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SNAC Featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education

April 25, 2012 | By Adriana Cutler

Maybe you have been hesitant to make the switch to Facebook's Timeline interface.  If so, you are lagging behind people such as George Washington, Susan B. Anthony, Walt Whitman, and Ella Fitzgerald.

Through the Social Networks and Archival Context Project (SNAC), a joint project of the University of Virginia Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, University of California Berkeley School of Information, and the Californai Digital Library, researchers will be able to find where they can view the letters, manuscripts, and other documents of important historical figures.  To learn more about what makes SNAC, afectionately known as 'Facebook for the Dead' by its creators, a unique and comprehensive way to conduct ressearch read the feature article in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The success of SNAC as a prototype for improving the effectiveness of archival description by providing a contextual framework for biographical information has led to an initiative called Buidling a National Archival Authorities Initiative.  The first in a series of meetings and workshops will take place at the the National Archives in Washington, D.C. on May 21 and 22; NEH staff will be in attendance.

To browse the SNAC prototype visit

The project mentioned in this article has been awarded through the NEH Division of Preservation and Access's Research and Development grant program: PR-50080-10.