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8. Details of Individual Metadata Elements

8.14 Container From Date




Identifying Attributes




From Date

Defined by

Government of Canada Records Management Metadata Standard - containerFromDate

Element URI

[To be actioned by Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat before publication]

Definitional Attributes


The date of the earliest record in a container.


To provide the date range of records within a container.

To assist in organizing records in a chronological date order.

To facilitate the process of retention and disposition.


"Techniques to ensure capture of records may include …b) arrangement in a logical structure and sequence, whether a physical file or an electronic directory, which facilitates subsequent use and reference,…d) systems which profile or template the actions undertaken in doing business, which …2) provide evidence of where a record is located…" ISO International Standard  15489-1, s. 9.3

Value Domain

A range of dates expressed using the Gregorian calendar.

Datatype Name



Applicable at file level only.


Mandatory, if applicable, at file level.

Relational Attributes

Encoding Scheme(s)

ISO International Standard 8601 [W3CDTF] as adopted by TBITS 39: Treasury Board Information Management Standard, Part 1: Government On-Line Metadata Standard


Container; Container To Date; Record Date

Conditions of Application - Record




Pre Record Declared Locked

Post Record Declared Locked





Conditions of Application - File




Yes, by authorized official only.


Not repeatable

Comments and Guidance

a) Explanation of Definition/Usage

This element is intended to identify the earliest Record Date of any record within the particular container and may not necessarily be the same date that a container is opened. In an analog system, it is possible that all the records in the container will have the same date. Given that Record Dates of records in a digital environment are automatically tied to the record, this element is most applicable to an analog environment.

This element is not to be confused with the element Event Date/Time which logs the date and time when an action was performed on a record or file and which is in many cases system generated.

b) Best Practices

It is likely that the label for this element will differ depending on the context on the container. If it is a file, it is possible that the label will be File From Date. If it is a box, the label may be Box From Date.

Recommended best practice is to format the value for this element as YYYY-MM-DD.

The value of Container From Date may be modified by an authorized official only.

c) Obligation

This element is mandatory, if applicable, because there is a records management requirement to manage information through its life cycle. The value of Container From Date adds context to the container.

d) Default Values/Auto-populate

Given that the metadata value of the Container From Date can easily precede the actual opening of the container, the element cannot be auto-populated nor defaulted.

e) Linkages

This element is linked to the elements Container and Container To Date, and it is also linked to the element Record Date. In the latter case, the value of Record Date will help to determine the value in this element.

f) Examples

  1. "2005-09-13" - A file is opened on September 15, 2005, but the earliest date of the records contained in the file is September 13, 2005. That same file has an action performed on it. The metadata value of the Container From Date will not change, because the Record Date of the earliest record has not changed.

  2. "2005-08-24" - A record that was created on August 24, 2005 is added to the file. The Container From Date element will need to change from 2005-09-13 to 2005-08-24.

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