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International Council on Archives

The tsunami is coming to the ICA!

International Council on ArchivesHello,

It seems that the tsunami of descriptive principles refounding is coming early also in the world of archives, or at least this is the sign that the International Council on Archives (ICA) is showing with the review of the current principles and standards of the archival description that it is being carried out today.

Indeed, the ICA created in 2012 an Expert Group on Archival Description (EGAD) with the aim of developing a comprehensive descriptive standard that “reconciles, integrates, and builds on” the four existing standards: ISAD(G), ISAAR(CPF), ISDF and ISDIAH.

After four years of work, the Expert Group brought to light for public comment the initial draft of the first part of a two-part standard for archival description named Records in Contexts (RiC). The first part includes the conceptual model (RiC-CM), while the second contains the ontology model (RIC-O), in a clear orientation to the semantic Web.Example of Archival Description Conforming to RiC - CM

In the RiC-CM draft there is identified and defined the primary descriptive entities (fourteen entities), the properties or attributes of these entities, and essential relations among them. Surprisingly, the standard does not include any E-R representation of the conceptual model proposed and we have to resign ourselves with the representation of an archival description example (p. 93).

As you can see, the RiC-CM goes so far away from the classic hierarchical model of the ISAD(G) (p. 36), and it proposes a description in form of a graph or network. Thus, the new proposal seeks to respond not only to the archival community but also to the records management community, whose specific needs often does not fit with the archival principles of Respect des fonds and the Respect for original order.

One more time... enjoy it!

Andreu Sulé

University of Barcelona