Standards for Archival Description: A Handbook
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Foreword / Lawrence Dowler

Preface / Victoria Irons Walch


Scope of Coverage
Archival Participation in the Development of Standards
An Overview of Standards: The WGSAD Matrix
Organization of the Handbook
Contents of Chapters and Entries
Obtaining Copies of the Standards
Coping with Acronyms

Chapter 1: Evolution of Standards for Description in the United States

Data Elements Used in Archives, Manuscripts, and Records Repository Information Systems: A Dictionary of Standard Terminology (NISTF Data Elements Dictionary)

Also of Interest

Chapter 2: Automated Systems and Network Specifications

ISO 7498-1:1984. Information processing systems--Open Systems Interconnection--Basic reference model (OSI)

ANSI/NISO Z39.50-1992. Information Retrieval Service Definition and Protocol Specification for Library Applications

ANSI X3.138-1988. Information Systems--Information Resource Dictionary System (IRDS)

ANSI/NISO Z39.58-1992. Common Command Language for On-line Interactive Information Retrieval

Also of Interest

Chapter 3: Information Interchange Formats (Data Structure Standards)

ISO 2709:1981. Documentation--Format for bibliographic information interchange on magnetic tape

ANSI Z39.2-1985. Bibliographic Information Interchange

USMARC Format for Bibliographic Data: Including Guidelines for Content Designation (UFBD)

USMARC Format for Archival and Manuscripts Control (USMARC AMC)

USMARC Format for Visual Materials (USMARC VM)

USMARC Format for Authority Data: Including Guidelines for Content Designation

USMARC Format for Holdings Data: Including Guidelines for Content Designation

USMARC Specifications for Record Structure, Character Sets, Tapes

Also of Interest

Chapter 4: Cataloging Rules (Data Content Standards)

Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd ed. (AACR 2)

Archives, Personal Papers, and Manuscripts: A Cataloging Manual for Archival Repositories, Historical Societies, and Manuscript Libraries (APPM)

Graphic Materials: Rules for Describing Original Items and Historical Collections (GIHC)

Archival Moving Image Materials: A Cataloging Manual (AMIM)

Library of Congress Rule Interpretations (LCRI)

Also of Interest

Chapter 5: Finding Aids and Other Descriptive Formats (Non-Cataloging Structure and Content Standards)

Inventories and Registers: A Handbook of Techniques and Examples

The Preparation of Inventories

Guidelines for the Preparation of General Guides to National Archives: A RAMP Study

ANSI Z39.14-1979 (R1987). Writing Abstracts

ANSI Z39.10-1971 (R1977). Directories of Libraries and Information Centers

ISO 8879:1986. Information processing--Text and office systems--Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML)

ANSI X12 suite. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

Also of Interest

Chapter 6: Authority Control

Thesaurus Construction And Use

ANSI Z39.19-1980. Guidelines for Thesaurus Structure, Construction, and Use

ISO 2788:1986. Documentation--Guidelines for the establishment and development of monolingual thesauri

ISO 5964:1985. Documentation--Guidelines for the establishment and development of multilingual thesauri

ISO 5963:1985. Documentation--Methods for examining documents, determining their subjects and selecting indexing terms

Actual Thesauri and Authorities


Library of Congress Name Authority File (LCNA)


Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)

Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)

Art and Architecture Thesaurus (AAT)

Library of Congress Thesaurus for Graphic Materials: Topical Terms for Subject Access (LCTGM)


Form Terms for Archival and Manuscript Control (FTAMC)

Genre Terms: A Thesaurus for Use in Rare Book and Special Collections Cataloguing

Descriptive Terms for Graphic Materials: Genre and Physical Characteristic Headings (GMGPC)

Moving Image Materials: Genre Terms (MIM)


Binding Terms: A Thesaurus for Use in Rare Book and Special Collections Cataloguing

Paper Terms: A Thesaurus for Use in Rare Book and Special Collections Cataloguing

Provenance Evidence: A Thesaurus for Use in Rare Book and Special Collections Cataloguing


Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT)

Relator Terms for Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Libraries

USMARC Relator Codes

Thesaurus of University Terms (TUT)

Also of Interest

Chapter 7: Codes


ANSI X3.30-1985. Representation for Calendar Date and Ordinal Date for Information Interchange

ANSI X3.43-1986. Representation of Local Time of the Day for Information Interchange

ISO 8601:1988. Data elements and interchange formats--Information interchange--Representation of dates and times


ANSI/NISO/ISO 3166:1988. Codes for the representation of names of countries

USMARC Code List for Countries

USMARC Code List for Geographic Areas


ANSI Z39.53-1987. Codes for the Representation of Languages for Information Interchange

USMARC Code List for Languages

ISO 639:1988. Code for the representation of names of languages


ANSI X3.4-1986. American National Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII)

ANSI Z39.47-1985. Extended Latin Alphabet Coded Character Set for Bibliographic Use (ANSEL)

ANSI/NISO Z39.64-1989. East Asian Character Code for Bibliographic Use (EACC)

USMARC Character Set for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean


Symbols of American Libraries (NUC Codes)

USMARC Code List for Relators, Sources, Description Conventions

Also of Interest

Chapter 8: Romanization

Chapter 9: Editing And Publishing


The Chicago Manual of Style

Government Printing Office Style Manual


ANSI/NISO Z39.59-1988. Electronic Manuscript Preparation and Markup


ANSI/NISO Z39.21-1988. Book Numbering

ANSI/NISO Z39.9-1992. International Standard Serial Numbering (ISSN)

ANSI/NISO Z39.41-1990. Printed Information on Spines

ANSI Z39.15-1980. Title Leaves of a Book

ANSI/NISO Z39.22-1989. Proof Corrections

ANSI Z39.4-1984. Basic Criteria for Indexes

Also of Interest

Chapter 10: Labeling And Filing

ALA Filing Rules

Library of Congress Filing Rules

ARMA Filing Procedures Guideline

ANSI/ARMA International 1-1990. ARMA Alphabetic Filing Rules

ARMA Numeric Filing Guideline

ARMA Subject Filing Guideline

ANSI Z39.32-1981. Information on Microfiche Headings

ANSI/AIIM MS19-1987. Recommended Practice for Identification of Microforms

Also of Interest

Chapter 11: Statistics

Program Reporting Guidelines for Government Records Programs

ANSI Z39.7-1983. Library Statistics

Also of Interest

Chapter 12: Glossaries

A Glossary for Archivists, Manuscript Curators, and Records Managers

Dictionary of Archival Terminology: English and French with Equivalents in Dutch, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish (DAT II)

Glossary of Basic Archival and Library Conservation Terms: English with Equivalents in Spanish, German, Italian, French, and Russian

Also of Interest

Chapter 13: International Efforts Toward Descriptive Standards

ICA Statement of Principles Regarding Archival Description

ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description

Rules for Archival Description (RAD)

Manual of Archival Description (MAD2)

Also of Interest

Appendix A: Developers, Publishers, And Distributors of Standards

Appendix B: Relationships Among Standards

Table B-1, U.S. National Standards and Their International Equivalents

Table B-2, Standards With Implementations

Table B-3, Library Standards Adapted to Archival Practice

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Standards for Archival Description: A Handbook
© 1994 Society of American Archivists. All Rights Reserved.