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Born Digital Archival Description Guidelines: Required Descriptive Elements

Required Elements at Each Level of Description

Introduction

The levels of description documented in these Guidelines, from general to specific, are: Collection, Series, and File.

Required, recommended, and optional elements for each level are outlined below.

Optional elements should be used as appropriate.

In general, do not repeat descriptive information provided at a higher levels and provide descriptive information only at the level for which it pertains.

Information on the minimal level of description needed before sending born digital collections to the Digital Accessioning Support Service (DASS), along with details of the ingest and output process from the service, can be found on the DASS Libguide.

Levels of Description

Level

Required

Optimal

Collection

Title

Appraisal, Destruction, and Scheduling Information (required when appraisal has occurred, otherwise recommended). 

 

Date

Other Finding Aids (when appropriate)

 

Extent

Custodial History (when appropriate)

 

Creator (if known)

 

 

Conditions Governing Access

 

 

Language

 

 

Access Points

 

 

Scope and Content

 

 

System of Arrangement

 

 

Processing Information

 

 

Conditions Governing Use

 

Series

Title       

Other Finding Aids (when appropriate) 

 

Date 

Creator (rarely used at Yale)

 

Extent 

Conditions Governing Access (when needed)

 

Scope and Content

System of Arrangement (when appropriate)

 

 

Processing Information (when appropriate)

 

 

Custodial History (when appropriate)

File

Title         

Other Finding Aids (when appropriate)

 

Extent 

Creator (rarely used at Yale)

 

 

Conditions Governing Access (when needed)

 

 

Scope and Content (when appropriate)

 

 

System of Arrangement (when appropriate)

 

 

Processing Information (when appropriate)

 

 

Date (when appropriate)