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Meeting on Archival Authority Standard Encoding Format


The DLF sponsored a meeting in December of an international group of archivists to develop a standard encoding format for the recording and exchange of archival authority information. Such a format would become part of the emerging archival information architecture that currently consists of formats for collective description (e.g., MARC-AMC) and for detailed finding aid descriptions, especially those using the Encoded Archival Description (EAD) format. The establishment of a standard for archival authority records is expected to have a major effect on the future direction of archival description and resolve many long-standing issues on how best to record and present archival data.

The meeting resulted in the development of a project plan outlining the steps necessary to formulate an archive authority standard. Identified as being of particular importance in accomplishing adoption of such a standard was the need to incorporate recommendations into the International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families [ISAAR(CPF)]. The ISAAR(CPF) standard will be reviewed in 2001 providing an opportunity for incorporation of efforts by this group and its participants. Additional tasks identified in the project plan were the drafting of an ISAAR compliant DTD, and definition of Z39.50 attribute set for ISAAR, and ensuring links to specialized authority files such as those for geographic information.

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