Major revision of EAD - Call to action

The Technical Subcommittee for Encoded Archival Standards (TS-EAS) at the Society of American Archivists (SAA) invites you to engage with a draft of the new version of the Encoded Archival Description standard, EAD 4.0, between December 2023 and February 2024, ahead of the public call for comments. For this activity, we are specifically looking towards archival aggregators as well as software providers and developers. 

Having started the major revision process with various engagement activities to understand the status quo of EAD usage back in 2021, 2022 focussed on aligning EAD with its sibling standard EAC-CPF 2.0 and following TS-EAS’ exploration of a standard for functions. 2023 then looked at EAD-specific concepts and approaches, which has brought us close to the first draft of EAD 4.0. 

With EAD being a format that enables interoperability, we are aware that its use as an export format has increased during the past years, even though hand-coding is still practised as well. We hence acknowledge the pivotal role that aggregators and software providers/developers play in the uptake of (any new version of) EAD and are looking for tailored feedback from these two groups as a starting point to the public consultation around the draft for EAD 4.0, which will span across the first half of 2024. 

You can learn more about this engagement activity in our Call to action on SAA’s YouTube channel (, or head over directly to the survey that we have set up to hear from you at

Thank you in advance and we look forward to the conversations!

Kerstin Arnold, TS-EAS EAD subteam lead

Karin Bredenberg, TS-EAS co-chair

Mary Samouelian, TS-EAS co-chair