May 19, 2022

Archivist of United States Provides Updated on NARA’s Involvement in SNAC (Social Networks and Archival Context) Project

First, Some Background (if Required): What is SNAC?

SNAC is a free, online resource that helps users discover biographical and historical information about persons, families, and organizations that created or are documented in historical resources (primary source documents) and their connections to one another. Users can locate archival collections and related resources held at cultural heritage institutions around the world.
SNAC is an international cooperative including, but not limited to, archives, libraries, and museums, that is working to build a corpus of reliable descriptions of people, families, and organizations that link to and provide a contextual understanding of historical records.
SNAC gathers biographical and historical descriptions found in the historical resources (primary source documents) of cultural heritage institutions. Member institutions maintain the resource by continually adding and editing records according to the SNAC Cooperative Ethos.

Now, to an Update David Ferriero’s AOTUS Blog:

As SNAC (Social Networks and Archival Context) looks toward the end of its Phase II development, NARA’s External Agency Liaisons to SNAC, Jerry Simmons and Dina Herbert, continue to lead and collaborate in the full spectrum of cooperative activities including outreach and communication, collaborative projects outside NARA, cooperative management with the SNAC Operations Team, technical developments for the ever-evolving SNAC editing interface, and administration of the SNACSchool training program, which is the Team’s predominant task.

Source: NARA

As we continue outreach in the archives, library and museum community, we are excited by stories from professional researchers who are using SNAC in their day-to-day work. In December 2018, we learned that a team of research specialists working specifically in repatriation at the National Museum of the American Indian were using SNAC as part of their “reference tool kit”, especially exploiting SNAC’s linking features for better overall understanding of artifact provenance. One such search discovered former custodians of the solid gold Echenique Disc. Evidence discovered in SNAC revealed a connection to dealers and collectors of Native American artifacts who were active in Germany during World War II.

Learn More, Read the Complete Blog Post

Direct to SNAC

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.