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Encoded Archival Description

Abbreviation Of: 

n. (EAD, abbr.) ~ A standard used to mark up (encode) finding aids that reflects the hierarchical nature of archival collections and that provides a structure for describing the whole of a collection, as well as its components.


EAD is defined as a document type definition (DTD) that is compatible with both Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) and extensible markup language (XML). See the related standards Encoded Archival Description: Application Guidelines, ver. 1.0 (Society of American Archivists, 1999); and Encoded Archival Description: Tag Library, ver. 2002 (Society of American Archivists, 2003);

(Feeney 1999, p. 207–208) [EAD] is intended to provide repositories with a means of establishing an effective, accessible, and stable presence for their holdings information. EAD accommodates variations in the length and content of finding aids within and among repositories, and preserves in electronic form the complex, hierarchically structured descriptive information found in archival repositories and registers, while also enabling the documents to be navigated and searched in ways that their printed counterparts cannot.