ARST 556G (3) Archival Description Using Open Source Software

Offered on an irregular basis


MAS and Dual Students: completion of the MAS core courses

MLIS students: completion of the MLIS core courses, plus permission of the UBC iSchool Graduate Advisor

GOAL: The goal of this course is to provide an introduction to using open-source software for archival description to create standards-compliant archival descriptions for public access.


Upon completion of the course, students will:

  • Use open-source software in archives
  • Implement standards in archival description software
  • Compare RAD and ISAD(G) for archival description
  • Identify core elements at different levels of description
  • Manage relationships between archival descriptions, authority records, functions and repository descriptions
  • Describe and manage access to digital objects
  • Use EAD to move descriptions between systems


  • Creating hierarchical archival descriptions using RAD
  • Creating authority records compliant with the ICA ISAAR(CPF) standard
  • Creating function descriptions compliant with the ICA ISDF standard
  • Creating repository descriptions compliant with the ICA ISDIAH standard
  • Creating hierarchical taxonomies and use them to add access points to archival descriptions
  • Uploading digital objects and attaching them to archival descriptions
  • Exporting archival descriptions using Encoded Archival Description (EAD)
On this page