Using a native XML database for Encoded Archival Description search and retrieval
The Northwest Digital Archives (NWDA) is a National Endowment for the Humanities–funded effort by fifteen institutions in the Pacific Northwest to create a finding-aids repository. Approximately 2,300 finding aids that follow the Encoded Archival Description (EAD) standard are being contributed to a union catalog by academic and archival institutions in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. This paper provides some information on the EAD standard and on search and retrieval issues for EAD XML documents. It describes native XML technology and the issues that were considered in the selection of a native XML database, Ixiasoft’s TextML, to support the NWDA project.