This page contains instructions for downloading Version 2002 of the Document Type Definition (DTD) for the Encoded Archival Description, an implementation of ISO 8879, SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language)/XML (eXtensible Markup Language). Version 2002 of the EAD DTD was finalized in December 2002. It supersedes version 1.0, released in August 1998. It also contains links to related files. The 2002 version is the second production release of the EAD DTD. It incorporates a small number of newly-defined elements, deprecates eight previously used elements, and modifies the structure (content model) for a few elements to allow the inclusion of other valid EAD elements at different levels within a finding aid. The changes and additions were suggested as a result of experience with the first (1998) production release of the test version of the EAD DTD. During the four years that Version 1.0 was in use, hundreds of archives experimented with use of the EAD DTD for a range of finding aid encoding projects. Their input was important for deciding upon which changes and additions were essencial in the 2002 release.
Version 2002 of the EAD DTD is designed to function as both an SGML and XML DTD. It conforms to all SGML/XML (ISO 8879) specifications. It has been thoroughly tested using a wide variety of existing SGML/XML software. To be used as an XML DTD, "switches" have been included in the DTD for turning off features used only in SGML applications, and turning on features used in XML applications. Instructions for using these "switches" are contained in the DTD itself. Please keep in mind, downloading the EAD DTD and related files is not all you will need to do to begin using it. Most SGML and XML authoring software requires more than simply loading a new DTD to make them work since there are often proprietary features and add-ons to contend with. You will most likely need to consult manuals or user guides on your SGML/XML software after getting a copy of the EAD DTD and related files themselves.
Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), as applied in this DTD and related files, has revolutionized the world of finding aids by providing a single standardized encoding through which archival descriptions can be exchanged and used. It may also simplify the process of creating machine-readable finding aids in the future as the use of XML tools becomes more widespread and better understood.
As you begin to implement this version of the EAD DTD, keep in mind that it is the product of a lengthy development effort during which many options and models were considered. It may not reflect the exact structure of the finding aids that you currently produce, but it should provide elements into which you can fit the information you currently capture.
The EAD DTD was designed to be somewhat prescriptive, providing and in some cases requiring that finding aids be structured in a particular way. This will occasionally result in differences between the structure of an encoded archival description and existing printed finding aids when they are used as the source for content.
To start creating your own Encoded Archival Descriptions, you will need various files and support documents. Most are available to you electronically via FTP (File Transfer Protocol) from an anonymous file server. The EAD Tag Library is currently available as both a print and Web version. Due to the length of the EAD Tag Library, we recommend you purchase a copy of the printed document which is available from the Society of American Archivists. It should greatly facilitate your use of the EAD DTD.
The entire suite of files can be downloaded as a self-extracting compressed ("zip") file. Once transferred, run the file from Windows to extract the components onto your hard drive.
Alternately, you can FTP download the EAD DTD and other machine-readable documents. All you need is access to the Internet and electronic transfer software (FTP). The host domain of LC's FTP server is: ftp.loc.gov
The files you should transfer using the "get" command are listed below. The "get" command should copy a file to the default directory on the machine you are using locally. Most of the files should be transferred as ASCII files, which is the default transfer mode for most FTP applications. Some of these files will need to be transferred in BINARY mode. To change to binary mode during an FTP session, enter the command "bin". The command "asc" can be used to return to ASCII mode. NOTE: For some FTP applications, the transfer mode is automatically set based on the file extension found during transfer.
Additionally the following files can be downloaded from Internet Explorer or Mozilla by right-clicking on the link and selecting "Save Target As," or in Netscape by holding the "shift" key and clicking on the link.
If you do not have access to FTP or are not able to download the files, you may request a diskette containing these files by contacting the Library of Congress, Network Development and MARC Standards Office (NDMSO), who will be acting as the maintenance agency for this standard.
We encourage you to join the large number of users of the EAD DTD if you are not already among that growing group. We also look forward to getting feedback from you as you make use of Encoded Archival Description for the first time. The EAD DTD is not set in stone but will be enhanced in the future based on the experiences of its users. If you know of anyone else interested in this effort, encourage them to download the above EAD DTD files and subscribe to the EAD electronic forum.
March 29, 2022