Learning RAD with MemoryNS

Instructor: Lisa Snider, CNSA MemoryNS Support Specialist

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Course Description

We describe our archival records and create finding aids so that researchers can more easily access our archival holdings. Many Canadian archivists use the Canadian standard, Rules for Archival Description – known as RAD – for creating descriptions. This course introduces and explains the rules of RAD. It also explains how the internet and online portals like MemoryNS and AtoM (which is the basis of MemoryNS) changed how we use RAD today: it has become what some call ‘RAD-ish’. Through lectures, in-class activities including adding content to MemoryNS, students will learn the practical uses of RAD in descriptions and finding aids.

RAD (2008 version) is available online as a PDF. It can be downloaded for free from the Canadian Council of Archives website.

This course is part of the CNSA Archival Certificate Program.

Learning Method

This course is taught online across four half-day sessions. Learning is done through a combination of webinar, personal reading, and practical exercises. If you have your own descriptions and/or finding aids, bring them to class to use as examples.


Arrangement and Description OR or working knowledge of archival fonds arrangement. No prior knowledge of MemoryNS is needed.


Registration is open to anyone although preference is given to CNSA Members. Staff and/or volunteers at CNSA member organizations, which are in good standing, can register at the discounted rate. Multiple staff/volunteers from a member organization may be eligible for a group discount. Please contact our Archives Advisor for details.

Members are eligible for a travel subsidy if this course is offered in person. Click here for Expense Claim Form for travel subsidy.