanding of hierarchical finding aids, this study indicates that users require new forms of virtual reference assistance in the online environment. (Contains 4 figures and 22 notes.)
Yakel, E. (2004). Encoded Archival Description: Are Finding Aids Boundary Spanners or Barriers for Users?. Journal of Archival Organization, 2(1), 63-77.