Explanation of Information Categories
(Paragraph Names) in Record Format

A record format containing standard information categories or paragraph names is used for the processing of data for all databases. Depending on the type of archives to which the information refers, certain of the information categories may be omitted. The information categories are explained below. N.B. For the physical retrieval of archives for consultation, the information in the following paragraphs is necessary: DEPOT, SOURCE, VOLUME NO and REFERENCE.



The archives repository at which the archives concerned are housed. An acronym or abbreviated version is usually given. See Acronyms and names used to identify archival repositories (depots) and contact details .



Archives are kept as entities or sources according to the office that created or received them. Each of these sources has a code that is given in this paragraph. For example, DWB stands for Director of the Weather Bureau. See Source codes for details or  the publication List of Computerised Sources, which is available from the National Archives and Records Service, Private Bag X236, Pretoria 0001.



The physical type of the relevant archives is given in this information category. On certain databases the Afrikaans terms are used throughout as a standard to facilitate retrieval. See Types of archives for details.

Volume no and reference:


This information enables the physical location of an item to be identified.



Where more than one classification system was used by an office historically, the number of the particular classification system is indicated here.


Part no:


Where there is more than one file with the same reference number, the number of the part is indicated here.




A synoptic description of the archival unit is given. In many cases it is the title of a file as it was used by the office that created it.


Starting and ending:


The terminal dates of an item which spans a period of time.



Explanatory details such as cross-references are given here.




This paragraph is used only in data pertaining to the national registers of non-public records. A synoptic overview is given of the contents of a collection in a National Register of Manuscripts (NAREM) entry, and a listing of individual items in a National Register of Audio-visual Material (NAROM) entry, such as cuts of a gramophone record.