CHICAGO--Daniel Pitti, of the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, was named a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists on Aug. 6, 2004, during SAA's 68 th Annual Meeting in Boston. Established in 1957 and conferred annually, the distinction of Fellow is the highest honor bestowed on individuals by SAA and is awarded for outstanding contributions to the archival profession. Pitti joins 148 current members honored as Fellows out of a membership of more than 3,900.
While at the University of California, Berkeley Pitti started the Berkeley Finding Aid Project in 1993 as a platform to explore the application of markup technologies to archival description. Through Pitti's brilliant conception and collaboration with leading archival descriptive experts the project evolved into a tool known as Encoded Archival Description (EAD), now widely recognized as the international standard for providing access to archives and manuscripts via the Internet.
As one nominator noted: "The road to becoming a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists has many forks. Some attain it through long and outstanding work in the archival trenches and in professional service. Others arrive through scholarly achievement and intellectual accomplishment by adding to and stretching the theoretical boundaries of what used to be called 'archival economy.' And then there are those few who erupt upon the scene like some cosmic event, who so dramatically change the very landscape of what we do, how we do it, and, indeed, even who we are. Daniel Pitti is such a person."
Pitti has been tireless in his efforts to promulgate EAD by conducting workshops and seminars and giving talks and presentations in countless national and international forums. As one of his supporters noted, "...acceptance of EAD did [not] fall from the skies like manna. It required a lot of explaining, educating, exhorting, and just plain politicking to convey its merits....the international acceptance of EAD is due in good measure to Daniel's work as promoter, teacher, writer, and all-around evangelist." He has helped to elevate the archives profession into a position as a leader in information technology.
As another supporter pointed out: "EAD is significant not only for enhancing archival description and increasing access to primary sources.