Update on EAD: Minor revisions and call for comments on upcoming major revision

Heading into the new SAA year after the Annual Meeting in August, the Technical Subcommittee on Encoded Archival Standards (TS-EAS) has finalised two minor revisions of EAD3 (Tag Library) and EAD 2002 (Schema), which the Standards Committee approved before the summer break. With this, TS-EAS also would like to kick off the major revision of EAD, asking for the community’s comments to get us started. 


Minor revisions - EAD3 Tag Library and EAD 2002 schema

As a precursor to the major revision, TS-EAS is happy to announce the publication of two minor revisions of the current version of EAD:

·       An update to EAD3 Tag Library, which picks up on community feedback to clarify misalignments between the Tag Library and the schema, to add missing information and labels, and to correct typos. Furthermore, this minor release enhances existing encoding examples and adds new ones. You can find the new version here: https://www.loc.gov/ead/EAD3taglib/EAD3-TL-eng.html and here: https://www.loc.gov/ead/EAD3taglib/EAD3-TL-eng.pdf.

·       A final update to the EAD 2002 schema to remove the value lists included in EAD 2002 e.g. for country, language, and script codes and to relax the data type of the relevant attributes to NMTOKEN. This change follows TS-EAS' design principles 7 and 10 (see https://github.com/SAA-SDT/TS-EAS-subteam-notes/wiki/Design-Principles) and makes possible the use of any codes from the respective ISO standards 3166-1, 639-2b, and 15924 with EAD 2002 files as well as the inclusion of other values where appropriate. With this, there will be no further updates to EAD 2002. You can find this final version here in RNG and XSD format: https://www.loc.gov/ead/eadschema.html (the DTD has remained unchanged).


Major revision of EAD

The Technical Subcommittee on Encoded Archival Standards (TS-EAS) calls for comments to improve the Encoded Archival Description (EAD). After a general assessment phase during the first half of 2021, TS-EAS wants to hear from you in more detail what you are missing in the current version of EAD and what you would like to see in a future version of the standard. We are seeking feedback and proposals from all the communities interested in EAD, from single users via institutions with archival holdings to consortia, aggregators, and software providers. 


You can find all about the current EAD on the standard’s homepage at https://www.loc.gov/ead/ and you can provide your input in two possible ways:

·       Submit an issue to our GitHub page, in case you are on GitHub - hit “New issue” in the EAD3 repository (https://github.com/SAA-SDT/EAD3/issues);

·       Submit an issue via our webform (https://www2.archivists.org/standards/TS-EAS-report-an-issue), in case you are not on GitHub.


Please try to be as precise as possible, including examples to illustrate your suggestions and requests, and make sure to provide your contact details, so that we can check in with you in case we would need any additional information. Comments will ideally be formulated in English, so that we can make the best use of them. 


The call for comments is open until 28 February 2022 and we are looking forward to your feedback and proposals. Thank you very much in advance!


We will be back with more news on the major revision - including a webinar to introduce its main tracks - during the upcoming weeks. So, make sure to stay tuned. 


Thanks very much in advance and best wishes, 

Kerstin Arnold (EAD team lead), Karin Bredenberg and Mark Custer (TS-EAS co-chairs)