Encoded Archival Description (EAD) is an XML-based standard for describing archival materials. This site is for people who are learning EAD 2002 or who simply need an easy-to-understand EAD 2002 reference. For more on why this site exists, why I created it when other EAD materials exist, and more, see the about page.

EAD 2002 or EAD3?

In 2015, the Society of American Archivists released EAD3. The process of updating legacy finding aids and revamping systems takes time and many archives still create and use finding aids in EAD 2002. Therefore, while the EADiva EAD3 tag library moved to the main EADiva site, this site preserves the original EADiva EAD 2002 tag library. The sidebar of each element page has a link to the EADiva EAD3 tag library along with information about whether the tag has been deprecated. The EADiva EAD3 tag library has similar links back to this website.

Main Content

This site’s main content consists of of an inter-linked EAD tag library. Each EAD element can be found simply by typing in https://eadiva.com/2/elementname, such as https://eadiva.com/2/accessrestrict. The tags are listed alphabetically as well as by finding-aid structure and type. Each element’s page includes a description of the element and its use, a list of its attributes and their definitions/possible values, a list of its subelements, and an example or two.

Essentially, it is a plainer-language, interlinked version of the Library of Congress’s EAD tag library. The DTD-type format of the attributes has been broken down into something easier for laypersons to read and understand and a few typographical errors have been corrected (after being checked against the EAD Schema). The project was begun with archives students in mind, but the material may be useful to those farther along in the profession as well.