Introduction to TARO: Encoding and Submitting Finding Aids Workshops funded by THRAB

The Texas Historical Records Advisory Board (THRAB) has announced free spring training opportunities on encoding finding aids to enhance the collection access efforts of historical and genealogical societies, archives, museums, libraries, colleges, local governments and other institutions who hold Texas’ archival collections.

Introduction to TARO: Encoding and Submitting Finding Aids is a workshop designed to serve anyone learning how to encode archival finding aids using the Encoded Archival Description (EAD) standard in XML, but focuses on the local guidelines and participation logistics for the state consortium for finding aids, Texas Archival Resources Online (TARO).

Through these workshops, archivists will learn the hands-on basic skills needed to participate in the TARO finding aid platform, Trainers will offer day-long workshops in Beaumont and Tyler. Registration is free but limited to 15 participants at each site.

Locations and dates:

  • February 26, 2024 | Lamar University, Beaumont | 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • March 4, 2024  | UT Tyler, Tyler | 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

For contact information and to register visit:

Morning sessions will provide basic information on EAD and the standards used with it, as well as background on TARO. Afternoon sessions will include hands-on time using an XML editor (or alternatively, using ArchivesSpace) to build a valid EAD XML finding aid file and uploading it to TARO.

In 2020-2021, TARO underwent significant changes and upgrades, which this workshop will address, so it will be useful even to those who are familiar with the previous version of TARO. This includes required tags and attributes, suggested subject browsing terms and a new way of uploading and managing files. Participants will learn how XML tags work, what the EAD tags are, how to validate an XML file, how to use the TARO Best Practices Guidelines and how to upload files to TARO. Detailed handouts and sample files will allow participants to continue their practice after the workshop. Trainers Robert Weaver, Amy Bowman and Amanda Focke will lead these hands-on workshops.

THRAB programming is made possible by funds from the National Historical Records and Publications Commission (NHPRC).

Volunteers Needed! Exciting Opportunities to Assist TARO

If you work at a TARO-member institution, you have an opportunity to help with important and exciting work ahead for TARO! Over the next three years, volunteers will be contributing to supporting the success of TARO’s recently-awarded NEH grant. The grant will entail substantial changes to TARO, chiefly: a redesign of its web platform to improve functionality and appearance, a review of EAD3 encoding standards, working towards standardizing existing control access terms (subject headings, geographic names), and further training for TARO members in contributing finding aids.

So how can you help? TARO has five subcommittees that will assist with this grant work. The following subcommittees are looking for new members: Outreach/Education, Standards, and Technology/Website. Information about each subcommittee and its current chairs and co-chairs is available here.

We are looking for people with an interest in any of these areas (no expertise is required!) to become a member of a subcommittee. The amount of time you have available for this work will always be a good fit—there are no specific time commitments involved. Our subcommittees will be providing support to two positions hired through the grant (an applications developer and a metadata librarian) and will have specific tasks assigned to them. Grant activities will be led by an already-staffed Grant subcommittee and the TARO Steering Committee.

Contact the subcommittee chair/co-chairs to express interest in joining one of our subcommittees. Now is the time to gain experience in grant work on a manageable scale for you, and at the same time make a meaningful contribution to the vitality of TARO!