Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Spring 2004 Newsletter

Kris Kiesling: Making the World Safe for Archives

Photograph

Kris Kiesling, Ransom Center, 2002.
Photo by Travis Willmann.

Kris Kiesling has many responsibilities as Coordinator of Technical & Digital Services, so it is a tribute to her dedication to the field that she is involved -- indeed, she is a leader -- in so many international projects to advance Manuscripts and Archives. Since 1995, Kris has chaired the Society of American Archivists Encoded Archival Description Working Group, a body responsible for the continued development and maintenance of this international encoding standard for archival finding aids. It is in this capacity that she will give a paper in Osaka, Japan, in September at the meeting of the Pacific Neighborhood Consortium.

Kris is also co-project manager of the Texas Archival Resources Online effort to create a database of collection descriptions for archives and manuscripts using EAD, funded by the Texas Infrastructure Fund Board. This is a continuation of a project initiated in 1999; the current project adds twelve repositories to the original ten participants. The focus of the project is to make descriptions of the wide variety of collections held by repositories across the state available to anyone anytime anywhere. As part of the current project we will also begin to add digital images of the collection materials to the finding aids.

The Canadian-US Taskforce on Archival Description is an NEH-funded project to reconcile three archival descriptive codes -- one used in Canada, one used in the US, and an international standard. The end product of the group's deliberations will be a set of rules for description that can be applied to finding aids and catalog records, tentatively titled "Describing Archives: A Content Standard." Kris is co-chair of the steering committee for the project. 

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