Glossary of Recordkeeping Terms
Active Records - (also current records) ~ Records that continue to be used with sufficient frequency to justify keeping them in the office of creation; current records.*
Archival Records - Materials created or received by a person, family, or organization, public or private, in the conduct of their affairs that are preserved because of the enduring value contained in the information they contain or as evidence of the functions and responsibilities of their creator.*
Archives - All of the records and documentation written, received, and gathered by an individual or organization in the conduct of the affairs of life, which contain information of enduring value-usefulness, some of which possess added value because of their physical form, systematically maintained, commonly after they have fulfilled the purpose for which they were created.§
Deaccessioning - The process by which an archives, museum, or library permanently removes accessioned materials from its holdings.*
Disposition - The transfer of records, especially noncurrent records, to their final state, either destruction or transfer to an archives.*
Document (Hollinger) Box - A container that holds folders containing paper documents vertically and that measures roughly 10 inches high, 12 or 15 inches wide, and 6 or 3 inches deep, and that usually has an integral top hinged at the upper back. Sometimes called a Hollinger box.*
Education Records - FERPA defines education records as "those records, files, documents, and other materials which contain information directly related to a student; and other materials which contain informational agency or institution or by a person acting for such agency or institution." BYU-Idaho clarifies education records as anything containing personally identifiable information, such as student name, parent or other family member name, student address, date of birth, place of birth, or mother's maiden name, and other personal identifiers such as social security number or student ID number.
Electronic Record - (also digital record) Data or information that has been captured and fixed for storage and manipulation in an automated system and that requires the use of the system to render it intelligible by a person.*
Email Message - An asynchronous message of communication, which includes a header, body, and optionally attachments, sent over a computer network to be read or downloaded by recipients.
Inactive Records - Records that are no longer used in the day-to-day course of business, but which may be preserved and occasionally used for legal, historical, or operational purposes.*
Original Order (see also Respect des fonds) - The principle that the order of the records that was established by the creator should be retained whenever possible to preserve existing relationships between the documents and the evidential value inherent in their order.^
Provenance (see also Respect des fonds) - The relationships between records and the organizations or individuals that created, assembled, accumulated, and/or maintained and used them in the conduct of personal or corporate activity.^
Record - Any information or data in a fixed medium of a legal or official nature that may be used as evidence of the University's business transactions, activities, organization, or history that is created, received, recorded, or legally filed in the course of fulfilling the University's mission.
Records Management - The systematic and administrative control of records, regardless of media, throughout their life cycle to ensure efficiency and economy in their creation, use, handling, control, maintenance, and disposition.
Respect des fonds (see also original order, provenance) - the principle that the records created, accumulated, assembled, and or maintained and used by an organization or individual must be kept together in their original order if it exists or has been maintained and not be mixed or combined with the records of another individual or corporate body.^
Series - A set, or block, of records within a group distinguished by the function out of which they arose; the way they were received, used, or filed by the creator; their form, and/or their content.§
Subseries - A set/unit of documents within a series recognizable on the basis of form (characteristic of the document), content (date period, subject), or the method of creation (the function that cause the set to come into existence).§
Vital Records - Emergency operation records immediately necessary to begin recovery of business after a disaster, as well as rights-and-interests records necessary to protect the assets, obligations, and resources of the organization, as well as its employees and customers or citizens; essential records.*
Definitions are drawn from the following resources:
§David B. Gracy II