SNAC is demonstrating the feasibility of separating the description of persons, families, and organizations—including their socio-historical contexts—from the description of the historical resources that are the primary evidence of their lives and work. A key objective is to provide researchers with convenient, integrated access to historical collections held by multiple private and public archives and libraries around the world while also setting the stage for a cooperative program for maintaining information about the people documented in the collections.
SNAC is laying the groundwork for a sustainable international cooperative program for archival description, hosted by the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The Cooperative will enable archivists, librarians, and scholars to jointly maintain information about the people documented in archival collections. It will also improve the economy and quality of archival processing and description, and address the challenge of discovering, locating, and using distributed historical records.