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TO: Elaine Engst, Chair, SAA Standards Committee
FROM: William Landis, Chair, SAA Technical Subcommittee on Descriptive Standards (TSDS)
DATE: 10 June 1999
RE: 1998/1999 TSDS Annual Report

The Technical Subcommittee on Descriptive Standards (TSDS) has had an active first year of existence. TSDS responded to requests to review and provide comment on several descriptive standards-related documents and intiatives, in addition to facing challenges involved with getting the subcommittee organized and figuring out how to operate in the post-TFOE committee structure within SAA.

The number of requests to review and comment on descriptive standards initiatives from around the world seems to be increasing. Many are perhaps not directly related to the area of archival description. However, as more and more information professionals grapple with metadata issues involved in providing World Wide Web-based access to information resources, it seems like archivists in general and SAA in particular will need to be prepared to comment on initiatives that may seem farther and farther afield from archival description.

Because I think that TSDS members need to plan for effective ways of accomplishing subcommittee business virtually during the year, I plan to devote a portion of our meeting time at the SAA Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh to a discussion about process. Specifically, I think we need time, with current subcommittee members and those who will be rotating on following the 1999 Annual Meeting, to discuss a process that will accomplish the following:

Any thoughts or comments that you or other members of the Standards Committee have regarding these process-related issues would certainly be welcomed, as would the participation in the discussion in Pittsburgh of anyone who is interested.

The following is a brief summary of the activities in which TSDS members participated during the period since the 1998 SAA Annual Meeting.

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