May 19, 2022

Describing Archives: A Content Standard, Second Edition (DACS), Full Text Now Available Online (Free)

From the Society of American Archivists:

Describing Archives: A Content Standard, Second Edition (DACS) is now available as a free PDF download. DACS facilitates consistent, appropriate, and self-explanatory description of archival materials and creators of archival materials. This new edition reflects the growing convergence among archival, museum, and library standards; aligns DACS with the descriptive standards developed and supported by the International Council on Archives; and provides guidance on the creation of archival authority records.

The Second Edition consists of two parts: Describing Archival Materials and Archival Authority Records. Separate sections discuss levels of description and the importance of access points to the retrieval of descriptions. Appendices feature a list of companion standards and crosswalks to ISAD(G), ISAAR(CPF), MARC 21, EAD, EAC, and Resource Description and Access (RDA). Also included is an index.

The Second Edition was officially adopted as a standard by the Council of the Society of American Archivists in January 2013, following review by the SAA Standards Committee, its Technical Subcommittee for Describing Archives: A Content Standard, and the general archival community. An earlier edition was officially approved as an SAA standard in March 2004, following review by its Standards Committee, its Technical Subcommittee for Descriptive Standards, and by the general archival community.

Direct to Full Text (2nd ed.)
209 pages; PDF.

Direct to Full Text (2010)
6th printing of 2007 ed.
309 pages; PDF.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.