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European Conference about the DTDs EAD (Encoded Archival Description) and
EAC (Encoded Archival Context)


Following the seminar held 2 years ago in the conference room of the
National Library of France, (on the application of the EAD DTD for cultural
heritage purposes in archives and in libraries), the Directorate of the
Archives of France is organising a European Conference on 7th and 8th
October 2004 on data-processing software for encoding research aids for
archives and authority data into XML (Extensible Markup Language). The last
European Conference on the subject took place at the Public Record Office
in Kew, in October 1999.

The EAD, whose first public version (1998) was revised in September 2002,
is a document type definition founded on the same principle of multilevel
description as the General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD
(G). The EAD is derived from TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) and contains
elements that are equivalent to MARC fields (an EAD inventory aid may be
linked with a MARC note, and conversely, an EAD notice may be converted
into MARC).

The EAD is now well established in North America and in the rest of the
world, and it has attained technical stability while continuing to keep
abreast of technological advances. Training courses have been organised ;
handbooks and application guidelines have been written. Several
institutions using the EAD in France, United Kingdom, Germany, the
Netherlands or Spain have developed innovative solutions for encoding,
editing and displaying theirsearching tools . It is now time to assess
progress and to facilitate the exchange of experience.

Since 2001 another DTD, EAC (Encoded Archival Context), has been developed
simultaneously. Perfectly compatible with the International Standard
Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families ISAAR
(CPF), and complementary to the UNIMARC/Authorities format, the EAC
combines bibliographic authority records and archival authority records,
which give information both about the creator and the context of creation
of archival material.
The version 1.0 of EAC Tag Library should shortly become available. Tests
have been done on the conversion of authority data into EAC/XML format, in
particular within the LEAF project (Linking and Exploring Authority
Files) : local authority data will be downloaded from the local servers of
the participating organisations to a central system which links
automatically the authorities belonging to the same entity.

The participants will present their research results and ideas on different
issues :
- what is required for EAD implementation : thoughts on standardisation,
training ;
- EAD implementation : tools for creating EAD documents, interoperability,
compatibility with other standards ;
- publishing EAD/XML documents : editing tools, documentary management
applications with documents stored on a Web server in native XML ;
- the EAC DTD and the first examples of authority records encoded into XML.

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