EAD (Encoded Archival Description ; Version 2002 Official Site)

Encoded Archival Description Electronic List

General Information

The EAD (Encoded Archival Description) Electronic List is an open unmoderated electronic mail posting service created to facilitate the exchange of information about the XML (Extensible Markup Language) DTD (Document Type Definition) for archival finding aids. Developers and implementers of the EAD DTD are welcome to join the list and share their ideas and experiences with using SGML and XML for finding aids. SGML and XML are based on document structure and an encoding syntax defined in ISO 8879, the international standard for encoding electronic documents. SGML/XML was selected as the basis for creating encoded (electronic) finding aids since it represents a key component in electronic documentation worldwide, particularly via the Internet. As a non-proprietary standard, ISO 8879 and the EAD implementation of it, should allow different producers of archival finding aids to share in electronic form documentation and information about the collections they describe.

The EAD list is operated by the U.S. Library of Congress, Network Development and MARC Standards Office, which has agreed to serve as the maintenance agency for the EAD DTD. This electronic list makes use of UNIX software available 24 hours a day at the Library of Congress. This software is used for other electronic lists as well including MARC, the general electronic list for the MARC Advisory Group. An EAD list message archive is available at: http://listserv.loc.gov/listarch/ead.html

To Subscribe to the List

From the email account you intend to use, send the following message to LISTSERV@LOC.GOV:

SUBSCRIBE EAD <Firstname Initial Lastname>

NOTE: Subscriptions should *not* be sent to the list address "EAD@LOC.GOV". Only messages to be posted are sent to this address. If at anytime you plan to change your email address, you should unsubscribe yourself from the list *prior* to your address change.

To Unsubscribe from the List

From the email account you used to originally subscribe, send the following message to LISTSERV@LOC.GOV:


NOTE: Do *not* attempt to unsubscribe by sending a message to the list address "EAD@LOC.GOV". If you are unable to send the "unsubscribe" message from the same email account you used to subscribe, send a message to the contact person listed below requesting that you be unsubscribed. Be sure to give your old address and name in the message so that we can be sure to delete the correct subscriber information.

Controlling the Posting of Messages

To suspend the posting of EAD messages to your email account temporarily (i.e., without having to unsubscribe), send the following message to LISTSERV@LOC.GOV:


To restart the distribution to your email address, send the following message to LISTSERV@LOC.GOV:


If you wish to automatically receive a copy of messages you post to this list, send the following message to LISTSERV@LOC.GOV:


To suspend the automatic delivery of message which you post to the list, send the following message to LISTSERV@LOC.GOV:


Archive of Posted Messages

An archive of messages posted to the EAD list is available on a Web server maintained by the Library of Congress. The URL for the message archive is:


The archive provides sorting of the messages by posting date, author, and subject. These sort keys are controled by the date, author, and subject information provided by the creator of the message, so this information is not always useful. Messages are grouped by the month during which they were posted. Replies to specific postings are grouped beneath the entry for the original message when the subject lines match.


EAD is an unmoderated list. All messages sent to the Internet address "EAD@LOC.GOV" by approved subscribers are automatically posted to all other list subscribers. EAD is not an open list. Subscriptions are limited to developers and implementers and thus pass through an approval process before becoming active. To prevent the broadcast of viruses, attachments in emails sent to the list are automatically removed.

Listserv Signup Agreement

By subscribing to this Listserv, you agree to the following:

You are fully responsible for everything that you post and will follow the general rules of respectful civil discourse. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. The Library of Congress may decline to post messages that are off-topic, disruptive or for any reason whatever, without consent, and we further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on this Listserv.

Technical Support

Support services and information about the list are provided by the Network Development and MARC Standards Office. Subscription requests and other messages controling the receipt of list postings should be sent to "LISTSERV@LOC.GOV". Messages relevant to the Encoded Archival Description DTD are welcome. Other electronic lists and discussion groups are available via the Internet for topics related to other library, technical services, and automation issues.


Please contact the following Network Development & MARC Standards Office staff if you have technical problems with your subscription.

Contact: ggar@loc.gov (Glenn Gardner - +1-202-707-7414)