The Commonwealth Record Series (CRS) Manual

8.3. Item - Depth of description

On this page:

8.3.0.  Item depth of description
8.3.1.  Descriptive elements for items
8.3.2.  Other sources of information
8.3.3.  Last updated

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8.3.0. Depth of Description

The broad description of items is achieved through their relevant series-level descriptions which, in turn, are linked to documentation for agencies, organisations and persons. Therefore, except for control number references, information given in organisation, agency, person and series registrations and consignment records should not normally be repeated at item level. 

8.3.1.  Descriptive elements for items

Each item consists of several descriptive elements. You must choose the elements and amount of information which are appropriate for the item being described. Information does not need to be included in every element. However, some are mandatory to establish a registration.

The elements have been categorised according to the role they play in the registration and description process. Four broad categories of relative importance have been established.

Category 1 Must be present for all registrations
Category 2 Must be present where applicable, to provide essential context or facilitate management
Category 3 Should be completed where applicable, to provide additional context
Category 4 Should be completed for significant registrations; may be completed in other cases

The requirements for the following elements are set out in this document:

Identification and descriptive elements Relative importance
Series number 1
Control symbol 1
Item title 1
Contents date range 1
Accumulation start date 2
Alternative series number 2
Alternative control symbol 2
Extent 2
Dimensions 2
Keyword headings 4
Medium 4
Item descriptive note 4
Medium note 4
Control and management elements
Access status 1
Bar code number 1
Date of decision 1
Disposal status 1
Location 1
Series accession number / job number 1
Archivist note 2
Disposal class number 2
Destruction due date 2
Ownership other than Commonwealth 2
Physical availability of item note 2
Reason for restriction 2
Visibility and availability indicators  2
Parent item barcode number  1
Source item barcode number 1
Date modified 1
Registration date 1
User id 1

These descriptive elements cover the general requirements of the intellectual control of items in Archives custody, as well as those descriptive elements required for items being transferred to the Archives.

8.3.2.  Other sources of information

This page '8.3. Item - Depth of description' - last updated 23 August 2004

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