Technical Subcommittee on Encoded Archival Description (TS-EAD)

I. Purpose

The Technical Subcommittee for Encoded Archival Description (TS-EAD) of the SAA Standards Committee is responsible for overseeing the timely and ongoing intellectual and technical maintenance and development of Encoded Archival Description (EAD). EAD is the internationally accepted XML (Extensible Markup Language) standard for the transmission of finding aids. EAD is compatible with ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description, 2nd ed. (International Congress on Archives, 1999). EAD is an SAA-approved standard; documentation is hosted by the Library of Congress at

II. Committee Selection, Size, and Length of Term

The TS-EAD shall be charged for five years, beginning February 2010, with the charge expiring at the SAA annual meeting of the fifth year, or until the revision of EAD is completed as described in the “Procedures for Review and Approval of an SAA-Developed Standard,” whichever is shorter. After the charge is completed, if Encoded Archival Description continues to be an approved standard of SAA, the TS-EAD shall be re-charged for a subsequent review cycle.

The members and chair(s) of the TS-EAD shall be appointed for the length of time necessary to complete a revision of EAD, which shall not exceed five years. The technical subcommittee shall have five members who are members of SAA and sufficient international membership to ensure effective representation of EAD professional communities outside the United States. All members shall demonstrate significant knowledge of and experience with archival description generally, and with EAD specifically.

The TS-EAD shall have a chair who is a member of the Society of American Archivists. The technical subcommittee is encouraged to have a co-chair from among its international members.

SAA members of the TS-EAD shall be recommended by the Standards Committee for appointment by the Vice President. International members who are able to represent other professional EAD-using communities effectively shall be appointed at the recommendation of the TS-EAD chair(s), who is/are responsible for ensuring appropriately diverse international representation. Members and chairs may be reappointed to the TS-EAD for consecutive review cycles, but at least one new SAA member must be appointed per review cycle.

Ex officio members of the Technical Subcommittee for EAD shall include the following if they are not regular members of the subcommittee:

  • Chair of the Standards Committee (or an appointed representative);
  • Chair(s) of the EAC Working Group (or any successor committee);
  • Chair and members of the Schema Development Team;
  • Chair of the EAD Roundtable;
  • Liaison from the Network Development and MARC Standards Office of the Library of Congress;
  • Liaison from OCLC Research.

III. Reporting Procedures

The chair (or co-chairs) of the Technical Subcommittee for EAD shall report at least annually to the chair of the SAA Standards Committee on the occasion of the SAA annual meeting. If extramural funding is obtained by SAA, the chair (or co-chairs) shall provide all necessary narrative reports to the SAA office in order that the reporting requirements of SAA and the funding source are met.

IV. Duties and Responsibilities

To fulfill this mission internationally, the TS-EAD is specifically charged to:

  • Carry out a review of EAD at least every five years and revise as needed.*
  • Revise the EAD tag library and other official documentation as necessary.
  • Promote the understanding and use of EAD internationally.
  • Support educational efforts related to EAD by SAA and international communities.
  • Develop members of the archives profession who are capable of promoting and maintaining EAD over time.
  • Communicate its activities to relevant SAA components and EAD-using communities internationally.
  • Collaborate as needed with the Schema Development Team to maintain the relevant EAD schemas and/or Document Type Definitions (DTDs).

* For this charge, in lieu of a standard review cycle, the TS-EAD shall undertake a revision of EAD 2002, which is to be completed in no more than five years (i.e., by August 2015).

VI. Meetings

The TS-EAD shall carry out its charge primarily via electronic mail, regular mail, and conference calls. It shall meet at the SAA annual meeting and as necessary with funding from SAA or from extramural sources (with prior approval by the SAA Council).


Approved by the SAA Council: February 2010

Governance Manual