The goal of the DAACS Cataloging Manual is twofold: 1) to ensure data consistency between catalogers through the duration of the project by explicating cataloging protocols, and 2) to provide researchers using DAACS data with a comprehensive manual describing how those data were created. The manual integrates basic background information about particular types of artifacts with the protocols used to record essential artifact data.

The manual consists of eleven separate sections: a section for each of the nine main artifact tables in the database (Beads, Buckles, Buttons, Ceramics, Faunal, General Artifacts, Glass Vessels, Tobacco Pipes, and Utensils), one section into which protocols for the Project, Context, and Feature tables are combined, and a section that describes how DAACS records Objects, unique artifacts or mended artifacts that have been identified as objects by their curating institution.