Announcement of the Working Group on a Schema for Functions

The archival community recognizes the need to define a metadata schema for encoding the description of archival functions. Based on this need and demand, and with the approval of the Standards Committee for the Society of American Archivists, the Technical Subcommittee on EAC-CPF, charged to address encoding needs for archival contextual entities (starting with corporate bodies, persons and families), has initiated the work for developing a schema for Functions. A Working Group was created with professionals from the international community who have given considerable thought to the issue of encoding descriptions of functions and have already carried out experiments on that topic. The Group reports to the SAA TS-EAC and the SAA Standards Committee.

To advance the work, two meetings were organized (one in Brussels (Belgium) on 22 November 2013 and a virtual meeting on 12 June 2015). One of the basic outcomes of these meetings was the agreement on the main principles for a communication standard for encoding Functions, such as the overall compliance with ISDF - recognizing at the same time the need to extend the proposed schema for all acting entities, and the decision to base the schema design architecture on EAC-CPF.

The Working Group on a schema for Functions will work in collaboration with the ICA EGAD (Experts Group on Archival Description), who is charged with developing a formal conceptual model for archival description that identifies and defines the essential components of archival description and their interrelations. The Working Group on a schema for Functions will serve as an incubation group to support EGAD’s work on the conceptual definition of the various categories of functions and their relationship to the other components of the archival description. This collaboration will benefit to the construction of a coherent encoding standard for encoding functions.