Lifecycle Data Requirements Guide
The National Archives and Records Administration’s metadata standards are documented in the Lifecycle Data Requirements Guide (LCDRG). These standards allow NARA to create complete and consistent descriptions of permanent archival materials. The LCDRG is applied to descriptions of Federal records, Presidential records, Congressional records, and donated materials in NARA’s holdings.
Third Edition (July 20, 2022)
The Lifecycle Data Requirements Guide (LCDRG) currently contains elements that were developed for the archival description portion of the records lifecycle. These elements were based in part on NARA's previous data standard, Data Elements 800 (DE 800). Additional elements will be added and current elements revised as projects are developed and completed.
This page is a compilation of all authority sources used to describe archival materials. It also contains the forms used to request changes to thesauri and authority lists.
This page provides basic guidance on the use of abbreviations in archival descriptions. It addresses some of the most common issues that relate to abbreviations.
LCDRG Changes (last updated May 26, 2023)
NARA 1301, Lifecycle Data Standards and Lifecycle Authority Control
This directive, issued November 14, 2002, authorizes the use of the LCDRG and establishes procedures for updating thesauri, authority files, and authority lists.
Data Element Tables
These tables refer to the elements used to describe archival materials and archival creators
- Mandatory Elements
- Elements Available for Describing Record Groups and Collections
- Elements Available for Describing Series, File Units, and (non-a/v) Items
- Additional Elements Available for Describing Audiovisual Items
- Elements Available for Describing Archival Creators
- Elements Available for Describing Digital Objects
- Elements Available for Describing Microform Products
Questions or comments about the Lifecycle Data Requirements Guide can be sent to email@example.com