Members of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Encoded Archival Context (EAC) have released a Beta version of the EAC XML DTDs, Schemas, Tag Library, and other documentation, requesting feedback from projects that implement this specification on an experimental basis.
The Encoded Archival Context specification provides a formal method of "encoding descriptions of persons, corporate bodies, and families responsible for the creation of records and other resources, where such descriptions provide context for understanding and interpreting the records and resources." Edited by Daniel V. Pitti (Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, University of Virginia), this proposed metadata standard complements other standard formalisms governing name authority control for personal and corporate entities.
EAC data are designed for use in federated database applications and collaborative research across a broad range of domains, including prosopographical research and genealogical studies.
The designers intend that intellectual content of EAC records comply with the International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families. EAC is also "complementary to the UNIMARC/Authorities format, combining bibliographic authority records and archival authority records, which give information both about the creator and the context of creation of archival material."
The authoritative version of EAC Beta is in the form of an XML DTD. Alternatively, a W3C Schema and a Relax NG Schema are available for use. The EAC Tag Library provides a structural overview and definitions and descriptions of elements and attributes.
The EAC is intended to be the second of three apparatus that "together form a complete archival description and access system. The Encoded Archival Description (EAD) Version 2002, used for encoding the description of records, is the first of these apparatus. The third apparatus, for the description of functions and activities performed by creating entities, is under discussion."
The XML DTD and the Tag Library documentation "have been developed in cooperation and with support from the LEAF project. LEAF (Linking and Exploring Authority Files) is a three year project that started in March 2001, co-funded within the Information Society Technologies Programme of the Fifth Framework of the European Commission. LEAF develops a model architecture for establishing links between distributed authority records and providing access to them. The system allows uploads of the distributed authorities to the central system and automatically links those authorities concerning the same entity."
From the 2004-08-23 Announcement
The Ad Hoc Working Group on Encoded Archival Context (EAC) is pleased to announce the release of the Beta version of EAC.
Encoded Archival Context (EAC) is an ongoing initiative within the international archival community to design and implement a prototype standard based on Extensible Markup Language (XML) for encoding descriptions of record creators. The primary developers of this prototype standard are members of the international archival community. The description of individuals, families, and organizations that create records is an essential component of the preservation of the documentary evidence of human activity. Identifying record creating entities; recording the names or designations used by and for them; and describing their essential functions, activities, and characteristics, and the dates and places they were active is an essential component of the management of archival records. Creator description facilitates both access to and interpretation of records.
The maintenance site for EAC is http://www.iath.virginia.edu/eac/.
The authoritative version of EAC Beta is in the form of an XML DTD. Alternatively, a W3C Schema and a Relax NG Schema are also available. The EAC Tag Library provides a structural overview and definitions and descriptions of elements and attributes.
The Beta release of EAC is intended for experimental usage only. Projects experimenting in the use of EAC are encouraged, and reports and suggestions and comments are welcome.
The eac-l listserv (firstname.lastname@example.org) will function as the primary discussion forum for EAC and its ongoing maintenance and development. Interested individuals will find instructions for subscribing to the eac-l at:
The EAC Tag Library will continue to be edited and expanded. The members of the archival community are encouraged to submit encoded examples to eac-l for consideration of inclusion in the Tag Library.
Ad Hoc Working Group on Encoded Archival Context
- Tone Merete Bruvik (University of Bergen; EU LEAF)
- Adrian Cunningham (National Archives of Australia; ISAAR)
- Wendy Duff (University of Toronto)
- Joanne Evans (Australian Science and Technology Centre, University of Melbourne)
- Margaret Hedstrom (University of Michigan)
- Hans Hofman (Information Policy Department, Ministry of the
- Interior, The Netherlands)
- Gunnar Karlsen (University of Bergen; EU LEAF)
- Bob Krawczyk (Archives of Ontario)
- Michelle Light (Northeastern University)
- Gavan McCarthy (Australian Science and Technology Centre, University of Melbourne)
- Per-Gunnar Ottosson (Riksarkivet, Sweden; EU LEAF; ISAAR)
- Daniel Pitti (Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, University of Virginia)
- Kathleen Roe (New York State Archives)
- Dick Sargent (National Archives, U.K.; ISAAR)
- Richard Szary (Yale University)
- Anne Van Camp (RLG)
- Stefano Vitali (Archivio di Stato di Firenze; ISAAR)
- Katherine Wisser (Duke University)
- Stephen Yearl (Yale University)
- Announcement 2004-08-23: "Beta Version for Encoded Archival Context (EAC)."
- Encoded Archival Context Document Type Definition (DTD). Beta Version. 2004-08-09. Prepared and Maintained by the Ad Hoc Encoded Archival Context Working Group (Charlottesville / London / Stockholm). [source[
- FTP source for DTD and entity files
- EAC Beta Tag Library
- EAC Beta XML Schema: Diagram view and W3C XML Schema single file format [cache]
- EAC Beta Relax NG Schema [cache]
- Examples of EAC encoded documents. HTML and XML formats.
- EAC Crosswalk for ISAAR(CPF), Second Edition.
- Encoded Archival Context main web site
- Encoded Archival Context Initiative - General Information
- Mail Archives for 'eac-l' list. Administrative: email@example.com.
- European Conference on DTDs, EAD and EAC. Paris, October 2004.
- Related on LEAF (Linking and Exploring Authority Files):
- Related on EAD (Encoded Archival Description):
- Related on naming and name authority control:
- Library of Congress Authorities
- Authority Files for Cataloging Pictures
- ISAAR(CPF): International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families Second edition, 2004. ISBN/ISSN: 2-9521932-2-3. This standard provides guidance for preparing archival authority records which provide descriptions of entities (corporate bodies, persons and families) associated with the creation and maintenance of archives. [source]
- "Markup Languages for Names and Addresses" - Main reference page.
- "Encoded Archival Context Initiative (EAC)" - Main reference page.