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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]

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


  1. ^ Bromley, Anne (November 8, 2017). "Digital Social Network Linking the Living and the Dead Expands". UVA Today. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  2. ^ Ferriero, David (August 18, 2015). "Introducing SNAC". National Archives - AOTUS blog. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
  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. ^ a b 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.
  7. ^ Bromley, Anne (October 2, 2018). "UVA Library to Enhance National Digital Archive of African-American Leaders". UVA Today. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  8. ^ Pitti, Daniel; Hu, Rachael; Larson, Ray; Tingle, Brian; Turner, Adrian (2015-04-03). "Social Networks and Archival Context: From Project to Cooperative Archival Program". Journal of Archival Organization. 12 (1–2): 77–97. doi:10.1080/15332748.2015.999544. ISSN 1533-2748.
  9. ^ "Social Networks and Archival Context". Retrieved 2019-04-15.

External links