NAFAN news

OCLC has published its research findings from the Building a National Finding Aid Network Project (NAFAN)

OCLC led research for  Building a National Finding Aid Network, an IMLS-supported research and demonstration project rooted in the goal of providing inclusive, comprehensive, and persistent access to finding aids by laying the foundation for a national finding aid network available to all contributors and researchers. The project has been coordinated by the California Digital Library (CDL), in collaboration with OCLC, the University of Virginia Library, Shift Collective, and Chain Bridge Group, and in partnership with statewide/regional finding aid aggregators and LYRASIS (ArchivesSpace) as a technical consulting partner.   

OCLC has published five reports on its findings from the NAFAN research:  

  • Summary of Research—Synthesizes findings from across all research activities on the NAFAN project
  • Pop-up Survey—Summarizes results from a national survey of online archive users on their search behavior, information needs, and demographic characteristics
  • User Interviews—Details findings from interviews with archival aggregation end users on their information needs and information-seeking behavior 
  • Focus Group Interviews—Shares outcomes from focus group discussions with archivists to examine their needs for describing collections and contributing description to an archival aggregation 
  • EAD Analysis—Analyzes EAD data as raw material for building a finding aid aggregation by looking for common data structures present and probing for gaps that could impede user discovery  

This research will inform next steps for the NAFAN project and offers a wealth of information on archival user behavior and needs, and the current state of archival description workflows and data. 

Find the reports at