Archives and Records Management Resources

Archives and Records Management Resources

the next glossary, produced by the then National Archives and Records Service in 1984 for today's Archives Reader: Basic Readings on Archival Theory and Practice, is supplied with this web site being a help to individuals not really acquainted with common archival terms. These definitions aren't lawfully binding and don't express NARA policy. The updated and much more comprehensive A Glossary for Archivists, Manuscript Curators, and Records Managers, published by Lewis J. Bellardo and Lynn Lady Bellardo, had been posted in 1992 and may also be bought through the community of American Archivists.

Archival terminology is really a group that is flexible of terms which have obtained specialized definitions for archivists. Since World War II, archivists global have actually dedicated attention that is considerable this is among these terms. In 1964, a lexicon that is international of terminology ended up being posted. (1) This dictionary in 6 languages, the task of the committee regarding the Overseas Council on Archives, supplies a foundation for worldwide contrast of archival terms.

The community of American Archivists published its very own glossary of archival terms in 1974 after many years of debate, drafting, and review. (2) Definitions within the SAA glossary happen commonly accepted since the foundation for discussion of archival terminology in united states and possess been the point that is starting subsequent efforts to define American archival terms. Since book regarding the SAA glossary, nonetheless, numerous archivists have actually figured a few of its definitions need modification and therefore additional terms should really be included. Instructors of archives management and writers of fundamental archival texts, consequently, are suffering from their glossaries that are own revise, change, or expand the 1974 work. At the moment, no solitary glossary of archival terms can be viewed as definitive. (3)

The absolute most commonly used archival terms are the ones that describe documentary materials and archival organizations. Documentary materials could be characterized as "records," "personal papers," or "artificial collections" on the basis of who created and maintained the papers and for just what function. (4) reports are papers in every kind which can be made or gotten and maintained by a business, whether federal government agency, church, company, college, or other organization. A business's documents typically might consist of copies of letters, memoranda, reports, reports, photographs, as well as other materials made by the company along with incoming letters, reports received, memoranda off their workplaces, as well as other papers maintained within the company's files.

As opposed to documents, individual documents are made or gotten and maintained by a person or household along the way of living. Diaries, news clippings, individual monetary documents, photographs, communication received, and copies of letters written and delivered because of the person or household are one of the materials typically present in individual documents.

Usually, documents and private documents happen considered distinct entities, each with plainly characteristics that are definable. When you look at the 20th century, the real characteristics of documents and individual documents have grown to be more alike, however, and archivists increasingly have actually emphasized the similarities between these materials in the place of their differences. (5) In specific, today's archivists observe that both documents and individual documents are systems of interrelated materials which were brought together due to their function or usage. Archivists respect and look for to keep the relationships that are established singular items in categories of documents as well as in individual documents. (6)

Synthetic collections are basically various both from documents and from individual documents. In place of being accumulations that are natural synthetic collections are comprised of singular items purposefully put together from many different sources. Because synthetic collections comprise papers from numerous sources, archivists may elect to improve established relationships to be able to enhance control or access.

Archival organizations are termed either "archives" or "manuscript repositories" based on the kinds of documentary material they have and exactly how its obtained. "Archives" typically have now been those organizations accountable for the care that is long-term of historic records regarding the company or organization of that they are a component. (7) numerous archives are general general public organizations accountable for the documents of continuing worth of a government or body that is governmental. The National Archives for the united states of america as well as the Public Archives of Canada are types of general general public archives during the nationwide degree. Public archives additionally can be bought at almost every other degree of federal government, including state or province, county, and municipal amounts. Nonpublic or archives that are nongovernmental for the documents of any other organization or company of that they are a component. Church archives, for instance, administer the historic documents of the denomination that is religious congregation. University archives have the effect of documents for the college's management. Archives acquire historical product through the action of legislation or through interior regulation that is institutional policy.

"Manuscript repositories" are archival organizations primarily accountable for individual documents, synthetic collections, and documents of other businesses. Manuscript repositories purchase or look for contributions of materials to that they don't have any right that is necessary. They consequently must report the transfer of materials by deed of present or by other appropriate agreement.

The distinctions between archives and manuscript repositories may be exactly stated, yet few archival institutions are merely "archives" or "manuscript repositories." Many archives hold some individual papers or documents of other companies. Perhaps the National Archives associated with usa is in charge of a little selection of donated individual documents and nongovernment documents. Likewise, numerous manuscript repositories act as the archives of the own organizations. In recognition with this, the expression "archives" slowly has obtained wider meaning for a few archivists and it is employed by them in mention of any institution that is archival. This trend happens to be accelerated by way of your message "archives" or "archive" into the names of some organizations that in yesteryear could have been termed "manuscript repositories." (8)

Modern archival terminology provides a necessary and useful method of specialized communication inside the archival profession. Its terms could be exact adequate to protect essential distinctions among kinds of materials and archival organizations, yet its use can also be sufficiently versatile to reflect the changing nature of record materials and developments when you look at the administration of archival organizations. Due to the fact archival occupation grows and matures so when brand new technologies and documents news affect the training of archives management, both the accuracy and freedom of archival terminology will end up being of continuing advantage to archivists.


This glossary of widely used archival terms is situated in component on and attracts a few definitions from "A Basic Glossary for Archivists, Manuscript Curators, and Records Managers," published by Frank B. Evans, Donald F. Harrison, and Edwin A. Thompson (The American Archivist 37 July 1974: 415-433). The glossary includes many archival that is important with specialized definitions. Terms which can be acceptably described in dictionaries; technical manuscript, documents administration, and conservation terms; and terms associated with automatic information processing aren't included.

ACCESS The term that is archival authority to have information from or even to perform research in archival materials.

ACCESSION (v.) To move real and appropriate custody of documentary materials to an institution that is archival. (letter.) Materials used in an archival institution in a solitary accessioning action.

ACCRETION An addition to an accession.

PURCHASE The process of pinpointing and acquiring, by contribution or purchase, historic materials from sources outside the archival organization.

ADMINISTRATIVE VALUE the worthiness of documents for the business that is ongoing of agency of records creation or its successor in college essay examples of a personal statement function.

APPRAISAL The process of determining whether documentary materials have actually enough value to justify purchase by the institution that is archival.

ARCHIVAL ORGANIZATION an organization holding appropriate and real custody of noncurrent documentary materials determined to have permanent or value that is continuing. Archives and manuscript repositories are archival organizations.

ARCHIVAL VALUE the worthiness of documentary materials for continuing conservation in a archival institution.

ARCHIVES (1) The noncurrent documents of an institution or organization preserved due to their continuing value. (2) The agency accountable for choosing, preserving, and making available documents determined to possess permanent or continuing value. (3) The building by which an archival institution is based.

ARCHIVES MANAGEMENT The management that is professional of archival organization through application of archival concepts and strategies.

ARCHIVIST The expert employee within a archival organization accountable for any facet of the selection, conservation, or usage of archival materials.

ARRANGEMENT The archival procedure of organizing documentary materials according to archival concepts.

GATHERING POLICY A policy founded by an archival organization concerning subject matter, cycles, and platforms of materials to get for contribution or purchase.

COLLECTION (1) an artificial accumulation of materials specialized in a theme that is single individual, occasion, or variety of document acquired from a number of sources. (2) In a manuscript repository, a human body of historic materials associated with a person, household, or company.

COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT The process to build an organization's holdings of historical materials through purchase tasks.

CONTINUOUS CUSTODY (1) In modern U.S. use, the archival principle that to ensure archival integrity, archival materials should either be retained by the producing organization or transferred right to an archival institution. (2) In British use, the principle that noncurrent documents needs to be retained by the producing organization or its successor in function to be viewed archival.

CUBIC FEET (or METERS) a regular way of measuring the amount of archival materials based on the number of room they occupy.

DEED OF PRESENT A appropriate document accomplishing donation of documentary materials to an archival organization through transfer of name.

DEPOSIT CONTRACT A legal document supplying for deposit of historic materials in physical custody of an archival organization while legal name to your materials is retained by the donor.

DESCRIPTION the entire process of developing control that is intellectual holdings of a archival organization through planning of finding aids.

DISPOSITION The final action that puts into impact the outcome of an assessment choice for a number of documents. Transfer to an archival institution, transfer to a documents center, and destruction are among possible dispositions.

DISPOSITION SCHEDULE guidelines governing retention and disposition of present and noncurrent recurring documents a number of an organization or agency. Also known as a RECORDS CONTROL SCHEDULE.

REPORT Recorded information no matter kind or medium with three elements that are basic base, impression, and message.

DONATED HISTORICAL MATERIALS historic materials transported to an archival organization through a donor's gift instead of according to legislation or legislation.

EVIDENTIAL VALUE the worthiness of documents or documents as paperwork for the operations and tasks for the records-creating company, organization, or specific.

FIELD PERFORM The activity of distinguishing, negotiating for, and securing historical materials for the institution that is archival.

CHOOSING AID A description from any source that delivers details about the contents and nature of documentary materials.

HOLDINGS All materials that are documentary the custody of an archival institution including both accessioned and deposited materials.

INFORMATIONAL VALUE the worth of documents or documents for information they have on individuals, places, topics, and things aside from the procedure of this company that created them or the tasks of this family or individual that created them.

INTRINSIC VALUE The archival term for those characteristics and faculties of forever valuable documents that produce the documents inside their initial physical form the actual only real archivally acceptable form regarding the documents.

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