National Archival Authorities Infrastructure : Social Networks and Archival Context & National Archival Authorities Cooperative

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Building a National Archival Authorities Infrastructure: SNAC and NAAC


Two related projects are laying the groundwork for establishing a National Archival Authorities Cooperative (NAAC). The first project is Social Networks and Archival Context (SNAC). In the first phase of SNAC, the project focused on extracting and assembling authority descriptions from 30,500 finding aids and augmenting the derived authority records with additional data from library and museum authority records. The archival authority descriptions resulting from the processing have been used to develop a prototype historical research and access system. In the second phase, the number of finding aids will be increased to 150,000, and will be augmented by one to two million MARC collection-level archival descriptions contributed by OCLC WorldCat. In addition, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Smithsonian Institution, British Library (BL), Archives nationales (France), and Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) will contribute over 375,000 original archival authority records in a variety of formats. These archival authority records will be augmented with additional data from library and museum authority records: 16 million Virtual International Authority File (VIAF) records; and 120,000 Union List of Artist Names (ULAN) records. Altogether, thirteen consortia and over thirty-five leading research repositories in the U.S., U.K., and France are contributing source data, either finding aids or archival authority records.

The second project is Building a National Archival Authorities Infrastructure. This project is funded by a 2011 grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services. This project involves two interrelated activities. Administered by Katherine Wisser at Simmons College, the first activity is offering twenty competitively awarded scholarships for each of seven regional Society of American Archivists workshops on Encoded Archival Context-Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families (EAC-CPF), with a total of 140 scholarships to be awarded. EAC-CPF is a new archival standard for authority description, and is the underlying standard used in the SNAC project. The second activity will be the development of a blueprint for establishing a sustainable National Archival Authorities Cooperative, initially based on the SNAC project results. The blueprint will be developed during three meetings to be hosted by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The first meeting will be held in Washington, D.C. on May 21 and 22, and will begin the process of exploration the business, governance, and technological requirements for the proposed cooperative. Following the May meeting, three small teams led by John Unsworth (business), Adrian Turner (governance), and Terrence Catapano (technological) will begin the development of the blueprint. Together, the two activities will begin the process of building a national archival authorities infrastructure in the U.S.

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Social Networks and Archival Context (SNAC); National Archival Authorities Cooperative (NAAC); EAC-CPF; EAD; Encoded Archival Context - corporate bodies, persons, and families; archival standards; metadata


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