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"Building a National Finding Aid Network" (NAFAN) is a 2.5-year research and demonstration project (September 2020 to February 2023), rooted in the goal of providing inclusive, comprehensive, and persistent access to descriptions of archival collections or "finding aids." We believe we can more sustainably manage and provide access to these materials by developing a large-scale, national finding aid network that is community-driven, -sustained, and -governed.

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titleInformation session: Thursday, October 6, 2022

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This information session provides an early review of some of the key project deliverables, including:

  • Findings regarding: 1) the distinct needs of researchers and cultural heritage institutions in relation to finding aid aggregation, as identified by OCLC Research, and 2) How a national-level finding aid network might offer services, support, and advocacy to community-based archives, surfaced in a two-day workshop hosted by Shift Collective in December 2021, “Increasing National Discovery of Archives,”
  • A data dashboard providing a summary of EAD finding aid data and usage patterns, represented within US-based regional/state finding aid aggregations as of November 2020-January 2021.
  • A high-level functional and design model envisioned for a national-level finding aid network.

Presentation slides


This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, through grant LG-246349-OLS-20. The IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. To learn more, visit