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Creating EAD Records Using the CRRA EAD Template

This is a Windows program. It will allow you to generate a minimal EAD finding aid. The program includes a mechanism for what EAD calls description of subordinate components -- in other words, a more detailed container list. 

In creating EAD files, use of the content standard Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS) is recommended. DACS is an output-neutral set of rules for describing archives, personal papers, and manuscript collections, and can be applied to all material types. DACS documentation is available online at:

You can try a simple version of the template online (without downloading anything).

For a walkthrough of how to use the EAD Template:

  1. Download the CRRA EAD Template program by clicking on the following link: CRRA EAD Once downloaded, right-click on the zip folder and choose "Extract all.” 
  2. Extract the files anywhere on your hard drive or flash drive.
  3. Navigate to the folder where you extracted the zipped files and double-click README.PDF which walks you through the process.
  4. When you are ready to create files for sending to CRRA, ask Kevin ([email protected]) for a three-letter key.
  5. Once you receive the key from Kevin, add the name, address, and repository key to the ead-form.txt so that each blank template will be populated with this data.
  6. Complete the template thus creating an EAD file that is complete with a valid URL in the EADID element.
  7. Transfer the EAD file to your ead folder on the CRRA file server (

Done! Your EAD file is now available to CRRA and will be added to the portal.

NOTE on Chrome: Local xml files (those with URLs beginning file:/// rather than http://) will not display, instead just showing a blank screen. Chrome blocks local xml files from accessing local xslt files that are in the same directory.  If users want to see the xml file rendered, please test in a different browser.


If you have questions about using the template, please contact Kevin Cawley: [email protected].

*If you are unable to put your records on a Web server, the CRRA will provide you with a place to put your records on an FTP server, and the metadata can be harvested from there. This is called the CRRA Dropbox.