Wednesday, June 2, 2010

PDF & HTML Stylesheets for Resource Reports

As with perhaps most other users, we wanted to devise a means for customizing the AT's EAD output to comply with our local EAD implementation guidelines. Mike Rush at the Beinecke created and maintains a stylesheet that converts our AT EAD output to conform with Yale's EAD best practices. This now works very well for us. We export EAD, apply the transformation, validate it, and then save for upload to our finding aids database. That is all well and good. Our staff, though, wanted to be able to perform a similar operation, really a print preview, when editing a resource. This was possible in our previous EAD editor (XMetaL) thanks to built-in customizations. Although the AT's PDF & HTML resource reports do allow for such a print preview, many of our staff wanted a finding aid that looked more like our own. Thankfully, the AT allows you to swap stylesheets (see the AT's FAQ > Import & Export Questions for instructions) to address such needs. We found a few problems, however, that you may need to take into consideration when swapping stylesheets.

First, make sure to check the path for any or subordinate stylesheets you utilize. If you're saving your stylesheets in the AT's report folder (i.e. C:\Program Files\Archivists Toolkit 2.0\reports\Resources\eadToPdf) make sure to use the path \reports\Resources\eadToPdf\[filename]. Otherwise, if you're pointing to a URL, make sure to use the full URL. This was all that was needed to make our PDF stylesheets run in the AT.

Second, especially for HTML stylesheets, make sure that any parameters specified include default values. This was what was causing errors for us.

With these two simple tweaks we are now able to apply our PDF and HTML stylesheets when staff generate resource reports. Ideally, we would like to apply our AT to Yale BPG stylesheet prior to running the resource PDF & HTML reports, perhaps via a plug-in. I'm sure others would like to modify this process as well. For the time being though, we're satisfied with the current output, which allows our staff to easily preview their work in a format similar to our own finding aids.

1 comment:

  1. Very cool. I hope Yale will be an active participant in the collaborative model for ArchivesSpace development!