EGAD, I found it

Or, why a 17th century exclamation may be the new way of sharing and encoding archival data.

A few days ago, I linked to a blog about ways of matching archival description with the museum community’s conceptual ontology CIDOC CRM.  I knew, as I was researching it, that there had been some mention of a similar ontology for the archival community, but I did not know much more.  When I searched for EAD and CIDOC, one of the references was to the EGAD project at ICA, so off I went to see what more I could find.

Sadly, for a recordkeeping organisation, there was surprisingly little. Yes, there is a web page, and yes, there are resources, mostly dating from 2012, when the group was set up, but minutes, reports, working notes, and so on appear to be lacking. I knew there must be more so I kept tracking.

EGAD, which stands for Experts Group on Archival Description, was set up by the ICA to look at ways of integrating the four ICA standards, ISAD(G), ISAAR – CPF, ISDIAH and ISDF. It is also looking at ways of modeling this data in line with current conceptual models and linked data protocols. It was established in 2012, and has a four year term, so there should be something to discuss more generally by the end of 2016.  The most recent document on the EGAD page is to a 2013 report.

However, there have been some EGAD presentations at various conferences and at the CIDOC meeting in 2015Daniel Pitti et al’s 2014 report in Girona identifies that the model will have at least four entities – agency (archival authority), records (including the concept of records set to accommodate fonds, record group or series), function, mandate. I think that relationships are being discussed as either an entity or process.  A discussion of how records and record sets might work is found in this powerpoint from Pitti and Rubenstein in 2015.

There’s an article about it in a Korean journal, so I’m looking forward to finding out more from the ICA conference in Seoul in Daniel Pitti’s panel (and I’m also hoping that the ICA page might be updated before then so I can stop hunting the interwebs 🙂 ).


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Archivist, historian, avid reader

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