SNAC was established in 2010, with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), 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. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded the second phase of the project from 2012 to 2014.
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.
SNAC is used alongside other digital archives to connect related historical records.
SNAC is an ongoing research project that focuses on obtaining data from both national and international archives, libraries, and museums, so the biographical history of individuals, families, and institutions are available in one record as opposed to the data being spread throughout different associations. With a network of various organizations sharing data sources, the SNAC team expands the amount of information available on a subject thereby lessen the task of searching through various memory institutions to locate the knowledge you seek.
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. Data extracted from records descriptions help to build families, persons, and institutions biographical history aiding in search of such material. By the SNAC team using the descriptions records, they analyze them to draw connection between fellow files with similar data. Through the gathering process, the SNAC collaborators developed a way to pull all the available data related to the entity and transformed the contents into EAC-CPF (Encoded Archival Context-Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families) records. 
With the success of the project, SNAC established an international cooperative where researchers, librarians, archivists, and non-scholars can both contribute and monitor the information submitted to the entity biographic history.
As the project enters into the second phase, the expansion of the data sources is increases the need for additional contributors will grow, which 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.
In 2010 the Encoded Archival Context-Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families (EAC-CPF) was introduced allowing those in the archival field to have a universal standard to follow. Use of the new schema permitted record descriptions found in Encoded Archival Description (EAD) finding aids to be extracted and converted into EAC-CPF files. After an EAC-CPF record is created it’s compared against fellow files as way to locate a match and merged the two together to make a cohesive description file. 
Aside from utilizing EAD finding aids, bibliographic catalogs like Machine-Readable Cataloging (MARC) and (MARC21) are used to integrate additional data into the EAC-CPF records, increasing the information available on historical people, families, and corporations. To assure the correct data is linked to the proper subject, the SNAC developers use Virtual International Authority File (VIAF), Library of Congress Name Authority File (LCNAF), and Union List of Artist Names (ULAN) to only cross-reference names but incorporate additional record descriptions to ensure the data is coupled with the correct entity. 
With sourcing data from both national and international institutions, it increases the amount of information linked to the subject. Since various organizations contribute to the project, it helps researchers, librarians, and archivists reduce the amount of time spent searching through all available resources linked to a subject.
- Archival Resource Key (ARK)
- Bromley, Anne (November 8, 2017). “Digital Social Network Linking the Living and the Dead Expands”. UVA Today. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
- Ferriero, David (August 18, 2015). “Introducing SNAC”. National Archives – AOTUS blog. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
- “SNAC: Social Networks and Archival Context”. socialarchive.iath.virginia.edu. Archived from the original on 2016-06-19. Retrieved 2017-05-08.
- 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.
- Pitti, Daniel, Social Networks and Archival Context Project (PDF), University of Virginia, p. 1, retrieved 10 January 2019.
- Howard, Jennifer (May 13, 2012). “Projects Aims to Build Online Hub for Archival Materials”. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
- Bromley, Anne (October 2, 2018). “UVA Library to Enhance National Digital Archive of African-American Leaders”. UVA Today. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
- 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.
- Crowe, Katherine; Clair, Kevin (2015-10-02). “Developing a Tool for Publishing Linked Local Authority Data”. Journal of Library Metadata. 15 (3–4): 227–240. doi:10.1080/19386389.2015.1099993. ISSN 1938-6389.
- “About SNAC | SNAC Cooperative”. portal.snaccooperative.org. Retrieved 2019-04-23.
- Pitti, Daniel (Retrieved 21 April 2019). “Social Networks and Archival Context Project (Archival Authority Control)” (PDF). Check date values in:
- Pitti, Daniel; Larson, Ray; Janakiraman, Krishna; Tingle, Brian (Retrieved 21 April 2019). “The Social Networks and Archival Context Project”. Check date values in:
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