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Control area

Control area in an archival description

The control area is similar, with some variations, for archival descriptions (ISAD, DACS, and RAD templates only), authority records, archival institutions and functions. It contains fields that uniquely identify the description itself and records how, when, and by which archival institution the description was created and maintained.

The following notes aim primarily to clarify AtoM procedures; for guidelines on what information to record in particular fields, consult the relevant content standard. Users may note that the AtoM templates offer more fields than exist in the content standards, which originated from an effort to harmonize the templates with all four standards. The notes are organized by field, with links to the applicable section(s) of the standards. Where there is a one-to-one correspondence between a data element in the standard and an AtoM field, the note simply gives the standard rule verbatim.

Description identifier

“Record a unique description identifier in accordance with local and/or national conventions. If the description is to be used internationally, record the code of the country in which the description was created in accordance with the latest version of ISO 3166, Codes for the representation of names of countries. Where the creator of the description is an international organisation, give the organisational identifier in place of the country code.” ISDIAH 5.6.1, ISAAR 5.4.1, ISDF 5.4.1

Institution identifier

“Record the full authorised form of name(s) of the agency(ies) responsible for creating, modifying or disseminating the description or, alternatively, record a code for the agency in accordance with the national or international agency code standard.” ISDIAH 5.6.2, ISAAR 5.4.2, ISDF 5.4.2

Institution identifier field in the Description control area

Tip

If you are using the reference-code inheritance option available in Admin > Settings > Global (learn more here), the Institution identifier you have entered on the ISDIAH archival institution record will appear as part of your inherited reference code. If you are not using the reference code inheritance, this field offers users a way to record the related repository identifier with an associated archival description.

Rules or conventions

“Record the international, national and/or local rules or conventions followed in preparing the description.” ISAD 3.7.2, DACS 8.1.4

Rules or conventions field in the Description control area

“Record the names, and where useful the editions or publication dates, of the conventions or rules applied. Specify separately which rules have been applied for creating the Authorised form of name. Include reference to any system(s) of dating used to identify dates in this description (e.g. ISO 8601).” ISDIAH 5.6.3, ISAAR 5.4.3

“Record the names and, when useful, the editions or publication dates of the conventions or rules applied.” ISDF 5.4.3

Status

“Record the current status of the description, indicating whether it is a draft, finalized and/or revised….” ISDIAH 5.6.4; ISAAR 5.4.4, ISDF 5.4.4

Status field in the Description control area

AtoM has a drop-down menu using values drawn from the description statuses taxonomy; by default in AtoM this drop-down is populated with the following terms:

  • Final
  • Revised
  • Draft

Tip

Administrators and editors can customize the taxonomy to match institutional standards if desired, adding new terms, or changing/deleting the default terms. For more information, see: Terms.

Level of detail

“Record whether the description consists of a minimal, partial or full level of detail in accordance with relevant international and/or national guidelines and/or rules…” ISDIAH 5.6.5, ISAAR 5.4.5, ISDF 5.4.5

Level of detail field in the Description control area

AtoM has a drop-down menu using values drawn from the description detail levels taxonomy; by default in AtoM this drop-down is populated with the following terms:

  • Full
  • Partial
  • Minimal

Tip

Administrators and editors can customize the taxonomy to match institutional standards if desired, adding new terms, or changing/deleting the default terms. For more information, see: Terms.

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

“Record the date(s) the entry was prepared and/or revised…” (ISAD 3.7.3)

“Record the date the description was created and the dates of any revisions to the description.” ISDIAH 5.6.6, ISAAR 5.4.6, ISDF 5.4.6

Dates of creation, revision, and deletion in the Control area

Language(s) and Script(s)

“Record the language(s) and/or script(s) of the description… ISDIAH 5.6.7, “ISAAR 5.4.7, ISDF 5.4.7

Languages and scripts fields in the Control area

AtoM implements this data element as two separate multi-value fields. The value lists are based on the ISO standards and cannot be edited.

Click on the desired field and begin to type the name of the language or script. AtoM will auto-suggest as you type. When the correct name appears in the field, click on it to add. There is no limit to the number of languages or scripts you can add.

Using the language autocomplete field to select a language removing a language

To remove a language or script already added, hover your cursor over the bullet next to the language/script. The bullet will change into an X - if you click the X, the language or script will be removed.

To record a narrative note relating to either field, use the Maintenance Notes area (this field is not available in the archival description edit templates).

Important

These fields are intended to capture information about the language of the description, rather than the language of the materials themselves. For archival descriptions, there are already fields available in the edit page to capture information about the language of the materials being described - in the ISAD(G) template, these fields are found in the Conditions of access and use information area; in the RAD template, these fields are found in the Notes information area; in the DACS template, these are in the Conditions of access and use elements. For further information, see the section on Data entry for each specific edit template.

Sources

“Record the sources consulted in establishing the description.” ISDIAH 5.6.8, ISAAR 5.4.8, ISDF 5.4.8

“Record relevant information about sources conslulted in establishing or revising the description.” DACS 8.1.3. Note that this field is labeled “Sources used” in the DACS template.

The sources field in the Control area

This is a text field; AtoM does not structure the data in any predetermined way.

Maintenance notes

“Record notes pertinent to the creation and maintenance of the description. For example, the names of persons responsible for creating and/or revising the description may be recorded here.” ISDIAH 5.6.9, ISAAR 5.4.9

“Record notes pertinent to the creation and maintenance of the description.” ISDF 5.4.9

The Maintenance notes field in the Control area

This element appears in the templates for authority records, archival institutions and functions. For archival descriptions see Archivist’s notes, below.

This is a text field; AtoM does not structure the data in any predetermined way.

Archivist’s notes

“Record notes on sources consulted in preparing the description and who prepared it.” ISAD 3.7.1

“Record the name(s) of the person(s) who created or revised the description, as well as the creation or revision date.” DACS 8.1.5. Note that this field is labeled “Archivist and date” in the DACS template.

The Archivist's notes field in the Control area

This element appears only in the ISAD(G) and DACS archival description templates. This is a text field; AtoM does not structure the data in any predetermined way. There is no limit to the number of notes you can add.

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