5.1 Custodial History (Added Value)

Purpose and Scope

This element provides information on changes of ownership or custody of the material being described, from the time it left the possession of the creator until it was acquired by the repository, that is significant for its authenticity, integrity, and interpretation.

Commentary: The archivist should determine when it is desirable to create an access point for a custodian. It is probably not necessary to do so for custodians who merely stored the materials.


5.1.1 Record information about the donor or source from which the archives directly acquired the unit being described in the Immediate Source of Acquisition Element (5.2).

Sources of Information

5.1.2 Derive the information from transfer documents such as donor agreements.

General Rules

5.1.3 Record the successive transfers of ownership, responsibility, or custody or control of the unit being described from the time it left the possession of the creator until its acquisition by the repository, along with the dates thereof, insofar as this information can be ascertained and is significant to the user’s understanding of the authenticity.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s gubernatorial records were initially deposited at the Roosevelt Presidential Library following his death. In 1982 they were returned by the Roosevelt Library to the New York State Archives.

Many of the records in this series were created or compiled by the U.S. Army before the Japanese invasion of the Philippines. Just before the surrender of U.S. forces, the records were buried to prevent capture and were retrieved after the U.S. forces reoccupied the Philippines in 1945.

Standards: What's New!

Announcement of the Working Group on a Schema for Functions 

Best Practices for Volunteers in Archives (PDF; August 2014)

Best Practices for Internships as a Component of Graduate Archival Education (PDF; February 2014)

Describing Archives: A Content Standard, Second Edition (DACS) (March 2015)

The Standards Portal is maintained by the SAA Standards Committee.

SAA Members: Contribute related resources (e.g., journal articles, case studies, etc.) by using the links at the bottom of listed standards.

Other Related Resources

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