Encoded Archival Context

n. (abbr. EAC) originally an initiative to produce an XML-based standard to describe records creators, then released as a provisional standard, and later a putative overarching set of standards for encoding contextual information about archival resources


The meaning of Encoded Archival Context has changed over time. The EAC initiative, formally begun in 1998, initially sought to create a document type definition (DTD) for encoding contextual information about records creators. This led to the 2004 release of a standard, EAC Beta, which was superseded by EAC-CPF after the Society of American Archivists’ EAC Working Group determined that the scope of EAC had been too narrow. Archivists have not always made a distinction between EAC and EAC-CPF. When the EAC Working Group (now disbanded) focused on producing a standard for corporate bodies, persons, and families, it issued EAC-CPF, and EAC became an acronym referring to a set of standards for contextual archival information. EAC includes EAC-CPF and may include additional standards such as EAC-F for functions.