Encoded Archival Description: An Introduction and Overview

  • Daniel V Pitti University of Virginia
Keywords: Descriptive standards, Encoded Archival Description


Encoded Archival Description (EAD) is an emerging standard used internationally in an increasing number of archives and manuscripts libraries to encode data describing corporate records and personal papers. The individual descriptions are variously called finding aids, guides, handlists, or catalogues. While archival description shares many objectives with bibliographic description, it differs from it in several essential ways. From its inception, EAD was based on Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), and, with the release of EAD version 1.0 in 1998, it is also compliant with EXtensible Markup Language (XML). EAD was and continues to be developed by the archival community. While development was initiated in the United States, international interest and contribution are increasing. EAD is currently administered and maintained jointly by the Society of American Archivists and the United States Library of Congress. Developers are currently exploring ways to internationalize the administration and maintenance of EAD to reflect and represent the expanding base of users.

ESARBICA Journal Vol.20 2001: 71-80

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0376-4753