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8. Details of Individual Metadata Elements

8.33 Location




Identifying Attributes





Defined by

Government of Canada Records Management Metadata Standard - location

Element URI

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

Definitional Attributes


A description or indication of where the analog or digital record or file resides.


To keep track of records or files for which the institution is responsible.

To act as a storage management tool.

To enable the identification of the record or file locations and facilitate accessibility.

To efficiently search for and retrieve records or files by location.

To identify the location of records and files.

To account for records and files.


"Metadata for accessibility should do the following 

c) Capture record location information. Systems should be capable of maintaining a variety of metadata details about record location. Record location may be logical and/or physical. Variations in location detail may need to be maintained. A record's home and current locations may need to be recorded to facilitate record tracking." ISO Technical Specification 23081-1, s.

Value Domain

Enumerated strings of text representing locations.

Datatype Name



Applicable at record level or file level. Must be applicable for at least one level; may be applicable at both levels.


Mandatory at record level or mandatory at file level. Must be mandatory for at least one level; may be mandatory at both levels.

Relational Attributes

Encoding Scheme

Institution-specific scheme




Container; Event Type

Conditions of Application - Record


Text, based on encoding scheme.


Pre Record Declared Locked

Post Record Declared Locked


Yes, by authorized official only.


Not repeatable

Conditions of Application - File


Text, based on encoding scheme.


Yes, by authorized official only.


Not repeatable

Comments and Guidance

a) Explanation of Definition/Usage

This element is used to locate records and files.

b) Best Practices

In the case of analog records, location may be identified by the building address or organizatinal unit. In the case of digital records, location may be identified by the server file path or name of the EDRMS.

An institution may assign further values for use with this element to reflect the institution's specific situation (e.g., other entities to which it regularly moves records, or details of physical and/or electronic storage areas within the agency).

This element is generally applied at the file level, with the records in the file inheriting the value. It can, however, be applied at the record level. It must be applied to at least the file or record level and may be applied at both. Some records within a file may have a Location different than that of the file itself (e.g. files with many volumes may be split between central records and another storage area).

Once a record is locked, the value for this element may be modified by an authorized official to accommodate the relocation of the record; similarly, to also accommodate changes to file locations.

c) Obligation

Every record and file must be able to be located; hence, this element is mandatory.

d) Default Values/Auto-populate

If the record is digital, this element can be auto-populated. If the record is analog, the value for this element may be defaulted.

e) Linkages

This element is linked to the element Container in order to assist in the retrieval of the file. Location is also linked to the element Event Type in cases where a change to the location of the record or file must be noted in the management and event history log.

f) Examples

  1. "Director's office" - A person is searching for an analog file. They identify the location of the file as the Director's office.

  2. "Server 123" - A file is located on Server 123 in a regional office and the file server is identified in the Location element. A person in the National Capital Region requires access to the file, but doesn't have a connection to the regional server. By identifying the location of the server, the person can request that a copy of the digital file be sent to them.

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