Burrows, T. (2008), "Encoding across Frontiers: Proceedings of the European Conference on Encoded Archival Description and Context (EAD and EAC), Paris, France, 7‐8 October 2004", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 320-321. https://doi.org/10.1108/07378830810880432
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Encoded Archival Description (EAD) has, since its release in 1998, become the most widely‐used electronic format for archival finding aids. As well as being extensively employed in North America, it has also been widely adopted in Europe and Australasia. It has also led to the emergence of two closely related standards: Encoded Archival Context (EAC) for describing persons, families and corporate bodies; and Encoded Archival Guide (EAG) for describing archival repositories themselves.
The papers in this volume were originally presented at a major European conference held in October 2004, and provide an excellent snapshot of the work being done with EAD by the archival profession in Europe at that time. Most of the focus is on EAD itself, though there is one paper on EAG and its implementation in Spain, and four papers on EAC and its implementation in France, Italy and Sweden. The EAD papers are grouped under three main headings – Implementing, Using, and Publishing with EAD – and include a series of detailed case studies from the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Switzerland and Poland. These are complemented by three magisterial papers on more general topics by North Americans who were crucial in the original development of EAD. Daniel Pitti gives an overview of the history and significance of EAD, while Michael Fox looks at professional training for EAD in Europe, and Kris Kiesling discusses the developing relationship between EAD and closely related standards like ISAD(G) and DACS.
By any criterion, this volume is absolutely essential for anyone interested in the history and use of EAD. The case studies, from a variety of European archives and libraries, are a goldmine of valuable information about the practicalities and sometimes difficult realities of implementing EAD, while the more general papers offer an excellent contextual setting of a more theoretical and systematic kind. The papers on EAC and EAG round out very effectively what is undoubtedly the best available guide to the current state of electronic archival description.