International Standard Archival Description (General) or ISAD (G) is an international standard which  provides guidelines for creating the content of an archival description.

It promotes the creation of consistent and appropriate descriptions, aiding the retrieval and exchange of information, and the integration of descriptions into a unified information system.

ISAD (G) sets out a list of elements which are considered necessary for an archival description, and rules that should be followed when writing a description.  ISAD (G) identifies and describes what kind of information should be included in an archival description and whether this description is in written, printed, or electronic form.

ISAD (G) and the Hub description

The Archives Hub stores all its archival descriptions in Encoded Archival Description. (EAD), and EAD is closely modelled on ISAD (G). This means that if you are creating EAD descriptions to go on the Hub, you are using ISAD (G).

If you choose to use the Archives Hub’s EAD Editor, you will see that each field is labelled and numbered according to ISAD (G). 

Which ISAD (G) fields are mandatory in Hub descriptions?

ISAD (G) has six mandatory fields.

  • 3.1.1 Reference code
  • 3.1.3 Title
  • 3.2.1 Name of Creator
  • 3.1.3 Dates of Creation
  • 3.1.5 Extent of the Unit of Description
  • 3.1.4 Level of description

The Archives Hub also asks for two additional ISAD (G) fields which provide essential information for any researchers wishing to view the archival material that is being described. 

  • 3.4.1 Conditions Governing Access
  • 3.4.3 Language of Material


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