The National Archives Catalog


Language

Mandatory Repeatable Data Type Authority Level Available A/V Only Public Element
No Yes Variable Character Length (60) Language List Series
File Unit
Item
No Yes
Definition: The language of the archival materials.
Purpose: Alerts users if the archival materials are in a language other than English, so the user may determine if a translation would be needed.
Relationship: This element is independent.
Guidance:

Choose the appropriate language of the archival materials from the Language Authority List. The Language Authority List is based on the MARC Language Code List.

Use this element when all or a portion of the archival materials is in a language other than English.

Do not enter "English." It is the implied language. If the archival materials are in both English and another language, place the other language in this element and explain further in Scope and Content Note.

This data is called an "access point." At the series level, access points must be "anchored" or explained in the descriptive record in which the access point appears. Access points may be anchored in narrative fields like Title, Scope and Content Note, Function and Use, and Shot List or in Creating Organization; access points are not considered anchored by the Container List field. Ask yourself the question "will it be apparent to the user how these holdings relate to the access point I have chosen."

At the file unit and item levels, it is best practice to anchor the terms, and you are encouraged but not required to adhere to best practice.

Examples:
German
Dutch
Portuguese
Algonquian (Other)


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