In 1996, a new data structure standard was released that changed the way archival records are presented on the internet forever. This standard, Encoded Archival Description (EAD), has been polarizing archivists ever since – many love it, many hate it, and many simply have trouble understanding how to implement it. This brief paper will seek to discuss the origins of EAD and to determine what it is that makes EAD so divisive even twenty years after its development and seventeen years after its official release.