Residential Schools. School boys. These children live too far away to go home in the summer. Aklavik, c. 1941 - Saich - NWT Archives, N-1990-003:0223

CCA - Canadian Archival Accession Information Standard (CAAIS)


 

Canadian Archival Accession Information Standard

Final version 1.0 / May 2019

Produced by the CCA’s National Archival Accession Standard Working Group

For your convenience, a downloadable PDF is also available here.

 


 

Table of Contents

I. Introduction

Accessioning

Development of a Standard

Scope and Application

Intended Audience

Organization

Acknowledgments
 

II. Summary of Information Elements
 

III. Information Elements of Accession Records

1. Identity Information Section

1.1 Repository

1.2 Identifiers

1.2.1 Identifier Type

1.2.2 Identifier Value

1.2.3 Identifier Note

1.3 Accession Title

1.4 Archival Unit

1.5 Acquisition Method

1.6 Disposition Authority

1.7 Status

2. Source Information Section

2.1 Source of Material

2.1.1 Source Type

2.1.2 Source Name

2.1.3 Source Contact Information

2.1.4 Source Role

2.1.5 Source Note

2.1.6 Source Confidentiality

2.2 Preliminary Custodial History

3. Materials Information Section

3.1 Date of Material

3.2 Extent Statement

3.2.1 Extent Type

3.2.2 Quantity and Unit of Measure

3.2.3 Content Type

3.2.4 Carrier Type

3.2.5 Extent Note

3.3 Preliminary Scope and Content

3.4 Language of Material

4. Management Information Section

4.1 Storage Location

4.2 Rights

4.2.1 Rights Type

4.2.2 Rights Value

4.2.3 Rights Note

4.3 Preservation Requirements

4.3.1 Preservation Requirement Type

4.3.2 Preservation Requirement Value

4.3.3 Preservation Requirement Note

4.4 Appraisal

4.4.1 Appraisal Type

4.4.2 Appraisal Value

4.4.3 Appraisal Note

4.5 Associated Documentation

4.5.1 Associated Documentation Type

4.5.2 Associated Documentation Title

4.5.3 Associated Documentation Note

5. Event Information Section

5.1 Events

5.1.1 Event Type

5.1.2 Event Date

5.1.3 Event Agent

5.1.4 Event Note

6. General Information Section

6.1 General Note

7. Control Information Section

7.2 Date of Creation or Revision

7.2.1 Creation or Revision Type

7.2.2 Creation or Revision Date

7.2.3 Creation or Revision Agent

7.2.4 Creation or Revision Note

7.3 Language of Accession Record
 

IV. Glossary

Appendix A.  Survey Overview, Themes, and Future Development

Survey response

Accessioning as an event vs on-going process

Mandatory vs optional elements

Repeating elements

Preliminary nature of the information

Status element

Confidential information

Indigenous records

Digital records

Comparison of Elements: Changes from Consultation Draft to CAAIS 1.0

Appendix B.  Sample Accession Form (Minimal)

Appendix C.  National Archival Accession Standard Working Group Members

 

 


 

I. Introduction

Accessioning

An accession commonly means an "action or an act of joining something to something else; addition; augmentation" (Oxford English Dictionary). Archival accessioning is the physical and legal addition of predominantly unpublished documentary material to an archival repository’s holdings. It follows an archival appraisal decision identifying the records as having enduring value in relation to the acquisition mandate and policies of the repository. An accession added to an existing archival fonds, collection or series is called an accrual or, more rarely, an accretion. As nouns, contemporary archival literature makes little distinction between accession and acquisition. Both terms refer to a discrete aggregation of documentary material entering the archival repository in a coordinated act.

 

An accession record captures information relating to key points in the accession process, making explicit the nature of acquired archival material, its source or provenance, and events related to how that material was transferred to and handled by an institution.

 

Policies, practices, and workflows relating to accessioning vary widely across archival institutions. The goal of the National Archival Accession Standard Working Group was to arrive at a consensus on a common set of metadata elements that would capture the essential information, while acknowledging and accommodating the variety of practice. The Canadian Archival Accessioning Information Standard (CAAIS) is the outcome of this effort.

Development of a Standard

The idea of developing a standard for accessioning information began with informal discussions among Canadian archivists at the Association of Canadian Archivists (ACA) annual conference in Winnipeg in 2013. This led to the establishment of a Working Group later in that year.

 

A key motivation for the initiative was the feeling that lack of standards for accessioning was hindering the archives community in several respects. For software development, there was no consensus on metadata standards to guide the articulation of functional requirements; each institution was left to work this out for itself. Archivists were also feeling the strain of trying to adapt their existing paper-based practices and workflows to the digital materials they increasingly received. Finally, the prospect of sharing and making publicly available at least some of their accessions’ information held some promise for communicating holdings, supporting institutional collaboration, and promoting access. Developing a common information framework for accessioning would thus provide benefits across a range of activities and institutions.

 

By the fall of 2017 the Working Group had produced a first consultation draft for circulation and comment, with an accompanying survey to gather feedback. The present document finalizes the standard as CAAIS 1.0; several changes have been made, though these are relatively minor and are discussed in Appendix A, along with survey results. The responses were generally favourable, but the consultation did turn up a number of interesting and substantive issues that would involve considerable work to resolve. In the face of time constraints, members' commitments, and membership attrition, the Working Group decided it would be best to release the standard with minimal changes, while recognizing certain limitations and noting certain issues for future work.

Scope and Application

This standard provides a set of information elements for documenting the accessioning process in an archival repository. Archives typically accession aggregates of records, rather than single items, though single item accessions can also be accommodated by this standard. Variation in institutional practice became apparent early in the development of this standard. CAAIS, therefore, does not aim to provide a one-size-fits-all model workflow for accessioning. Rather, it offers a set of metadata elements that any institution should be able to use within their own workflow procedures. The standard also accommodates any updates to existing accession records after other related processes have occurred (e.g. processing completed; removal/deaccessioning completed).

While accession records are not ordinarily intended for discovery purposes, some information elements are usable for that purpose and some may be directly carried over or reused in a descriptive record. Further, as accession records are typically linked to descriptive records, in some contexts accession records may function as de facto descriptive records and made available for public use (e.g. due to delays in completing arrangement and description processes).

Intended Audience

The primary intended audience of this standard is archivists and other archives personnel who are responsible for managing the receipt of transfers of material to archival repositories, in particular those who complete an accessioning process that results in an accession record being created. Archives personnel who may not be directly responsible for accessioning but who are responsible for connected processes (e.g. arrangement and description, preservation, or removal of holdings) would also benefit from a familiarity with the standard and the process it documents.

 

Another audience of this standard is information technology professionals who are involved in designing or maintaining archival collections management software applications.

Organization

This standard consists of information elements that comprise an accession record, organized into seven different sections.

 

Information Identity
Section

Information uniquely identifying the repository and the accession record itself. Also includes identifying information about the method of transfer; the legal means by which the material was transferred to the repository; and information about related material already within the repository's holdings, when applicable.

Source Information Section

Information about the corporate bodies, persons or families that created, held custody, or transferred the material to the repository. Repeating source information statements supports a fulsome custodial history.

Materials Information Section

Date, language, and extent information about the materials accessioned, as well as a preliminary description of its scope and content. Extent information differentiates between quantity and type of units, as well as storage requirements. Extent received is specifically noted, as it may differ from the extent eventually retained.

Management Information Section

Storage location, rights and permissions information, preservation requirements, information about appraisals (for archival value, for monetary value), and associated documentation that contextualizes or enables discovery of the accessioned material.

Event Information Section

Information about actions taken by repository staff as part of the accessioning process.

General Information Section

General note(s) in order to capture any other relevant information that is not accommodated by other elements in the standard.

Control Information Section

Information on the creation of the accession record and any modifications to the record over time.

Fig. 1. Information sections in CAAIS

 

 

In some cases, an information element functions as a “container” that groups a set of related sub-elements. In such cases, information need not be recorded at the level of container; rather, information is recorded only for each of the sub-elements within the container.

 

     

INFORMATION SECTION

     
 

Element

 
     
 

Element

 

   

     
   

Element (container)

   
   

Sub-element

   
         
   

Sub-element

   
         
   

Fig. 2. Organization of an Information section in CAAIS

 

Where an element is a container, its sub-elements are identified. No information need be recorded at the level of container; rather, information would be recorded only for each of the sub-elements within that container. To illustrate:

 

2.1 Source of Material

--

2.1.1 Source Type

Person

2.1.2 Source Name

Sally Smith

2.1.3 Source Contact Information

123 Apple Lane, Toronto ON

2.1.4 Source Role

Creator

2.1.5 Source Note

Ms. Smith also retains a summer residence at 456 Pear St., Victoria, BC

2.1.6 Source Confidentiality

Not for public information

Fig. 3. Example of “container” element with sub-elements

 

Not all institutions will require the level of granularity represented by the sub-elements and may even choose to simply use the container field alone without its sub-elements. Institutions may decide this for themselves with respect to any given element. They should be aware, however, that unstructured data can pose problems for future re-use, for example when migrating their accession records to new systems, sharing accession information with other institutions, or seeking to link accession information to other publicly available data.

 

Each element is described in a consistent presentation with the following types of information:

 

Definition

A concise statement explaining what the element or sub-element is about.

Purpose

A statement describing the reason(s) why the element is important, and what it supports or helps achieve.

Sub-elements do not contain purpose statements, as their specific purpose would be a part of the broader purpose that was stated at the container element level.

Sub-elements

When applicable, a list of the names of sub-elements that comprise a cluster when used together. Present only for those elements that are containers as explained previously.

Obligation

An indication of whether the element must be recorded ("mandatory") or whether it is optional. Six elements are declared mandatory. For further discussion of mandatory vs optional elements, see Appendix A below.

Repeatable

An indication of whether the element or element cluster (in the case of a container element with sub-elements) can occur more than once in an accession record. The value recorded here is either “Yes” or “No”; most elements are repeatable.

Implementation Guidelines

Information intended to provide guidance or instruction with respect to use and implementation.

Examples

Examples of the element or sub-element values. In the case of a container element, examples are only provided in relation to its sub-elements, as information would only be recorded at that level.

Where the Implementation Guidelines recommend using a controlled vocabulary, the examples provided can be used as the basis of this list.

Fig. 4. Type of information recorded for each element or sub-element description.

 

Acknowledgments

The National Archival Accession Standard Working Group (NAASWG) would like to express its immense gratitude for the support of the following organizations, without whom completing this standard would not have been possible:

  • Canadian Council of Archives
  • InterPARES Trust
  • Working Group member institutions (in alphabetical order):
    Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec; Dalhousie University; Library and Archives Canada; National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, University of Manitoba; Queen's University; Royal BC Museum and Archives; BC Government Records Service; Simon Fraser University; and York University.

Thanks also to professional colleagues who provided and samples of in-house accession policies and helpful feedback during the development of this standard.

 

II. Summary of Information Elements

The following table presents the information elements of the standard in summary form. The element name links to the full element description in Part III.

 

Element name

Obligation

Repeatable

Definition

1. Identity Information Section

1.1 Repository

Optional

No

The name of the institution that accepts legal responsibility for the accessioned material.

1.2 Identifiers

1.2.1 Identifier Type

1.2.2 Identifier Value

1.2.3 Identifier Note

Mandatory:
at least 1 identifier

Yes

Alphabetic, numeric, or alpha-numeric codes assigned to accessioned material for purposes of identification.

1.3 Accession Title

Optional

No

The name assigned to the material.

1.4 Archival Unit

Optional

Yes

The archival unit or the aggregate to which the accessioned material belongs.

1.5 Acquisition Method

Optional

No

The process by which a repository acquires material.

1.6 Disposition Authority

Optional

Yes

A reference to policies, directives, and agreements that prescribe and allow for the transfer of material to a repository.

1.7 Status

Optional

No

The current position of the material in relation to the repository's workflows and business processes.

 

 

Element name

Obligation

Repeatable

Definition

2. Source Information Section

2.1 Source of material

2.1.1 Source Type

2.1.2 Source Name

2.1.3 Source Contact

Information

2.1.4 Source Role

2.1.5 Source Note

2.1.6 Source

Confidentiality

Mandatory:
at least 1 entry for the creator of the material

Yes

A corporate body, person, or family responsible for the creation, use or transfer of the accessioned material.

2.2 Preliminary Custodial
History

Optional

Yes

Information about the chain of agents, in addition to the creator(s), that have exercised custody or control over the material at all stages in its existence.

 
 
 

Element name

Obligation

Repeatable

Definition

3. Materials Information Section

3.1 Date of Materials

Mandatory

No

A date or date range indicating when the materials were known or thought to have been created.

3.2 Extent Statement

      3.2.1 Extent Type
      3.2.2 Quantity and Unit

of Measure

      3.2.3 Content Type

      3.2.4 Carrier Type

      3.2.5 Extent Note

Mandatory:
at least 1 extent statement for extent received

Yes

The physical or logical quantity and type of material.

3.3 Preliminary Scope and Content    

Optional

Yes

A preliminary description of the functions and activities that generated the accessioned material as well as information about its arrangement (organizational structure or relationships) and documentary forms.

3.4 Language of Material

Optional

Yes

The language(s) and script(s) represented in the accessioned materials.

 
 
 
 

Element name

Obligation

Repeatable

Definition

4. Management Information Section

4.1 Storage Location

Optional

Yes

The physical or logical location where the material resides.

4.2 Rights

4.2.1 Rights Type

4.2.2 Rights Value

4.2.3 Rights Note

Optional

Yes

The assertion of one or more rights pertaining to the material.

4.3 Preservation
  Requirements

4.3.1 Preservation
Requirements Type

4.3.2 Preservation
Requirement Value

4.3.3 Preservation
Requirement Note

Optional

Yes

Information about physical condition and/or logical dependencies that need to be addressed by the repository to ensure the long-term preservation of the materials.

4.4 Appraisal

4.4.1 Appraisal Type

4.4.2 Appraisal Value

4.4.3 Appraisal Note

Optional

Yes

Information about the assessment of value of the materials accessioned.

4.5 Associated  
  Documentation

4.5.1 Associated
Documentation Type

4.5.2 Associated
Documentation Title

4.5.3 Associated
Documentation Note

Optional

Yes

A reference to any documentation related to the material in the accession.

 
 
 

Element name

Obligation

Repeatable

Definition

5. Event Information Section

5.1 Events

5.1.1 Event Type

5.1.2 Event Date

5.1.3 Event Agent

5.1.4 Event Note

Mandatory:
at least date physical custody was transferred and (if different) date legal control was transferred

Yes

The actions taken by repository staff throughout the accession process.

 

 

Element name

Obligation

Repeatable

Definition

6. General Information Section

6.1 General Note

Optional

Yes

Additional information relating to the accession process or material that is not otherwise captured.

 

 

Element name

Obligation

Repeatable

Definition

7. Control Information Section

7.1 Rules or Conventions

Optional

No

The rules, conventions, or templates that were used in creating or maintaining the accession record.

7.2 Date of Creation or
  Revision

7.2.1 Creation or
Revision Type

7.2.2 Creation or
Revision Date

7.2.3 Creation or
Revision Agent

7.2.4 Creation or
Revision Note

Mandatory:
at least date accession record created

Yes

Date(s) on which the accession record was created or revised.

7.3 Language of Accession
  Record

Optional

No

The language(s) and script(s) used to record information in the accession record.

 

 

III. Information Elements of Accession Records

The following elements represent the information that may be recorded in an accession record.

1. Identity Information Section

This section contains elements that uniquely identify an accession.

 

1.1 Repository

Definition

The name of the institution that accepts legal responsibility for the accessioned material.

Purpose

To associate a repository with accessioned material.

To differentiate accession records originating from different institutions.

Obligation

Optional

Repeatable

No

Implementation Guidelines

Give the authorized form(s) of the name of the institution in accordance with the repository’s naming standard.

This element is primarily intended for use in multi-repository database environments in which different institutions contribute accession records.

Examples

Colchester Historeum

Beaton Institute Archives

Archives of Ontario

 

1.2 Identifiers

Definition

Alphabetic, numeric, or alpha-numeric codes assigned to accessioned material, parts of the material, or accruals for purposes of unique for purposes of identification.

Purpose

To uniquely and persistently identify the material.

To support the location and retrieval of the material.

To link all relevant information surrounding a transfer of material to a repository.

Sub-elements

1.2.1 Identifier Type

1.2.2 Identifier Value

1.2.3 Identifier Note

Obligation

Mandatory

Repeatable

Yes

Implementation Guidelines

Assign at least one identifier to the accession to uniquely identify it and distinguish it from other accessions; assign an identifier using a standardized system for generating numeric or alphanumeric codes.

Optionally, record any other identifiers that the material may have been assigned to the material pre-transfer or were generated in the course of related processes such as acquisition, transfer, ingest, and conservation.

 

1.2.1 Identifier Type

Definition

A term or phrase that characterizes the nature of the identifier.

Implementation Guidelines

Where accession activities generate or assign multiple unique identifiers, record the identifier type in accordance with a controlled vocabulary maintained by the repository.

Examples

Accession number

Conservation treatment number

Receipt number

Identifier from records system

Transfer UUID [Universally Unique Identifier]

Accession identifier assigned by transferring institution

 

1.2.2 Identifier Value

Definition

A code that is assigned to the material to support identification in the course of processes and activities such as acquisition, transfer, ingest, and conservation.

Implementation Guidelines

Where accession activities generate or assign unique identifiers, record the other identifier value as received or generated by the repository.

Examples

2015-45 (where Identifier Type is "Accession number")

A-2001/3 (where Identifier Type is "Accession number")

CA ON00345 1989-045 (where Identifier Type is "Accession number")

R902932 (where Identifier Type is "Temporary receipt number")

007235 (where Identifier Type is "Temporary receipt number")

R2484 (where Identifier Type is "Registration number")

970c7e88-470d-4393-a9f5-9280290e6c3d (where Identifier Type is "UUID")

 

1.2.3 Identifier Note

Definition

Additional information about the identifier, including contextual information on the purpose of the identifier.

Implementation Guidelines

Record any additional information that clarifies the purpose, use or generation of the identifier.

Examples

Receipt number generated by repository management software (where Identifier Type is "Temporary receipt number")

Registration number is auto-generated by Collection Management System (where Identifier Type is "Registration number")

 

1.3 Accession Title

Definition

The name assigned to the material.

Purpose

To identify the source and nature of the material.

Obligation

Optional

Repeatable

No

Implementation Guidelines

Supply an accession title in accordance with the repository’s descriptive standard, typically consisting of the creator’s name(s) and the type of material.

The accession title may be an interim title and may be subject to revision during processing.

Examples

Al Purdy fonds accrual

Effie Ellerbeck album

175th Anniversary Committee minutes

 

1.4 Archival Unit

Definition

The archival unit or the aggregate to which the accessioned material belongs.

Purpose

To identify the archival unit (e.g. fonds, series, file) to which the accessioned material belongs. This unit may be an aggregate of material already held by the repository.

To indicate whether accessioned material forms a new archival unit within a repository.

Obligation

Optional

Repeatable

Yes

Implementation Guidelines

Record the reference code and/or title of the archival unit to which the accession belongs.

Optionally, if the accessions maps to a particular lower (e.g. series), use repeating elements to record those reference codes.

Optionally, indicate whether the accessioned material is an accrual.

Examples

F-10 (showing reference code of associated fonds)

F-10-5 (showing reference code of associated lower level of description)

Wilson Duff fonds (showing title)

Accrual to the Correspondence sub-series in the Office of the Provost series.

First accession in the Yousuf Karsh fonds.

 

1.5 Acquisition Method

Definition

The process by which a repository acquires material.

Purpose

To identify the method by which material enters a repository, which may be useful for supporting statistical exercises.

Obligation

Optional

Repeatable

No

Implementation Guidelines

Record the acquisition method in accordance with a controlled vocabulary.

Examples

Transfer

Donation

Donation for tax receipt

Purchase

Undocumented acquisition from previous management

 

1.6 Disposition Authority

Definition

A reference to policies, directives, and agreements that prescribe and allow for the transfer of material to a repository.

Purpose

To identify the authority according to which materials are transferred to the repository.

To enable searching and retrieval of materials acquired by a repository through reference to a specific authority or agreement.

Obligation

Optional

Repeatable

Yes

Implementation Guidelines

Record information about any legal instruments that apply to the accessioned material. Legal instruments include statutes, records schedules or disposition authorities, and donor agreements.

Use this element only when the accessioned material is subject to a legal instrument that authorizes records’ disposition and transfer to a repository.

Examples

"Commission of Inquiry Records," (schedule 112907), 1992-06-29 Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ services, Approval Date: 1992-06-29.

"Access and Privacy Advice and Subject Files," SFU Records Retention Schedule and Disposal Authority (RRSDA), RSDA number, 2000-007.

Institutional Records in the Office of a Minister, Library and Archives Canada, Multi-Institutional Disposition Authority No. 96/021

Contract signed between Dalhousie University and the Oland family, 25 November 2005.

 

1.7 Status

Definition

The current position of the material with respect to the repository's workflows and business processes.

Purpose

To identify the stage or phase of activity in which accessioned materials are currently situated.

To identify materials that require further action and indicate what that action is.

Obligation

Optional

Repeatable

No

Implementation Guidelines

This element is intended to support the tracking of a material through an accession procedure that has clearly defined, successive phases. Some repositories may not track this type information or prefer to use the Events section (section 5) to record it. The main advantage of a dedicated Status element is that in a software application it can support quick search, filtering, and reporting of accession records.

Institutions using this element should develop a controlled vocabulary to indicate the phases of the accessioning procedure.

Examples

Transfer of physical custody

Pending signed Donation Agreement

Processing incomplete

Processed

Accession complete

 

This section contains elements that capture information relating to the entities that are the sources of the accessioned materials (i.e. created, held custody, or transferred the materials to the repository).

 

2.1 Source of Material

Definition

A corporate body, person or family responsible for the creation, use or transfer of the accessioned material.

Purpose

To create access points that uniquely identify the creator(s) and immediate source(s) of materials accessioned.

To identify the agents involved in the creation, custody, and transfer of the accessioned material.

Sub-elements

2.1.1 Source Type

2.1.2 Source Name

2.1.3 Source Contact Information

2.1.4 Source Role

2.1.5 Source Note

2.1.6 Source Confidentiality

Obligation

Mandatory

Repeatable

Yes

Implementation Guidelines

At a minimum record at least one source for the creator of the materials accessioned.

Use multiple source statements as needed, for example to distinguish the creator from the donor; or an employee acting as a contact for a creator organization.

 

2.1.1 Source Type

Definition

A term describing the nature of the source.

Implementation Guidelines

Record the source type in accordance with a controlled vocabulary maintained by the repository.

Examples

Corporate body

Person

Family

University department

Government office

Community organization

Societal provenance

Unknown

 

2.1.2 Source Name

Definition

The proper name of the source of the material.

Implementation Guidelines

Record the source name in accordance with the repository’s descriptive standard.

Examples

Neptune Theatre

Halpern family

Jack Chiang

Department of English

Ministry of Finance

Habitat Acquisition Trust

We Wi Kai Nation

Unknown

 

2.1.3 Source Contact Information

Definition

Information that can be used to locate and contact the source.

Implementation Guidelines

Record the source contact information when known. Where possible include contact name, job title, street address, telephone number(s), and email address(es).

Repositories may wish to break this element into commonly used address and contact information fields, including City, Province or State, Postal Code.

Examples

123 Fake St.
Vancouver, BC V6T 7U8

Unknown

 

2.1.4 Source Role

Definition

The relationship of the named source to the material.

Implementation Guidelines

Record source role when known.

Record the source role in accordance with a controlled vocabulary maintained by the repository.

Examples

Immediate source of acquisition

Creator

Donor

Custodian

Contact

Subject

 

2.1.5 Source Note

Definition

An open element to capture any additional information about the source, or circumstances surrounding their role.

Implementation Guidelines

Record any other information about the source of the accessioned materials.

If the source performed the role for only a specific period of time (e.g. was a custodian for several years), record the dates in this element.

Information contained in other sub-elements should not be duplicated here.

Examples

Material was found in the archives backlog with no associated documentation regarding the donor (where Source role is "Donor")

Halifax Municipal Archives transferred the materials in accordance with the Council of Nova Scotia Archives’ Cooperative Acquisition Strategy (where Source Role is "Immediate source of acquisition").

President stored records in personal residence from 1978 to 1982 (where Source Role is "Custodian").

 

2.1.6 Source Confidentiality

Definition

An instruction to maintain information about the source in confidence.

Implementation Guidelines

Use this element to identify source statements or source information that is for internal use only by the repository. In software implementations this element could act as a trigger to ensure that a given source statement is not shared with other institutions or made available in any public-facing outputs.

Repositories should develop a controlled vocabulary with terms that can be translated into clear rules for handling source information.

Examples

Internal use only

Not for public access

Donor wishes to remain anonymous

 

 

2.2 Preliminary Custodial History

Definition

Information about the chain of agents, in addition to the creator(s), that have exercised custody or control over the material at all stages in its existence.

Purpose

To describe both physical possession and intellectual ownership of the accessioned material.

To provide details of changes of ownership or custody that are significant in terms of authority, integrity, and interpretation.

Obligation

Optional

Repeatable

Yes

Implementation Guidelines

Provide relevant custodial history information in accordance with the repository’s descriptive standard.

Record the successive transfers of ownership, responsibility and/or custody of the accessioned material prior to its transfer to the repository.

This element provides space for a narrative description incorporating all custodial information that may be registered as separate source entries in 2.1 above.

The element may be repeated if different components of the accession have different custodial histories.

Examples

Jane B. Wisdom’s records were in the custody of researcher Jean MacFadgen from the 1970s until 2006, when Ms. MacFadgen sent them to Suzanne Morton, Professor and Acting Director of The McGill Institute for the Study of Canada. It is presumed the records remained in Dr. Morton’s custody until 2014, when they were donated to Nova Scotia Archives by Jock MacKay, grand-nephew of Jane B. Wisdom, upon the recommendation of Dr. Morton.

 

 

This section contains elements capturing preliminary descriptive information about the materials accessioned.

 

3.1 Date of Material

Definition

A date or date range indicating when the materials were known or thought to have been created.

Purpose

To capture what is known at the time of accessioning about the date(s) of creation of the accessioned material.

Obligation

Mandatory

Repeatable

No

Implementation Guidelines

Provide a preliminary estimate of the date range or explicitly indicate if not it has yet been determined.

Institutions should develop their own standards for the degree of precision or accuracy of date information that is expected at the time of accessioning. Archivists can determine creation dates more precisely during arrangement and description. During accessioning, it is generally sufficient to convey a reasonably accurate date or date range based on information gathered during the acquisition process.

Record probable and uncertain dates using the conventions outlined in accordance with the repository’s own standards.

Examples

1980-1985

[ca. 1890]-1954

Not yet determined

 

3.2 Extent Statement

Definition

The physical or logical quantity and type of material.

Purpose

To describe the physical or logical characteristics of the material.

Sub-elements

3.2.1 Extent Type

3.2.2 Quantity and Unit of Measure

3.2.3 Content Type

3.2.4 Carrier Type

3.2.5 Digital File Formats

3.2.6 Extent Note

Obligation

Mandatory

Repeatable

Yes

Implementation Guidelines

Provide at least one extent statement indicating the quantity of material received.

Optionally, record a statement of extent retained if there is a difference between the extent received and the extent retained; or record a statement of extent removed if material is removed from the repository during or after accessioning.

Some institutions may want to implement this element in a broad fashion by recording a single Extent Statement for the total number of boxes received, for example. Others may want a more granular approach that breaks down the materials by type. In the latter case, record separate Extent Statements for different types of material (e.g. paper textual records, photographs, digital moving images).

The recommended sub-elements are intended to provide for a level of granularity that some but not all institutions may wish to employ.

Repositories should establish their own standards for the degree of precision, accuracy, and granularity expected at the time of accessioning.

 

3.2.1 Extent Type

Definition

A term that characterizes the nature of each extent statement.

Implementation Guidelines

Record the extent statement type in accordance with a controlled vocabulary maintained by the repository.

This element is intended to support reporting on the difference between the extent received at the time of accessioning and the extent retained or removed during processing. Some institutions may wish to record only extent received; others may have workflow that involve updating the extent retained after processing.

Examples

Extent received

Extent retained

Extent removed

 

3.2.2 Quantity and Unit of Measure

Definition

The number and unit of measure expressing the quantity of the extent.

Implementation Guidelines

Repositories should develop a controlled vocabulary of terms of units of measure and a convention for expressing estimates (e.g. "ca.").

Examples

ca. 5 m

12 boxes

ca. 250 items

2.4 MB

3 external drives

 

3.2.3 Content Type

Definition

The type of material contained in the units measured, considered as a form of communication or documentary genre.

Implementation Guidelines

This element is intended for characterizing the broad "intellectual" type of materials in contrast to the physical format of the carrier.

Repositories should develop a controlled vocabulary of terms for content types. Many of RAD's GMD (General Material Designation) term have become widespread and may be suitable. The Dublin Core Type Vocabulary also provides examples that institutions may be able to adapt.

Examples

Architectural and technical drawings

Artefacts

Cartographic materials

Datasets

Graphic materials

Interactive resources

Moving images

Natural objects

Philatelic records

Photographs

Sound recordings

Textual records

 

3.2.4 Carrier Type

Definition

The physical format of an object that supports or carries archival materials.

Implementation Guidelines

This element is intended for characterizing the physical type of an entity in contrast to the "intellectual" type of content it carries.

Repositories should develop a controlled vocabulary of terms for carrier types.

Examples

Audio cassette

Videotape

Film reel

Disc

External drive

 

3.2.5 Extent Note

Definition

Additional information related to the number and type of units received, retained, or removed not otherwise recorded.

Implementation Guidelines

Record any other information relevant to describing the extent of material.

This may also include anticipated storage required once the material has been processed, especially for digital media.

Examples

Master and reference copies to be generated prior to placing original videocassettes in cold storage, requiring approximately 30 TB of digital file space.

Some materials were received in plastic bags, and these have been combined into one box.

 

3.3 Preliminary Scope and Content

Definition

A preliminary description of the functions and activities that generated the accessioned material as well as information about its arrangement (organizational structure or relationships) and documentary forms.

Purpose

To indicate the breadth of the content of the material.

Obligation

Optional

Repeatable

Yes

Implementation Guidelines

Record a preliminary description that may include: functions and activities that resulted in the material’s generation, dates, the geographic area to which the material pertains, subject matter, arrangement, classification, and documentary forms.

The element is repeatable if an institution wishes to describe separate components of the accession in some detail.

In general, this element is intended to capture whatever information is known at the time of accessioning so that it is not lost but remains available for the processing archivist(s) to later follow up and elaborate as needed.

Repositories should establish their own standards for the degree of detail that is expected at the time of accessioning. In some cases, the Accession Title or the Disposal Authority (e.g. retention schedule) may suffice to indicate the broad nature of the materials.

Examples

Accession consists of manuscripts, drafts, and research notes.

Accession contains material relating to Arthur Doughty’s work on the Accession Standards Committee, including draft manuscripts, correspondence, and other materials.

See RRSDA 2000-034 for detailed description of the records covered by the retention schedule applicable to this accrual.

 

3.4 Language of Material

Definition

The language(s) and script(s) represented in the accessioned materials.

Purpose

To identify the language(s) and script(s) in which the accessioned materials are available.

Obligation

Optional

Repeatable

Yes

Implementation Guidelines

Record languages and scripts in accordance with a controlled vocabulary maintained by the repository.

Record, at a minimum, the language that is predominantly found in the accessioned material.

Examples

In Dakota, with partial English translation

Materials entirely in English

en (English)
fr (French)

No linguistic content

 

This section contains elements that capture information to support planning for the future preservation, access and use of the materials accessioned.

 

4.1 Storage Location

Definition

The physical or logical location where the material resides.

Purpose

To identify the location of accessioned material within a repository.

To support planning and management of financial, staff, conservation and physical resources at the repository.

To maintain the material as a unit and prevent intermingling with other incoming or existing archival material.

Obligation

Optional

Repeatable

Yes

Implementation Guidelines

Indicate the physical and/or digital location(s) within the repository in which the accessioned material is stored. Since accessioning represents establishing preliminary control of the records, it is possible that its location may change during the accession process. If this is the case, until the records have a permanent storage location, the accession location would be considered preliminary. Storage locations are based on the in-house practices of each repository.  

Examples

401-R03-B02-S5 - S8 (Indicates that material is stored in Rm. 401, Row 3, Bay 2, Shelves 5 to 8)

Isolation Room, shelf 7

Chief Archivist’s office

Z:\Digital_Records\Friends_of_Salmon_River-2015-011\

 

4.2 Rights

Definition

The assertion of one or more rights pertaining to the material.

Purpose

To document the rights of the repository to manage and provide access to accessioned material.

Sub-elements

4.1.1 Rights Type

4.1.2 Rights Value

4.1.3 Rights Note

Obligation

Optional

Repeatable

Yes

Implementation Guidelines

Use this element to document any known rights that pertain to the materials accessioned, including known access restrictions or restrictions on use arising from copyright.

At the time of accessioning, often only the general terms of access and use are known based (e.g. on the donation agreement or the retention schedule). The detailed application of those terms to specific records may only become apparent during post-accessioning processes, such as arrangement and description or reference service.

This element is intended to ensure that the general knowledge gained during the lead-up to accessioning is not lost and captured in a format that will allow later archivist to understand the general terms of access and use and how to apply them to specific records.

 

4.2.1 Rights Type

Definition

A term that characterizes the nature of a rights statement.

Implementation Guidelines

Record the rights statement type in accordance with a controlled vocabulary maintained by the repository.

If the basis for the rights is fair dealing or public domain, use "Copyright."

Examples

Copyright

Access

License

Statute

Cultural rights

 

4.2.2 Rights Value

Definition

The parameters and conditions pertaining to the rights statement.

Implementation Guidelines

Record the nature and duration of the permission granted or restriction imposed.

Specify where the condition applies only to part of the accession.

Examples

Copyright resides with the estate (where Rights Type is "Copyright")

Public domain (where Rights Type is "Copyright")

Letters to donor’s family members restricted until Dec 31, 2050 (where Rights Type is "Access")

Repository has a license to disseminate digital access copies via the Internet (where Rights Type is "License")

Records are subject to the Province of Ontario's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) (where Rights Type is "Statute")

Recordings of Hamatsa ceremonies are restricted according to cultural protocols (where Rights Type is "Cultural rights")

 

4.2.3 Rights Note

Definition

Additional information related to the rights statement not otherwise recorded.

Implementation Guidelines

Record any other information relevant to describing the rights statement.

Examples

The accession contains medical records interspersed throughout and researcher agreements must be signed before providing access to the material (where Rights Type is "Access").

The accession potentially contains orphan works (where Rights Type is "Copyright")

A copyright risk assessment must be completed during archival processing (where Rights Type is "Copyright")

Researchers should consult community representatives to determine appropriate access protocols (where Rights Type is "Cultural rights")

 

4.3 Preservation Requirements

Definition

Information about physical condition and / or logical dependencies that need to be addressed by the repository to ensure the long-term preservation of the materials.

Purpose

To provide information about physical characteristics or condition that may affect the ability to access or use the material.

To indicate material that is at-risk of becoming inaccessible and that requires active intervention to ensure long-term accessibility.

To identify any actions required for the conservation or long-term preservation of the accessioned material.

Sub-elements

4.3.1 Preservation Requirement Type

4.3.2 Preservation Requirement Value

4.3.3 Preservation Requirement Note

Obligation

Optional

Repeatable

Yes

Implementation Guidelines

Use preservation statements to provide information about material in the accession that is known to be at-risk of becoming inaccessible due to physical damage or degradation; that requires special equipment or technology to access its content; or that will require specific supplies or expertise to preserve.

This element can also be used to identify any hardware or software dependencies that must also be preserved in order to ensure the long-accessibility of the content.

 

4.3.1 Preservation Requirement Type

Definition

A term that characterizes the nature of the preservation requirement.

Implementation Guidelines

Record the type of preservation requirement in accordance with a controlled vocabulary maintained by the repository.

Examples

Physical condition

Conservation

Supplies

Labour

Software dependency

Technical access

 

4.3.2 Preservation Requirement Value

Definition

A description of the material’s physical state, dependency or preservation concerns identified.

Implementation Guidelines

Record information about the assessment of the material with respect to its physical condition, dependencies, processing or access.

Identify any notable actions required to take on the material to preserve and make accessible. Use "ca." to express estimates.

Examples

No preservation issues identified.

Material is generally in good condition, except for one box of textual material with water damage (where Material Assessment Type is "Physical condition")

Material requires ca. 100 hours to treat, rehouse, and copy to make accessible (where Material Assessment Type is "Labour")

Film to be accessed through video copies. Access to original film requires 16mm viewer (where Material Assessment Type is "Technical Access")

Film requires rehousing to twenty-five 16 mm 1200’ polypropylene cans (where Material Assessment Type is "Supplies")

 

4.3.3 Preservation Requirement Note

Definition

Additional information related to the preservation requirement not otherwise recorded.

Obligation

Optional

Implementation Guidelines

Record any other information relevant to the long-term preservation of the material.

Examples

A number of U-matic tapes are manufactured by Sony in the 1980s, and have been known to suffer from sticky shed syndrome. If the playback quality is poor, stop playing the cassette, and flag for baking and digitization (where Material Assessment Type is "Technical access")

Digitization should take approximately 3 hours to complete (where Material Assessment Type is "Conservation")

 

4.4 Appraisal

Definition

Information about the assessment of value of the materials accessioned.

Purpose

To record information concerning the archival and monetary values of the accessioned material.

Sub-elements

4.4.1 Appraisal Type

4.4.2 Appraisal Value

4.4.3 Appraisal Note

Obligation

Optional

Repeatable

Yes

Implementation Guidelines

Use sub-elements to record appraisals of the material accessioned. Fulsome information about the appraisal(s) may be maintained in a separate filing system.

 

4.4.1 Appraisal Type

Definition

A term that characterizes the nature of the appraisal.

Implementation Guidelines

Record the appraisal type in accordance with a controlled vocabulary maintained by the repository.

Examples

Archival appraisal

Monetary appraisal

 

4.4.2 Appraisal Value

Definition

A statement identifying any decisions made on the appraisal and selection of material, or outlining monetary appraisal details.

Implementation Guidelines

Where the accession process includes appraisal activities, record the appraisal statement value.

For archival appraisal, it would be useful to record at minimum any material not kept as part of the accession. For monetary appraisals, it would be useful to record at minimum that the material has been appraised.

Examples

Publications were not kept, and were returned to the donor (where Appraisal Type is "Archival appraisal")

The material was evaluated at $75,000 (where Appraisal Type is "Monetary appraisal")

 

4.4.3 Appraisal Note

Definition

Additional information related to the appraisal not otherwise recorded.

Implementation Guidelines

Record any other information relevant to describing the appraisal activities.

For archival appraisal, this element may be used to specify the point in the process when appraisal and selection occurred.

Examples

Archival appraisal was conducted during accessioning (where Appraisal Type is "Archival appraisal").

An inventory of the publications not kept can be found in the accession documentation (where Appraisal Type is "Archival appraisal").

Independent evaluations were conducted by NAAB. The average of their appraisals was assigned by CCPERB (where Appraisal Type is "Monetary appraisal").

 

4.5 Associated Documentation

Definition

A reference to any documentation related to the material in the accession.

Purpose

To identify documentation pertinent to the material in the accession, either with respect to its acquisition or to its preliminary description.

Sub-elements

4.5.1 Associated Documentation Type

4.5.2 Associated Documentation Title

4.5.3 Associated Documentation Note

Obligation

Optional

Repeatable

Yes

Implementation Guidelines

Use sub-elements to provide a reference for documentation related to the material in the accession, when applicable. This reference may specify a physical location for this documentation or it may consist of a link to an electronic file.

 

4.5.1 Associated Documentation Type

Definition

A term that characterizes the type of documentation related to the material.

Implementation Guidelines

Where the accession process generates associated documents, record the associated documentation type in accordance with a controlled vocabulary maintained by the repository.

Examples

Finding aid

Temporary receipt

Deed of gift

Transfer form

Context documentation

 

4.5.2 Associated Documentation Title

Definition

Name of the documentation related to the accessioned material.

Implementation Guidelines

Record the title of the associated documentation. This may be assigned by the originator of the documentation or by the repository.

Examples

//Server/Finding_Aids/Fleming-Sir_Sandford-2128.xlsx (where Associated Documentation Type is "Finding aid")

"My life in shambles" (where Associated Documentation Type is "Contextual documentation")

DoG-Geoffrey_Simpson-2016-034.pdf (where Associated Documentation Type is "Deed of gift")

Records Management database - Record ID 78846 (where Associated Documentation Type is "Transfer form")

 

4.5.3 Associated Documentation Note

Definition

Additional information related to associated documentation not otherwise recorded.

Implementation Guidelines

Record any other information relevant to describing documentation associated to the accessioned material.

Examples

Preliminary box listing is stored in the accession file.

Donor prepared a biographical sketch to accompany donation (where Associated Documentation is "Contextual documentation").

 

This section contains elements that capture information about actions taken by repository staff as part of the accessioning process.

 

5.1 Events

Definition

The actions taken by repository staff throughout the accession process.

Purpose

To record key dates and activities in the accession process.

To create an audit trail of actions taken by the repository’s staff.

Sub-elements

5.1.1 Event Type

5.1.2 Event Date

5.1.3 Event Agent

5.1.4 Event Note

Obligation

Mandatory

Repeatable

Yes

Implementation Guidelines

Record at a minimum the date the material was physically transferred to the repository and (if different) the date legal control over the material passed to the repository (e.g. Donation Agreement signed).

Optionally, repositories may use this section to document any other significant events in their transfer and accessioning workflow. Repositories should develop a controlled vocabulary of terms for event types that reflect their own practices and workflows.

Do not include information here about the creation or maintenance of the accession record itself, which is recorded in the Control Information Section, element 7.3 Date of Creation or Revision.

 

5.1.1 Event Type

Definition

A term that characterizes the type of event documented in the accession process.

Implementation Guidelines

Record the event type in accordance with a controlled vocabulary maintained by the repository.

Examples

Physical transfer

Legal transfer

Deed of Gift signed

Transfer Agreement signed

Ceremonial protocol acknowledging value

Reboxing started

Reboxing completed

Archival appraisal

Disk image created

Checksums created

Deaccessioned

 

5.1.2 Event Date

Definition

The calendar date on which the event occurred

Implementation Guidelines

Record the date an event occurred.

Record an event date in accordance with the repository’s descriptive standard.

Examples

June 19, 2003 (where Event Type is "Deed of Gift signed")

23 Nov. 2010 (where Event Type is "Reboxing started")

15 Dec. 2010 (where Event Type is "Reboxing completed")

 

5.1.3 Event Agent

Definition

The repository staff member responsible for the event.

Implementation Guidelines

Record the name of the staff member responsible for the event.

The name should be formatted consistently in accordance with the repository’s descriptive standard.

Examples

de Wailly, Natalis

Barr, Debra, 1954-2008

posnere [user I.D.]

 

5.1.4 Event Note

Definition

Additional information related to the event not otherwise recorded.

Implementation Guidelines

Record any other information relevant to describing the event.

Examples

Material received from donor via Canada Post (where Event Type is "Physical Transfer").

Material was transferred to the Toronto Public Library (where Event Type is "Deaccessioned").

 

This section provides for relevant information not accommodated by other elements in the standard.

 

6.1 General Note

Definition

Additional information relating to the accession process or material that is not otherwise captured.

Purpose

To provide an open text element for repositories to record any relevant information not accommodated elsewhere in this standard.

Obligation

Optional

Repeatable

Yes

Implementation Guidelines

Record any other information relevant to the accession record or accessioning process.

Examples

Future accruals may be made to this accession in the future as the donor stated that additional material may be obtained from other family members.

Accession on hold pending further discussion and decision by the donor and family members.

 

This section contains elements that document the creation of the accession record and changes to the record over time.

 

7.1 Rules or Conventions

Definition

The rules, conventions or templates that were used in creating or maintaining the accession record.

Purpose

To identify local, national or international standards, rules, conventions or data entry templates that were used in creating the accession record.

Obligation

Optional

Repeatable

No

Implementation Guidelines

Record information about the standards, rules or conventions that were followed when creating or maintaining the accession record. Indicate the software application if the accession record is based on a data entry template in a database or other automated system. Give the version number of the standard or software application where applicable.

Examples

Canadian Archival Accession Information Standard 1.0 (where accession record is based on a standard).

Originally created with Queen’s University Archives’ in-house Microsoft Office Word Accession template, v3 (where accession record is derived from a data entry template).

Originally created with AtoM v2.1 Accession form (where accession record is based on data entry template in a database application).

 

7.2 Date of Creation or Revision

Definition

Date(s) on which the accession record was created or revised.

Purpose

To document changes to the accession record over time.

Sub-elements

7.2.1 Creation or Revision Type

7.2.2 Creation or Revision Date

7.2.3 Creation or Revision Agent

7.2.4 Creation or Revision Note

Obligation

Mandatory

Repeatable

Yes

Implementation Guidelines

Create at least one entry recording the date on which the accession record was created and by whom (name of the repository staff member).

Optionally, use this element to register all subsequent revisions to the accession record if applicable.

 

7.2.1 Creation or Revision Type

Definition

A term characterizing the nature of the action applied to the accession record.

Implementation Guidelines

Record the action type in accordance with a controlled vocabulary maintained by the repository.

Examples

Record created

Record revised

 

7.2.2 Creation or Revision Date

Definition

The date on which the action was applied to the accession record.

Implementation Guidelines

Record the date on which the action (creation or revision) occurred.

Format dates consistently in accordance with the repository's descriptive standard.

Examples

Jan 17, 2017 (where date value standard = Month Abbreviation DD, YYYY)

2017-08-22 (where date value standard = YYYY-MM-DD)

 

7.2.3 Creation or Revision Agent

Definition

The repository staff member responsible for the action applied to the accession record.

Implementation Guidelines

Record the name of the staff member who performed the action (creation or revision) on the accession record.

Format names consistently in accordance with the repository's descriptive standard.

Examples

Margaret Cross Norton (where name standard = FirstName LastName)

Jenkinson, Hilary (where name standard = LastName, FirstName)

samuelsh (where name standard = computing account name)

 

 

7.2.4 Creation or Revision Note

Definition

Additional information describing the action performed on the accession record.

Implementation Guidelines

Record any information summarizing actions applied to the accession record.

Examples

Minimal preliminary data captured (where Creation or Revision Type is "Record created")

Scope and Content and Rights Statements added on receipt of Donation Agreement (where Creation or Revision Type is "Record revised")

 

7.3 Language of Accession Record

Definition

The language(s) and script(s) used to record information in the accession record.

Purpose

To indicate the language(s) and script(s) in which the accession record is available.

Obligation

Optional

Repeatable

No

Implementation Guidelines

Record the language(s) and script(s) used to create the accession record. If the content has been translated and is available in other languages, give those languages. Provide information about script only where it is common to use multiple scripts to represent a language and it is important to know which script is employed.

Examples

English with French translation (where the accession record is available in multiple languages).

Written in Latin script (where the accession record is written in Ukrainian)

Inuktitut (syllabics) with English (Latin) translation (where original accession record is in Inuktitut (syllabics); this is the English translated version)

 

 

 

IV. Glossary

The CAAIS glossary provides general definitions of certain terms used throughout the standard. Definitions provided as part of each information element specifically describe the kind of information that should be recorded in the accession record. Glossary Source Citations follows this section.

 

Accession

Definition

Noun: 1. Materials physically and legally transferred to a repository as a unit at a single time.

Verb: 2. To take legal and physical custody of a group of records or other materials and to formally document their receipt.  3. To document the transfer of records or materials in a register, database, or other log of the repository's holdings.

Source

SAA Glossary: Accession [adapted]

 

Accession record

Definition

A record documenting the preserver's acceptance of responsibility for preserving a clearly identified set of records.

Source

InterPARES Terminology: Accession record

 

Accrual

Definition

An acquisition which belongs to a unit of archival material already in the custody of the repository

Source

RAD Glossary: Accrual

 

Acquisition

Definition

1. The process of adding to the holdings of a records center or archives by transfer under an established and legally based procedure, by deposit, purchase, gift, or bequest.

2. An addition to the holdings of a repository. (Note: an acquisition may not have already been accessioned).

Source

ICA Dictionary: Acquisition 2.1

2. RAD Glossary: Acquisition

 

Agent

Definition

A person or group, or an entity created by a person or group, that is responsible for actions taken and their effects.

Source

ICA-RiC Definitions: Agent

 

Appraisal (archival)

Definition

A basic records management/archival function of determining the value and thus the disposition of records based upon their current administrative, legal, and fiscal use; their evidential and informational value; their arrangement and condition; and their relationship to other records.

Source

ICA Dictionary: Appraisal 5.

 

Appraisal (monetary)

Definition

The process of determining a fair market value for materials.

Source

SAA Glossary: Appraisal 3. [adapted]

 

Archival description

Definition

1. The process of capturing, analyzing, organizing, and recording information that serves to identify, manage, locate, and explain the holdings of archives and manuscript repositories and the contexts and records systems which produced them. 2. The products of the above process.

Source

ICA Dictionary: Archival description

 

Archival Unit

Definition

Any of the groupings of archival documents comprising a fonds or collection as delineated during the process of archival arrangement. An archival unit can be a fonds, collection, series, file, item or variation thereof, depending on institutional standards.

Source

InterPARES Terminology: Archival unit [adapted]

 

Custodial history

Definition

The succession of offices or persons who had custody of a body of documents from its creation to its acquisition by a repository.

Source

ICA Dictionary: Custodial history [adapted]

 

Deaccessioning

Definition

The process by which a repository permanently removes materials from its holdings.

Source

SAA Glossary: Deaccessioning [adapted]

 

Disposition

Definition

Materials' final destruction or transfer to a repository as determined by their archival appraisal.

Source

SAA Glossary: Disposition [adapted]

 

Donor agreement

Definition

A document that details an agreement relating to the transfer of ownership of property, and establishes terms and conditions relating to access and use.

Source

SAA Glossary: Deed [adapted]

 

Event

Definition

An action taken in the accessioning process.

Source

CAAIS

 

Extent

Definition

 The physical dimensions or logical size of the accessioned material.

Source

AGRkMS Definitions: Extent [adapted]

 

Identifier

Definition

An unambiguous reference to an entity that serves to uniquely and permanently identify it.

Source

Dublin Core Terms: Identifier [adapted]

 

Material

Definition

Generic term to describe the variety of items that an archives might acquire, regardless of medium, format, or type; may be analogue or digital and may be used to describe a group of individual items.

Source

SAA Glossary: Material [adapted]

 

Preservation

Definition

The whole of the principles, policies, rules and strategies aimed at prolonging the existence of an object by maintaining it in a condition suitable for use, either in its original format or in a more persistent format, while leaving intact the object’s intellectual form.

Source

InterPARES Terminology: Preservation

 

Records disposition authority

Definition

An instrument granting an agency the right to transfer materials to the archives or to destroy them.

Source

SAA Glossary: Disposition authority [adapted]

 

Repository

Definition

An organization which keeps and preserves archival material and makes it accessible to the public.

Source

ISDIAH Glossary: Institution with archival holdings

 

Rights

Definition

Assertions of one or more legal entitlements, cultural protocols or permissions pertaining to the accessioned material.

Source

PREMIS Glossary: Rights [adapted]

 

Source

Definition

Information regarding the provenance, origins, custody, and ownership of accessioned materials.

Source

SAA Glossary: Provenance 2. [adapted]

 

Transfer

Definition

Change of physical custody and / or legal control from a source to a repository.

Source

ICA Dictionary: Transfer [adapted]

 

 

 

Glossary Source Citations

 

AGRkMS Definitions

National Archives of Australia, Australian Government Recordkeeping Metadata Standard (AGRkMS) Version 2.2. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia (National Archives of Australia), 2015. http://www.naa.gov.au/Images/AGRkMS-Version-2%2E2-June-2015_tcm16-93990.pdf.

Dublin Core Terms

Dublin Core Metadata Initiative, DCMI Metadata Terms, accessed March 6, 2017, http://dublincore.org/documents/dcmi-terms/.

ICA Dictionary

International Council on Archives, Multilingual Archival TerminologyDictionary of Archival Terminology (Draft Third Edition/DAT III, 1999), accessed March 6, 2017, http://www.ciscra.org/mat/mat/termlist/l/English.  

ICA-RiC Definitions

Experts Group on Archival Description, Records in Contexts: a Conceptual Model for Archival Description, Consultation Draft V0.1. International Council on Archives, 2016. http://www.ica.org/sites/default/files/RiC-CM-0.1.pdf.

InterPARES 2 Terminology

InterPARES 2 Project, Terminology Database, accessed March 6, 2017, http://www.interpares.org/ip2/ip2_terminology_db.cfm.

ISDIAH Glossary

Committee on Best Practices and Standards, ISDIAH International Standard for Describing Institutions with Archival Holdings. London: International Council on Archives, 2008. http://www.ica.org/sites/default/files/CBPS_2008_Guidelines_ISDIAH_First-edition_EN.pdf.

PREMIS Glossary

PREMIS Editorial Committee, PREMIS Data Dictionary for Preservation Metadata version 3.0. Library of Congress, 2015. http://www.loc.gov/standards/premis/v3/premis-3-0-final.pdf.

RAD Glossary

Planning Committee on Descriptive Standards, Rules of Archival Description (RAD). Ottawa: Bureau of Canadian Archivists, 2008. http://archivescanada.ca/uploads/files/Publications/RADComplete_July2008.pdf.

SAA Glossary

Pearce-Moses, Richard, Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology. Chicago:
The Society of American Archivists, 2016. http://www2.archivists.org/glossary/.

 

 

Appendix A.

Survey Overview, Themes, and Future Development

The Consultation Draft of CAAIS was circulated to the Canadian archives community in September 2017 for comment, with an accompanying survey to gather feedback. This section highlights a number of issues that emerged from the responses, indicates changes between the Consultation Draft and CAAIS 1.0, and flags themes that were unresolved and/or require future work in the future.

Survey response

Altogether the Working Group received 37 completed surveys, 33 in English and 4 in French. Respondents often reported on internal workplace discussions among staff as they completed their institution's survey.

Accessioning as an event vs on-going process

Accessioning is (typically) a transfer of physical custody and legal control over archival materials from records creators to an archives. So much all agree. However, the institutional requirements for acquired material to be considered formally accessioned will vary. At some institutions, the accession record is purely focused on the moment of transfer; its completion is a one-time event, fixed at a single moment in time. Others, however, see the accession record as a place to document a whole range of activities that can stretch over a considerable period of time: from interactions with the donor, appraisal, registration, physical control, preservation assessment, preliminary description, rights management, summary of processing results, and even deaccessioning. In their workflows, different institutions draw different lines between these processes and store information arising from them in different instruments. We have tried to make CAAIS a flexible tool that can accommodate both ends of the spectrum, from those wanting very minimal accession records to those seeking a place to record more detailed information about multiple processes.

Mandatory vs optional elements

The Consultation Draft gave a fairly long list of mandatory elements (noted in the Obligation section of each element description). And it included "conditional" as a possibility (i.e. mandatory if applicable). For virtually every element we had flagged as mandatory, there were survey respondents who disagreed. For CAAIS 1.0, the Working Group scaled back the number of mandatory elements and eliminated "conditional" as an obligation option. The best practice for institutions will be to review all CAAIS elements in light of their own procedures and determine which elements they will use.

Repeating elements

Wherever it seemed at all feasible, CAAIS 1.0 makes elements repeatable. There are relatively few non-repeatable elements left. And even with these, some institutions may find a use-case for making this or that one repeatable.

Preliminary nature of the information

A number of commentators noted that information captured during the accessioning process is often "preliminary" in the sense that it will be supplemented, revised, or corrected as a result of further research and inspection of the records during arrangement and description. To underscore this, the Working Group changed some element names to, for example, Preliminary Custodial History (2.2) and Preliminary Scope and Content (3.3).

Status element

There was some debate within the Working Group about the value of a dedicated element for accession status, an indicator of where in an institution's workflows the accession is currently situated. The argument against was that you can record this type of information in the Events section. The argument for was that it provides a place for a controlled-vocabulary term that can be used to easily retrieve, sort, and report on accession records in an automated system. We did not include the element in the Consultation Draft but asked a question about it in the survey. Respondents were split 50-50 between for and against. Given this, we decided to include it as an optional element in CAAIS 1.0; those that don't need it can ignore it, but it is there for those who will use it.

Confidential information

A number of respondents noted that it would be useful to have way to flag information that is confidential in the sense that it should not be shared with other institutions or made available in any public-facing documents. We did add one new sub-element for Source Confidentiality (2.1.6) to address this with respect to the donors of material. The fact that most elements are repeatable should allow archivists to separate confidential from public information in separate entries. System designers may wish to include support for marking entries under any element as public or confidential. In general, however, this is an area that will need further work.

Indigenous records

The role of information – its creation, control, and use – in the colonial relationship between Settler and Indigenous peoples in Canada is far beyond the scope of an accession standard. It is nevertheless possible to identify in a preliminary manner the Indigenous content of unique records sets. Treaty payment lists and residential school class photos have a clear and obvious Indigenous provenance even if the related Indigenous subjects did not control the creation and use of those records. When such relationships exist, a case can be made to note the Indigenous provenance as an additional Source entry (2.1) or in the Scope and Content element (3.3).

Digital records

A common thread running through the survey responses was a concern that CAAIS should equally address analog and digital materials. "Please - please! - don't create an accession standard that only covers non-digital and points to tools like PREMIS for the digital," wrote one commentator. "We need to unite our practice here, figure out how to build on digital standards like PREMIS, OAIS and TRAC, and not segregate digital and nondigital practice." Most CAAIS elements work with materials in any medium or format. The Consultation Draft's "Material Assessment Statement" has become "Preservation Requirements" (4.3) as a place to document materials (analog or digital) at risk. The Events section (5) provides a basis for those for who want it to record various actions involved in digital transfers (e.g. generating checksums, creating BagIt packages, sending to quarantine). As institutions gain experience applying CAAIS to digital accessions, the standard's omissions and short-comings should become more apparent. This will be an area that will require close attention over the coming years.

Comparison of Elements: Changes from Consultation Draft to CAAIS 1.0

Consultation Draft

CAAIS 1.0

1. Identity Information Section

   1.1 Repository

   1.2 Accession Identifier

   1.3 Other Identifier

       1.3.1 Other Identifier Type

       1.3.2 Other Identifier Value

      1.3.3 Other Identifier Note

   1.4 Accession Title

   1.5 Archival Unit

   1.6 Acquisition Method

   1.7 Disposition Authority

1. Identity Information Section

   1.1 Repository

   1.2 Identifier

      1.2.1 Identifier Type

      1.2.2 Identifier Value

      1.2.3 Identifier Note

   1.3 Accession Title

   1.4 Archival Unit

   1.5 Acquisition Method

   1.6 Disposition Authority

   1.7 Status

 

Consultation Draft

CAAIS 1.0

2. Source Information Section

   2.1 Source of Material

      2.1.1 Source Type

      2.1.2 Source Name

      2.1.3 Source Contact Information

      2.1.4 Source Role

      2.1.5 Source Note

   2.2 Custodial History

2. Source Information Section

   2.1 Source of material

      2.1.1 Source Type

      2.1.2 Source Name

      2.1.3 Source Contact Information

      2.1.4 Source Role

      2.1.5 Source Note

      2.1.6 Source Confidentiality

   2.2 Preliminary Custodial History


 

Consultation Draft

CAAIS 1.0

3. Materials Information Section

   3.1 Date of Material

   3.2 Extent Statement

      3.2.1 Extent Statement Type

      3.2.2 Quantity and Type of Units

      3.2.3 Extent Statement Note

   3.3 Scope and Content

   3.4 Language of Material

3. Materials Information Section

   3.1 Date of Materials

   3.2 Extent Statement

      3.2.1 Extent Type

      3.2.2 Quantity and Unit of Measure

      3.2.3 Content Type

      3.2.4 Carrier Type

      3.2.5 Extent Statement Note

   3.3 Preliminary Scope and Content     

   3.4 Language of Material

 
 

Consultation Draft

CAAIS 1.0

4. Management Information Section

   4.1 Storage Location

   4.2 Rights Statement

      4.2.1 Rights Statement Type

      4.2.2 Rights Statement Value

      4.2.3 Rights Statement Note

   4.3 Material Assessment Statement

      4.3.1 Material Assessment Statement Type

      4.3.2 Material Assessment Statement Value

      4.3.3 Material Assessment Action Plan

      4.3.4 Material Assessment Statement Note

   4.4 Appraisal Statement

      4.4.1 Appraisal Statement Type

      4.4.2 Appraisal Statement Value

      4.4.3 Appraisal Statement Note

   4.5 Associated Documentation

      4.5.1 Associated Documentation Type

      4.5.2 Associated Documentation Title

      4.5.3 Associated Documentation Note

4. Management Information Section

   4.1 Storage Location

   4.2 Rights

      4.2.1 Rights Type

      4.2.2 Rights Value

      4.2.3 Rights Note

   4.3 Preservation Requirements

      4.3.1 Preservation Requirements Type

      4.3.2 Preservation Requirement Value

      4.3.3 Preservation Requirement Note

   4.4 Appraisal

      4.4.1 Appraisal Type

      4.4.2 Appraisal Value

      4.4.3 Appraisal Note

   4.5 Associated Documentation

      4.5.1 Associated Documentation Type

      4.5.2 Associated Documentation Title

      4.5.3 Associated Documentation Note

 

Consultation Draft

CAAIS 1.0

5. Event Information Section

   5.1 Event Statement

      5.1.1 Event Type

      5.1.2 Event Date

      5.1.3 Event Agent

      5.1.4 Event Note

5. Events Information Section

   5.1 Events

      5.1.1 Event Type

      5.1.2 Event Date

      5.1.3 Event Agent

      5.1.4 Event Note

 

Consultation Draft

CAAIS 1.0

6. General Information Section

   6.1 General Note

6. General Information Section

   6.1 General Note

 
 

Consultation Draft

CAAIS 1.0

7. Control Information Section

   7.1 Rules or Conventions

   7.2 Level of Detail

   7.3 Date of Creation or Revision

      7.3.1 Action Type

      7.3.2 Action Date

      7.3.3 Action Agent

      7.3.4 Action Note

   7.4 Language of Accession Record

7. Control Information Section

   7.1 Rules or Conventions

   7.2 Date of Creation or Revision

      7.2.1 Creation or Revision Type

      7.2.2 Creation or Revision Date

      7.2.3 Creation or Revision Agent

      7.2.4 Creation or Revision Note

   7.3 Language of Accession Record

 

 

 

Appendix B.

Sample Accession Form (Minimal)

 

1. Identity Information Section

 

 

Accession Identifier

 

 

 

Accession Title

 

 

 

Archival Unit

 

 

 

Acquisition Method

 

 

 

Disposition Authority

 

 

 

2. Source Information Section

 

 

Creator

 

 

 

Name

 

 

 

Contact Information

 

 

 

Donor

 

 

 

Name

 

 

 

Contact Information

 

 

 

3. Materials Information Section

 

 

Date of Material

 

 

 

Extent Received

 

 

 

Quantity / Unit

Content Type

Carrier Type

Note

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preliminary Scope and Content

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Language of Material

 

 

 

 

4. Management Information Section

 

 

Storage Location

 

 

 

 

 

Rights

 

 

 

Copyright

 

 

 

 

 

Access

 

 

 

 

 

Preservation Requirements

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Events Information Section

 

 

Type of event

Date

Agent

Note

Transfer of physical custody

 

 

 

Transfer of legal control

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. General Information Section

 

 

General Note

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Control Information Section

 

 

Creation or Revision Type

Date

Agent

Note

Record created

 

 

 

Record revised

 

 

 

Record revised

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix C.

National Archival Accession Standard Working Group Members

 

Creighton Barrett (2013-2018), Dalhousie University

Hélène Charbonneau (2013-2015), Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec

Richard Dancy (2013-2019), Simon Fraser University

Suzanne Dubeau, (2015), York University

Raymond Frogner, Chair (2013-2019), National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, University of Manitoba

Jeremy Heil (2013-2018), Queen’s University

Cheryl Linstead (2015-2019), Government Records Service, BC Government

Katherine Timms (2015-2017), Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada

 

 

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