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ISAD(G) (General International Standard Archival Description) defines the elements that should be included in an archival finding aid. It was approved by the International Council on Archives (ICA/CIA) as a standard to register archival documents produced by corporations, persons and families.


ISAD (G) defines a list of elements and rules for the description of archives and describes the kinds of information that must and should be included in such descriptions.

ISAD(G) defines 26 data elements of which six are mandatory:

  1. Reference code
  2. Title
  3. Name of Creator
  4. Dates of Creation
  5. Extent of the Unit of Description
  6. Level of description

The standard provides a framework for a common approach, rather than a rigid format.[1][2]


After initial activities since 1988 supported by UNESCO, a subgroup of the AdHoc Commission on Descriptive Standards discussed the first draft from 1990. The first version was released in 1993/94. In 2000 the ICA published a revised version, the second edition, sometimes abbreviated as ISAD(G)2 which remains the current standard.

ISAD(G) has been adopted as a standard by various members. In the United States, for example, the local implementation of ISAD(G) is Describing Archives: A Content Standard (2006).[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ISAD(G) standard - Archives Hub". Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  2. ^ "ISAD (G): The Basics" (PDF). 16 Jun 2003.
  3. ^ "Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)". Society of American Archivists. Retrieved 8 July 2012.

External links[edit]