General International Standard for Archival Description

n. (ISAD(G), abbr.)A standard published by the International Council on Archives that establishes general rules for the description of archival materials, regardless of format, to promote consistent and sufficient descriptions, and to facilitate exchange and integration of those descriptions.


ISAD(G) was first published in 1994 and revised in 1999.


ISAD(G) 2000, p. 7 I.5 This set of general rules for archival description is part of a process that will a. ensure the creation of consistent, appropriate, and self explanatory descriptions; b. facilitate the retrieval and exchange of information about archival material; c. enable the sharing of authority data; and d. make possible the integration of descriptions from different locations into a unified information system. ΒΆ I.6 The rules accomplish these purposes by identifying and defining twenty-six (26) elements that may be combined to constitute the description of an archival entity. The structure and content of the information in each of these elements should be formulated in accordance with applicable national rules. As general rules, these are intended to be broadly applicable to descriptions of archives regardless of the nature or extent of the unit of description. However, the standard does not define output formats, or the ways in which these elements are presented, for example, in inventories, catalogues, lists, etc.