Archives and Records Management Resources

Archives and Records Management Resources

the next glossary, produced by the then National Archives and Records provider in 1984 for a contemporary Archives Reader: Basic Readings on Archival Theory and Practice, is supplied with this site being a help to people not really acquainted with common archival terms. These definitions aren’t lawfully binding plus 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 might be bought through the community of American Archivists.

Archival terminology is just a group that is flexible of terms which have obtained specialized definitions for archivists. customwriting Since World War II, archivists worldwide have dedicated considerable focus on the definition of those terms. In 1964, a worldwide lexicon of archival terminology had been posted. (1) This dictionary in 6 languages, the job of a committee for the Overseas Council on Archives, offers a basis for worldwide contrast of archival terms.

The community of American Archivists published its glossary that is own of terms in 1974 after many years of debate, drafting, and review. (2) Definitions into the SAA glossary have now been commonly accepted since the basis for discussion of archival terminology in the united states and have now been the starting place for subsequent efforts to define American archival terms. Since book regarding the SAA glossary, but, numerous archivists have actually concluded that a number of its definitions need revision and that additional terms must be included. Instructors of archives management and writers of fundamental archival texts, consequently, allow us their glossaries that are own revise, up-date, or expand the 1974 work. At the moment, no glossary that is single of terms can be viewed as definitive. (3)

Probably the most commonly used archival terms are the ones that describe documentary materials and institutions that are archival. Documentary materials could be characterized as “records,” “personal documents,” or “artificial collections” on such basis as whom created and maintained the documents as well as just exactly what function. (4) reports are papers in every kind which are made or gotten and maintained by a company, whether federal federal government agency, church, company, university, or any other organization. A company’s documents typically might consist of copies of letters, memoranda, reports, reports, photographs, along with other materials generated by the corporation in addition to incoming letters, reports received, memoranda off their workplaces, along with other papers maintained when you look at the company’s files.

Contrary to documents, individual documents are made or gotten and maintained by a person or household along the way of residing. Diaries, news clippings, individual records that are financial photographs, communication received, and copies of letters written and delivered because of the person or family members are one of the materials typically present in individual documents.

Typically, documents and personal documents have already been considered distinct entities, each with plainly definable faculties. The physical qualities of records and personal papers have become more alike, however, and archivists increasingly have emphasized the similarities between these materials rather than their differences in the twentieth century. (5) In particular, today’s archivists notice that both records and papers that are personal figures of interrelated materials which have been brought together for their function or usage. Archivists respect and seek to keep the established relationships between individual things in categories of documents as well as in individual documents. (6)

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

Archival organizations are termed either “archives” or “manuscript repositories” based on the kinds of documentary material they have and just how it really is obtained. “Archives” typically have already been those organizations accountable for the long-lasting care of the historic records associated with company or organization of that they are a component. (7) numerous archives are general general general public organizations accountable for the documents of continuing value of a federal government or government human anatomy. The National Archives associated with the usa as well as the Public Archives of Canada are samples of general general public archives in the nationwide level. Public archives additionally can be bought at every single other amount of government, including state or province, county, and municipal amounts. Nonpublic or nongovernmental archives worry for the documents of every other institution or company of that they are a component. Church archives, for instance, administer the historic documents of a denomination that is religious congregation. University archives have the effect of records of this college’s management. Archives get historical product through the action of legislation or through interior regulation that is institutional policy.

“Manuscript repositories” are archival organizations primarily in charge of individual documents, synthetic collections, and documents of other companies. Manuscript repositories purchase or look for contributions of materials to that they do not have necessary right. They consequently must report the transfer of materials by deed of present or by other appropriate agreement.

The distinctions between archives and manuscript repositories could be exactly stated, yet few archival institutions are merely “archives” or “manuscript repositories.” Many archives hold some individual documents or documents of other companies. Perhaps the National Archives for the united states of america accounts for a group that is small of individual documents and nongovernment documents. likewise, numerous manuscript repositories act as the archives of the very own organizations. In recognition with this, the expression “archives” slowly has obtained wider meaning for a few archivists and it is utilized by them in mention of any institution that is archival. This trend happens to be accelerated by way of your message “archives” or “archive” within the names of some organizations that in past times could have been termed “manuscript repositories.” (8)

Modern archival terminology provides a helpful and necessary method of specialized communication inside the archival occupation. Its terms could be exact adequate to protect essential distinctions among forms of materials and archival organizations, yet its use can also be adequately versatile to mirror the changing nature of record materials and developments when you look at the administration of archival organizations. Once the archival career grows and matures so when brand brand brand new technologies and documents media affect the training of archives administration, both the accuracy and freedom of archival terminology will turn out to be of continuing advantage to archivists.


This glossary of widely used archival terms is located in part 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 United states Archivist 37 July 1974: 415-433). The glossary includes many crucial archival terms with specialized definitions. Terms which are adequately 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 get information from or even to perform research in archival materials.

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

ACCRETION An addition to an accession.

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

ADMINISTRATIVE VALUE the worth of documents for the business that is ongoing of agency of documents creation or its successor in function.

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

ARCHIVAL ORGANIZATION an institution 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 preservation within an institution that is archival.

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

ARCHIVES MANAGEMENT The expert handling of an archival organization through application of archival concepts and practices.

ARCHIVIST The expert employee inside an archival organization accountable for any facet of the selection, conservation, or utilization of archival materials.

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

COLLECTING POLICY A policy founded by the archival organization concerning subject matter, schedules, and platforms of materials to get for contribution or purchase.

COLLECTION (1) a synthetic accumulation of materials specialized in a theme that is single person, occasion, or kind of document obtained from many different sources. (2) In a manuscript repository, a human body of historic materials concerning a person, household, or company.

COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT The process of creating an organization’s holdings of historic 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 Uk usage, the concept that noncurrent documents needs to be retained because of the producing company or its successor in function to be looked at archival.

CUBIC FEET (or METERS) a regular measure of the quantity of archival materials in line with the amount of room they occupy.

DEED OF PRESENT a document that is legal contribution 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 a archival organization while legal name towards the materials is retained by the donor.

DESCRIPTION the entire process of developing intellectual control of holdings of a archival institution through preparation of finding aids.

DISPOSITION The action that is final sets into impact the outcomes of an assessment choice for a number of documents. Transfer to an archival organization, transfer to a documents center, and destruction are among feasible dispositions.

DISPOSITION SCHEDULE guidelines regulating retention and disposition of present and noncurrent recurring documents variety of a company or agency. Also referred to as a RECORDS CONTROL SCHEDULE.

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

DONATED HISTORICAL MATERIALS historic materials moved to an archival organization via a donor’s gift as opposed to relative to legislation or legislation.

EVIDENTIAL VALUE the worth of documents or documents as paperwork of this operations and tasks regarding the organization that is records-creating organization, or specific.

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

CHOOSING AID A description from any supply that delivers information regarding the articles and nature of documentary materials.

HOLDINGS All documentary materials in the custody of an archival organization including both accessioned and deposited materials.

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

INTRINSIC VALUE The term that is archival those characteristics and faculties of completely valuable documents which make the documents within their initial physical form the actual only real archivally acceptable form of this records.