Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS) is a set of rules for describing archives, personal papers, and manuscript collections. The descriptive standard can be utilized for all types of archival material. In 2004, DACS was adopted by the Society of American Archivists as an official standard. In January 2013, the society officially adopted the second edition, after review by their Standards Committee, its Technical Subcommittee for Describing Archives: A Content Standard, and the general archival community.
Relation to other standards
Upon adoption by the Society of American Archivists, DACS superseded the former standard for archival material, Archives, Personal Papers, and Manuscripts. It has now been widely adopted by the archival community throughout the United States. Also, DACS expands on the basic rules for describing archival material that are found in chapter 4 of the cataloging standard, Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR2). DACS also provides crosswalks from DACS to MARC, Encoded Archival Description (EAD), Resource Description and Access (RDA) and Encoded Archival Context (EAC-CPF). DACS specifies only the type of content, not the structural or encoding requirements or the actual verbiage to be used; it is therefore suitable for use in conjunction with structural and encoding standards such as MARC and EAD and with controlled vocabularies such as Medical Subject Headings, Library of Congress Subject Headings, Art & Architecture Thesaurus, and so on. DACS is based on the same principles found in the new Resource and Description Access that will soon replace AACR2.
In electronic environments, a content standard ensures a consistent way of organizing information that is easy to retrieve, clear and understandable, and easily reusable. Information Mapping is used worldwide by many organizations as an (electronic) content standard.
- Society of American Archivists Description of DACS
- Society of American Archivists Description of DACS, 2nd edition
- Whittaker, B. M. (2007). DACS and RDA: Insights and Questions from the New Archival Descriptive Standard. Library Resources & Technical Services, 51(2), 98-105
- "Appendix C Crosswalks". Society of American Archivists. January 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2014.