Functions and activities of archive creators

A draft new standard has been published on the International Council on Archives’ website. ISAF (International Standard for Activities/Functions of Corporate bodies) is a sister standard to ISAD(G) and ISAAR (CPF), which are the standards for the description of archives and names respectively.

The description of records from a functional perspective has been becoming more common over recent years – partly a reflection of the number of times that governments and institutions re-organise their departments. The activities of a particular organisation (and the resulting records) often remain relatively constant, although the name of the section or department might change over time. ISAF provides a way of identifying these functions and linking them to the appropriate corporate entities and related records.

You can see the application of these functional descriptions in Glasgow University Archive Services’ GASHE website, where it is possible to browse the different activities and functions undertaken by the Scottish Higher Education institutions whose records are described in GASHE. The functional descriptions provide an overview of the activity (for example finance management/financial audit), with links to the various corporate entities involved in the activity (described in ISAAR authority records) and to the archives produced by the activity (described according to the ISAD(G) standard).

The deadline for comments on the draft standard is 31 March 2007.