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Social Networks and Archival Context
ProducerSocial Networks and Archival Context (United States)
History2010 to present
Format coverageFinding aids

Social Networks and Archival Context (SNAC) is an online project for discovering, locating, and using distributed historical records in regard to individual people, families, and organizations. [1]



SNAC was established in 2010, with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), [2] California Digital Library (CDL), Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH) at the University of Virginia and the University of California, Berkeley School of Information. [3] [4] [5] The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded the second phase of the project from 2012 to 2014. [5]

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is an independent federal agency of the U.S. government, established by the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965, dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. The NEH is housed at 400 7th St SW, Washington, D.C. From 1979 to 2014, NEH was at 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. in the Nancy Hanks Center at the Old Post Office.

National Archives and Records Administration independent agency of the United States government which preserves and provides access to federal records

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is an independent agency of the United States government charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records and with increasing public access to those documents, which comprise the National Archives. NARA is officially responsible for maintaining and publishing the legally authentic and authoritative copies of acts of Congress, presidential directives, and federal regulations. The NARA also transmits votes of the Electoral College to Congress.

The California Digital Library (CDL) was founded by the University of California in 1997. In collaboration with the ten University of California Libraries and other partners, CDL has assembled one of the world's largest digital research libraries. CDL facilitates the licensing of online materials and develops shared services used throughout the UC system. Building on the foundations of the Melvyl Catalog, CDL has developed one of the largest online library catalogs in the country and works in partnership with the UC campuses to bring the treasures of California's libraries, museums, and cultural heritage organizations to the world. CDL continues to explore how services such as digital curation, scholarly publishing, archiving and preservation support research throughout the information lifecycle.

One of the project's tools is a radial-graph feature which helps identify a social network of a subject's connections to related historical individuals. [6]

SNAC is used alongside other digital archives to connect related historical records. [7]

SNAC is an ongoing research project that focus on obtaining data from both national and international archives, libraries, and museums to gather as much information about the historical persons, ancestry, and institutions. With SNAC developing a network of both local and global organizations, data from these associations are used to increase the information available about a subject without the daunting of searching and finding dispersed information. [8]

In the first phase of the project, the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities supplied funding, enabling SNAC to gather and review record descriptions that contain information about the file creator or the person who history has been chronicled. Collections of families, persons, and institutions are created once the data from the record descriptions have been extracted. Also, the descriptions are used to draw connections between the records. By collecting data from record descriptions, SNAC develops a research tool that pulls all the available data related to the subject place it in a central location. As opposed to having information about the subject dispersed throughout different archives, libraries, and museums.

To continue to the success of the project, SNAC establishes an international cooperative where researchers, librarians, and archivists can both contribute and monitor the information submitted about the history of an individual, families, and institutions.

As the project enters into the second phase, the initiatives to expand current data and to continue finding various sources to contribute to the program. With the work steadily growing, it has led to the U.S. Institute for Museum and Library Services supplying financial support and SNAC partnering with NARA (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration) to manage an international cooperative as the project advances. [9]

See also

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  3. "SNAC: Social Networks and Archival Context". Archived from the original on 2016-06-19. Retrieved 2017-05-08.
  4. Larson, Ray R.; Pitti, Daniel; Turner, Adrian (2014). "SNAC: The Social Networks and Archival Context project - Towards an archival authority cooperative". IEEE/ACM Joint Conference on Digital Libraries. JCDL 2014. pp. 427–428. doi:10.1109/JCDL.2014.6970208.
  5. 1 2 Pitti, Daniel, Social Networks and Archival Context Project (PDF), University of Virginia, p. 1, retrieved 10 January 2019.
  6. Howard, Jennifer (May 13, 2012). "Projects Aims to Build Online Hub for Archival Materials". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
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