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Ruth Kitchin Tillman

Photo of Ruth Kitchin Tillman

I am the Metadata Librarian at NASA Goddard, working for Cadence Group. I received my Master's Degree in Library Science from the University of Maryland in December of 2013. My specialization is in archives, with a personal concentration on metadata and accessibility.

While still in school, I created, a beginner-friendly version of the EAD 2002 tag library. I am currently working on updating the site to EAD3. After that has been completed, I plan to create tutorials introducing beginners to EAD 2002 and EAD3. I believe in lowering barriers to understanding metadata. Many people who are intimidated by something sounding "techy" when they don't consider themselves "techy" can learn if it's presented in the proper fashion.

Just as I care about access to information in libraries and archives and information about archival description schemas, I care about the overall accessibility of information to persons with disabilities. I've done some self-study on accessibility issues, both physical and technical, within archives as well as web accessibility. I've also volunteered with Bookshare, a service that provides accessible copies of undigitized books to persons with qualifying disabilities.

In June of 2014, I began work at NASA Goddard as their Metadata Librarian. I use a variety of metadata schemas to manage materials in our institutional repository for internal and external patrons. For my work history, check out my LinkedIn profile. To get to know me better, I'm @ruthbrarian.


  • EAD 2002, EAD3, Relax NG: Thanks to my work on EADiva and upcoming revisions based on EAD3, I am very familiar with both encoding schemas as well as with Relax NG, my preferred language for reading their schemas. I have also created test XML schemas in Relax NG to enhance my knowledge of the language.
  • XML/XSLT: I have a strong understanding of the basis of XML, through a variety of work, including writing EAD and Relax NG documents. I have experience transforming EAD with XSLT, primarily for projects, and researching how various archives transform their EAD-encoded finding aids.
  • EAC-CPF: I have attended presentations on EAC-CPF and read through the tag library. I have a basic understanding of the purpose and function of the schema and have experimented with some creation tools.
  • X/HTML and CSS used for Wordpress themes and miscellaneous tasks. I have written three simple Wordpress themes for personal use and heavily-modified dozens for personal or client use.
  • PHP and SQL: I can read and write basic PHP and SQL. I have edited PHP files for Wordpress and Drupal. I regularly write a variety basic SQL extracts for a database used to track authors and publications at work.
  • RDF and SPARQL: From my work with Fedora and reading of O'Reilly texts to assist me with tasks, I've developed a basic understanding of RDF triples and how they may be searched using SPARQL and some iTQL.
  • Fedora: I create and manage Fedora objects in the Goddard Institutional Repository.
  • Wordpress: From 2008 to 2010, I worked nights and weekends as a Wordpress consultant. I migrated sites to Wordpress, handled database edits and transitions, repaired hacked sites, and modified themes. In the process, I earned enough to pay for my MLS in its entirety.
  • Archivists' Toolkit: I began using Archivists' Toolkit in 2011 as a tool to teach myself more about EAD. I used it for describing the collection I processed during my 2013 field study.
  • ArchivesSpace: I have installed v.1.0.4 locally and am experimenting with AT database migration, as well as with regular use.
  • LSCH, MARC, AACR2, some RDA: I used all of these during an 18-month monograph cataloging project at work.
  • Microsoft Office, Innovative Millennium/Sierra, Sirsi Symphony: Used regularly at places of employment.


Schwartz, Molly and Ruth Tillman. "Embracing Archivists' Toolkit to Implement EAD." Student paper presented at MARAC, Richmond, VA, October 25-27, 2012.

My section of the paper focused on the methods I'd used to teach myself more about EAD and Archivists' Toolkit and how other students could replicate them. I followed it up with tutorials on the EADiva site and a collection of sample EAD finding aids donated by other archivists.

Volunteer/Professional Work

EAD Roundtable Co-chair: I am serving in a two-year position as a co-chair of the Society of American Archivists' Encoded Archival Description Roundtable. We are currently working on resources to coincide with the anticipated release of EAD3. (August 2014-August 2016)

EAD3 Official Tag Library: After I had given helpful technical feedback on the beta schema of EAD3, I was invited to be an extra pair of eyes in the editorial revisions to EAD3 official tag library. I have given complete feedback on two drafts of over 100 pages of the tag library. (Feb. 2014 - present)

INALJ Maryland: As the Head Editor of the INALJ Maryland page, I reviewed daily submissions from my assistants, posted them to the site, and collected my own job listings for the page. I also wrote monthly posts for the INALJ blog. (Sept. 2013 - March 2014)

Bookshare: I have scanned or edited over a half-dozen books for the Bookshare collection. These books are made available to persons with qualifying disabilities at low or no cost. I donate the participatory credits I've earned to scholarships for Bookshare users. My time for this project is limited, but I hope to continue doing 4-6 books/year. (June 2013 - hiatus)


SAA (2011-present); MARAC (2012-present); Beta Phi Mu (2014)