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clickable transparency Finding Aids for Rauner Special Collections Library

Rauner Special Collections Library6065 Webster Hall, Hanover, NH 03755-3519 USATelephone: 603-646-0538, Fax: 603-646-0447Rauner.Reference@dartmouth.edu

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Glossary

Archives

(1) The non-current records of a person, organization or institution preserved for their continuing value; also referred to, in this sense, as archival materials or archival holdings. (2) The agency responsible for selecting, preserving, and making available archival materials. (3) The building or part of a building where such materials are located. The term archives is also used to denote the holdings of institutional records of an institution as distinct from manuscript collections or personal papers. At Rauner Special Collections Library, we use this term to to denote the institutional records of Dartmouth College. In American usage the term archives is generally a plural or collective noun, although the form archives has been applied to a number of special collections. See also Collection; Manuscript; Papers; Personal Papers. [A basic glossary for archivist, manuscript curators, and records managers, compiled by Frank B. Evans, et al.]

Codex

Originally two or more tablets of wood, covered in wax, hinged and written on with a stylus. Later sheets of papyrus, vellum, parchment and, more recently, paper fastened at one edge and enclosed in a binding. Codex is commonly used to denote any manuscript book. [The ALA Glossary of Library and Information Science, ed. Heartsill Young, Chicago, 1983]

Collection

(1) An artificial accumulation of manuscripts or documents devoted to a single theme, person, event or type of record. (2) A body of manuscripts or papers, including associated printed or near-print materials, having a common source. If formed by or around an individual or family, such materials referred to as personal papers or records. If the accumulation is that of a corporate entity it is referred to as records. (3) In singular or plural form, the total holdings--accessions and deposits--of a repository. See also Manuscripts; Papers; Record Group; Records [A basic glossary for archivist, manuscript curators, and records managers, compiled by Frank B. Evans, et al.]

Dates

Dates of archives and manuscript collections are usually expressed in two forms: inclusive and bulk.

Inclusive dates express the entire range of dates covered by the records or collection.

Bulk dates express the dates covered by the majority of the materials in the records or collection. Bulk dates are sometimes expressed within parentheses when they are used in a finding aid. For example: 1772-(1779-1821)-1834. In this case the inclusive dates are 1772-1834 but most of the material falls between 1779 and 1821.

Finding Aids

The descriptive media, published and unpublished, created by an archives, or manuscript repository, to establish physical and intellectual control over records, collections, and other holdings. Basic finding aids include guides (general or repository and subject or topical), inventories or registers, location registers, card catalogs, special lists, shelf and box lists, indexes, calendars, catalogs, Enterprise Content Management systems and, for electronic records, software documentation. [A basic glossary for archivists, manuscript curators, and records managers, compiled by Frank B. Evans, et al.]

Inventory

An Inventory is a basic archival finding aid. The Inventory usually includes a historical sketch of the institution or division of the institution whose records are being described, a scope and content note, and a series description. The series description usually includes title, dates, quantity of materials, arrangement, relationship to other series and description of significant subject content. The inventory also includes a box and folder list. See also Register.[A basic glossary for archivists, manuscript curators, and records managers, compiled by Frank B. Evans, et al.]

Manuscripts

Manuscript is derived from the Latin for hand (manu)and the past participle of scribere to write.

1. Any text not printed. 2. A book or document written before the invention of printing. 3. Any hand written document of manuscript character (a handwritten or typed document, including a letter press or carbon copy) usually having historical or literary value or significance. All manuscript records may thus be regarded as manuscripts, but generally the term is used to distinguish archival personal papers from archival institutional records referred to as archives. See also Archives; Personal Papers; Papers. [A basic glossary for archivists, manuscript curators, and records managers, compiled by Frank B. Evans, et al.]

Papers

(1) A natural accumulation of personal and family materials as distinct from records. (2) A general term used to designate more than one type of manuscript material. See also Collection; Manuscripts; Personal Papers. [A basic glossary for archivists, manuscript curators, and records managers, compiled by Frank B. Evans, et al.]

Parchment

Currently the term “parchment” is used interchangeably with vellum. In the past parchment was generally considered to be the split, scrapped and dressed skin of a sheep and a cruder form of vellum. [The ALA Glossary of Library and Information Science, ed. Heartsill Young, Chicago, 1983]

Personal Papers

Personal papers are the private documents (archives) accumulated by an individual in the course of their life or professional work. These documents can take many forms, but often include the individual's correspondence, diaries, drafts of published works, photographs, etc. See also Collection and Manuscripts.

Provenance

1. In archives the originating entity which created an accumulation of records or the source of a manuscript collection 2. Also in archives, the principle of referred to as “respect des fonds,” or the idea that the records of a particular creator should not be mingled with those of another origin. 3. Information concerning the transmission of ownership of a book, object, document or collection. [The ALA Glossary of Library and Information Science, ed. Heartsill Young, Chicago, 1983]

Record

(1) Recorded information regardless of media or characteristics.

Record Group

A record group is usually defined as a body of related records that are organizationally grouped together due to their common unit of origin. A record group would normally contain all of the records of one department of the institution, such as the records the Dean of Faculty's Office or the records of the Office of the President.

Register

A Register or Manuscript Register is a term applied to the finding aids developed by the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, and now used widely by other institutions, to describe groups of papers, collections and records. A register generally states the materials provenance and conditions of administration. It is usually made up of a scope and content note, a statement containing the dates covered by the collection (both inclusive and bulk), a biographical note or institutional history, a statement regarding the arrangement of the materials and a box and folder list. See also Inventory.

Series

File units or documents arranged in accordance with a filing system or maintained as a unit because they relate to a particular subject or function, result from the same activity, have a particular form, or because of some other relationship arising out of their creation, receipt, or use. Sometimes known as a record series.[A basic glossary for archivists, manuscript curators, and records managers, compiled by Frank B. Evans, et al.]

Vellum

The split scrapped and dressed skin of a lamb, calf, goat or sheep used as a medium for carrying written or printed content. See also Parchment; Codex; Manuscript.