RSLP Collection Description

Notes of the ISAD(G) breakout group at the second RSLP collection description concertation day

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These notes reflect the main points of discussion in the ISAD(G) breakout group at the second RSLP collection description concertation day.


  1. ISAD(G) is the core archival standard - the standard for the structuring of information
  2. EAD has been successfully mapped to ISAD(G), EAD encodes ISAD(G)
  3. All EAD however is not ISAD(G).
  4. EAD guidelines provide guidelines for mapping to Dublin core for finding aids.
  5. XSLT software already supports transformation to RDF. (Both Peter Johnson, Glasgow and I believe Kevin Ashley, ULCC are interested in RDF).
  6. ISAD(G) is being updated for Seville, September 2000. Few major changes expected.

Specific mapping

  1. Description. Are not convinced that fully reflects ISAD(G) Scope and Content and Admin./biog. history
  2. Creator cannot be limited to item/subfonds.
  3. Subject access points (and names). Not included in ISAD(G) but Society of Archivists recommended inclusion. Are straightforward in EAD.
  4. There is a need for multiple thesauri reflecting LCSHE and UNESCO, and multiple specialist thesauri including MESH, HASSET, European Women, Getty Art and Architecture etc.
  5. Times and strengths not included as specific fields in ISAD(G) but both would normally be covered in ISAD(G) Scope and Content, could be spelt out in Notes field if thought useful and are otherwise picked up in EAD are an additional attributes.
  6. Language. Archivists don't normally abbreviate. Would prefer something that picked up the whole word and whatever abbreviations are in use.
  7. Type. Again in a separate field. Should be picked up in description could be picked up in an additional note field. It should be noted that archives often include multiple types.
  8. Date range. Needs to cover broken dates (post-meeting note: it can!)
  9. Owner/contributor. Would be quite awkward to use to reflect full custodial history and would need to bring in a fonds level creator. Suggest ISAD(G) looked at again for this one. Will also need to include dates.
  10. Sub/super collections. Odd terms but both ISAD(G) and EAD handle family relationships effectively
  11. Doesn't seem to handle related/associated materials that are not part of the collections, eg. are historically split collections or the other side of a correspondence. Also need to consider microform etc. copies held in different institutions.
  12. Legal status should be separated out.
  13. Ran out of time!

Patricia J. Methven, <>

Maintained by: Andy Powell
Last updated: 19-April-2000

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