DACS-compliant form for EAD creation
NOTE: This form was updated a bit in August 2020, so if it looks a little different, don't be surprised!
This form is designed to help the Technology Team generate EAD files for upload to Virginia Heritage from your materials! This form combines required fields and optional fields. The required fields appear first in the form and will allow us to create a DACS single-level required-compliant finding aid. Most required fields are information you will have at the point of accession, may have in some form for backlog materials, or are relatively easy to create on the fly. Fields that are not required will allow us to create a DACS single-level optimum or value added compliant finding aid, IF YOU DESIRE. Optional fields are just that--optional! If you would like to see all the questions in advance, you can view a PDF of the form online (
DACS multi-level descriptions (contents lists with hierarchies) are more complicated and this form is not set up to create them at this time. If you have a collection that requires multi-level description and you do not have access to tools that can help with that (archival management software, for example), we may still be able to help. Feel free to contact Kira Dietz (
), the chair of the VH Technology Team, since she is interested in solving/streamlining that problem, too.
Field names include the number and title from DACS Part I, if you want to read up on the use of a section:
. Links to specific sections will be provided throughout the form.
If you have a preliminary inventory, an inventory, a box/folder list, or some other contents list for your collection, there is information later in the form on how to provide that. Depending on the format of the inventory, there may be different ways to include it in your finding aid. We will contact you to discuss options when we process your finding aid.
Because this is currently a pilot project, we are planning to process files on a schedule in batches (about every two weeks around the 15th and 30th of the month), so your finding aid will not be immediate available. However, if you are submitting for the first time, have not contributed to Virginia Heritage for a long time, or if there is something unique about your description, we will contact you to get feedback/approval, confirm information, or ask questions. Once a batch is processed, we will return files to you for upload to Virginia Heritage.
If you have questions about the form or the workflow, have a priority situation (need a description made available quickly), or need to make an update to an existing file, please contact Kira Dietz (
). She will also be working on instructions for how you can make your own updates to files that have been posted, but she is happy to walk you through the process in the interim.
Your email (or the email of the person you want to serve as a contact for this finding aid)
Your institution name and/or MARC agency code
Note: If you have previously submitted your name and/or code, we have them on file. You should submit them if you are not sure, if you have never submitted before, or if you are providing new information. If you do not know your agency code, enter "not sure" and we will help you figure it out!
For new collections or significant changes to an existing file that require re-processing, fill out the required fields and, if you wish, any optional fields for improved description. If you have minor revisions, you will be directed to the submission page and will be contacted about how to make these changes on your own or to connect you with someone who can help you make minor changes on your own or with help. If you select the "Other" option, please provide an explanation of your needs. You will be directed to the submission page and will be contacted to help address your issue or question.
New finding aid for VH
Significant update(s) to an existing finding aid in VH (rewritten notes, changes or improvements to description, added elements, added/changed multi-level description, etc.)
Minor update(s) to an existing finding aid in VH (grammatical fixes, addition of links, correction of spelling errors, etc.)
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