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Glossary Continuum Definitions

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z


  1. The "right, opportunity, [or] means of finding, using, or retrieving information". (ISO 15489-2001, Part 1, 3.1) OR The availability of records / archives for consultation as a result of both legal authorisation and the existence of finding aids. (International Council on Archives, Dictionary of Archival Terminology) Source: Continuum

Access Authority

  1. A legal instrument authorising an access classification made by the administrative head of a public office when records are transferred to the control of the Chief Archivist or are 25 years old. (Previously, under the Archives Act 1957, Archives New Zealand entered into access agreements for public archives with the creating or custodial organisation.) Source: Continuum


(n.) A group of records or archives from the same source taken into archival custody at the same time.

(v.) The process of formally accepting and recording the receipt of records into archival custody. Accessioning provides basic physical and intellectual control over material coming into an archives. (KA, p.460) Source: Continuum

See Deaccession

Active Records

  1. Those records required for the day-to-day functioning of an agency or person. Also referred to as current records. Source: S2 - Storage Standard


  1. "Activities are the major tasks performed by an organisation to accomplish each of its functions. Several activities may be associated with each function. [...] an activity may be performed in relation to one function, or it may be performed in relation to many functions." (DIRKS, Glossary, p.3) Source: Continuum

Ad Hoc Disposal Authority

See One-Off Disposal Authority

Administrative History

  1. "That part of a finding aid that describes: 1) the history of an agency or a group of related agencies, its organisational structure and functional responsibilities; or 2) the highlights of the life and career of a person or family. The administrative history of a person is also referred to as a biographical note." (KA, p.461) Source: Continuum


  1. In the GAIMS system of archival description, this refers to "a body, business, organisation or institution that creates or manages its own records in the course of its business or activities. In the case of large organisations or institutions, subordinate parts such as departments, sections, units, regional or branch offices may be regarded as separate agencies." (KA, p.461) Source: Continuum

Agency Code

  1. An alphabetical, numerical or alpha-numeric code, assigned by Archives New Zealand to each agency with which it has a relationship. This uniquely identifies a government agency for the purposes of linking that agency to transfers, disposal authorities, etc. Source: Continuum


  1. Appraisal is the process of evaluation to determine whether records are needed by a public office or local authority and how long they should be kept. Appraisal involves deciding which records of an organisation are retained permanently as public archives, and which records are destroyed once the organisation's business and accountability requirements have been met. This is based on analysing the organisation's business activities, while weighing up community expectations about permanent retention of those records. Source: Continuum

Approved Repository

  1. A body (such as a museum, a library, an archive, or an iwi-based or hapu-based repository) approved by the Minister responsible for Archives New Zealand as a repository for public archives under the PRA. Source: Continuum

Archival Value

  1. "The values [...] that justify the continuing retention of records as archives.Evidential value. The value for providing evidence of the origins, structure, functions, policies and operations of the person or agency that created the records. [...] Informational value. The value for reference or research deriving from the information the records contain, as distinct from their evidential value. Records and archives often contain information that has reference or research uses not envisaged by its creators. Also referred to as secondary value. [...]" (KA, p.462) Source: Continuum


  1. Those records that are appraised as having continuing value. Traditionally the term has been used to describe records no longer required for current use which have been selected for permanent preservation. Also referred to as permanent records. The place (building/room/storage area) where archival material is kept.  See also Repository.
  2. An organisation (or part of an organisation) responsible for appraising, acquiring, preserving and making available archival material. [...] (KA, p.463) Source: Continuum 


  1. "A computing term that has little to do with archival concepts and practices. It refers to the procedure for transferring unappraised non-current information or data from the active system [...]." (KA, p.464) Source: Continuum 


  1. Archway, previously known as GLADIS [Government Locator, Archival Documentation and Information System], is an automated documentation system that manages: Information about government records; Information about the context in which they were created; and The core archival business processes (appraisal, transfer and description) that generate this information. Archway was developed in the first instance to provide access to information about Archives New Zealand's holdings through web-based finding aids. It also contains contextual data about the structure and functions of government and how they have interacted over time. It is designed to support other activities undertaken by Archives New Zealand, such as appraisal. Potentially, the system will support interdependencies between Archives New Zealand and agency systems in the creation and management of records. Source: Continuum



  1. "The intellectual and physical process of putting archives and records into order in accordance with accepted archival principles, particularly those of provenance and original order." (KA, p.464) Source: Continuum

See Description, Original Order


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Business Classification Scheme

  1. "An articulation of the functions and activities of the organisation derived from the analysis of the business activity. The business classification scheme contains terms and scope notes that represent and describe functions, activities, transactions, or other elements, and shows their relationships. The structure of the scheme is hierarchical, moving from the general to the specific. [...]" (DIRKS, Glossary, p.4) Source: Continuum

Business System

  1. "A system designed to enable the realisation of desired business outcomes and outputs through the efficient management and facilitation of interrelated business processes." (DIRKS, Glossary, p.4) Source: Continuum


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  1. "A group of documents or an identifiable sub-division of a series, record group or archive having common characteristics or the same archival value. Sometimes this term is used to mean series. Also referred to as disposal class." (KA, p.465) Source: Continuum

See Series


  1. The "systematic identification and arrangement of business activities and/or records into categories according to logically structured conventions, methods, and procedural rules represented in a classification system". (ISO 15489-2001, Part 1, 3.5) Source: Continuum


  1. "The knowledge necessary to sustain a record's meaning or evidential value. Context describes the who, what, where and why of record creation and management." (SRNSW) Source: Continuum


  1. "[T]he whole extent of a record's existence. Refers to a consistent and coherent regime of management processes from the time of creation of records (and before creation, in the design of recordkeeping systems), through to the preservation and use of records as archives." (AS 4390:1996, Part 1, 4.22) Source: Continuum
  2. The name of Archives New Zealand's suite of recordkeeping standards and advice publications. Source: Continuum

Controlled Vocabulary

  1. "An alphabetical list containing terms and headings which are authorised or controlled so that only one heading or form of heading is allowed to represent a particular concept or name. It contrasts with natural language. A controlled vocabulary is also referred to as a thesaurus." (DIRKS, Glossary, p.6 taken from Kennedy & Schauder, p.291) Source: Continuum

Controlling Organisation

  1. The organisation that controls the record, including any successor to the organisation that created or maintained the record. Source: Disposal Standard 


  1. The process of changing records from one medium to another or from one format to another. (ISO 15489-2001, Part 1, 3.7) Conversion may also be used as part of a preservation strategy. Source: Continuum


  1. The person or agency which creates, receives and accumulates or otherwise brings into existence documents and records. (KA, p.466) Source: Continuum

Current Records

See Active Records


  1. "The physical management of records or archives. Custody refers to where and with whom records are stored. It does not necessarily include legal ownership." (AAHA, p.111) Source: Continuum


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Data Logger

  1. A small computer which saves or 'logs' temperature and humidity readings over a designated period. A computer and commercially available software are required to download and analyse the data generated. Source: S2 - Storage Standard


  1. "The process of removing material from the care and custody of an archives, either because the material has been reappraised and found to be unsuitable for the archives' holdings, or because the legal owner has requested its return, or because it has been agreed to transfer it to another archives. Deaccessioning is a serious matter which requires careful consideration and documentation." (KA, p.466) Source: Continuum

See Accession

Deferred Transfer

  1. The transfer to Archives New Zealand of a particular public archive of 25 years or over may be deferred for a period mutually agreed between the Chief Archivist and the administrative head of the public office. In the case of census records their transfer to Archives New Zealand is deferred for 100 years. The Chief Archivist may also require the deferred transfer of electronic records, and a Minister of the Crown may defer the transfer of records certified to contain information likely to prejudice the security or defence of New Zealand. (Based on the PRA s22) Source: Continuum


  1. "An addition to the holdings or collection of an archives. A deposit is usually a transfer of material but may also be a donation or a loan for either a short-term or indefinite period." (KA, p.467) Source: Continuum

See Acquistion


  1. The process of recording information about the nature and content of the records in archival custody. The description identifies such features as provenance, arrangement, format and contents, and presents them in a standardised form." (KA, p.467) Source: Continuum

See Arrangement, Finding Aids


  1. "The physical disposal of records of no further value, for example by incineration, shredding or pulping [or deleting from an electronic system]." (KA, p.467) Source: Continuum

See Appraisal, Disposal

Disaster Plan

  1. "A written procedure setting out the measures to be taken to minimise the risks and effects of disasters such as fire, flood or earthquake, etc, and to recover, save and secure the vital records should such a disaster occur. Part of preventive conservation." (KA, p.467) Source: Continuum

See Vital Records

Discharge Register

  1. The publicly available register of public records discharged under the PRA. Source: Continuum

Discharged Record

  1. A record that no longer has status as a public record and is no longer subject to the PRA. A record that is discharged becomes the property of the person to whom it is discharged. Source: Continuum


See Metadata


  1. The range of processes associated with implementing records retention, destruction or transfer decisions which are documented in a disposal authority. Section 4 of the Public Records Act 2005 outlines the possible types of disposal as: the transfer of control of a record; or the sale, alteration, destruction, or discharge of a record. Source: Disposal Standard

Disposal Action

  1. "The specification as to whether records are to be retained and if so for how long, or when they are to be destroyed." (KA, p.468)
  2. An example of a disposal sentence is: 'transfer as a public archive five years after last action'. Source: Continuum

See Disposal, Disposal Authority, Disposal Trigger, Sentencing

Disposal Authority

  1. A document that defines the retention periods and consequent disposal actions authorised for records described in it. For public offices, a disposal authority is a formal authorisation issued by the Chief Archivist under s20 of the Public Records Act 2005. Source: Disposal Standard

Disposal Schedule

  1. "A systematic listing of records created by an organisation or agency which plans the life of these records from the time of their creation to their disposal. A disposal schedule is a continuing authority for implementing decisions on the value of records specified in the schedule. A disposal schedule lists: the records created by the agency; the retention period for each series or class of records. the disposal sentence for each series or class of records, specifying whether the records are to be retained as archives or destroyed; the custody arrangements for each series or class of records, specifying when the records are to be transferred to intermediate storage and/or to archives; General disposal schedules cover functions common to a number of agencies, typically used by government archival authorities to cover functional areas such as Personnel, Finance and Stores. A recent development in appraisal methodology is the view that functional analysis is more efficient than records analysis in producing records schedules. The resultant disposal schedules are based on function or activity within function, either across a range of related organisations or to provide a specific disposal schedule for a particular agency." (KA, p.468) Source: Continuum

See Disposal, Disposal Authority, Disposal Trigger, Sentencing

Disposal Trigger

  1. "In disposal schedules the event or activity which indicates that the active life of the record is over and the disposal sentence can be applied." (KA, p.468)
  2. Examples of disposal triggers are: last action on file; whether superseded; etc. Source: Continuum

See Disposal Schedule


  1. "Recorded information regardless of medium or form. The smallest complete unit of record material, e.g. a letter, photograph, report." (KA, p.468) Source: Continuum

See Item


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e-Legal Deposit

  1. The extension of legal deposit to include electronic documents. This occurred in the National Library Act 2003. Source: NDHA

Electronic Records

  1. "Records capable of being processed in a computer system and/or stored at any instant in a medium which requires electronic or computer equipment to retrieve them." (KA, p.469) Includes the digitised form of paper records. Source: Continuum


  1. Emulation occurs when a system or a program performs in the same way as another system or program. This makes one system functionally indistinguishable from another, e.g. entering, viewing and retrieving data has the same result in both systems. Often the subject for emulation is a popular but superceded computer. Source: Continuum

Ephemeral Recdords

  1. Records that are characterised by their trivial nature or very short term value, and so do not need to be captured into a recordkeeping system or retained for any period of time. For example, low level meeting notices, minor catering arrangements, duplicate copies of records already captured in a recordkeeping system. Source: Disposal Standard

Estray/s; Estray Records

  1. A record that has been removed without proper authority from the possession of a public office, Archives New Zealand, or another legitimate custodian, e.g. an attractive map or photograph 'souvenired' by a retiring government official, or a document stolen from Archives New Zealand. A protected record removed from the possession of a local authority is also an estray. The PRA gives the Chief Archivist powers to inspect and recover estrays. (PRA, s4) Source: Continuum


  1. "[I]nformation that tends to prove a fact. Not limited to the legal sense of the term." (AS 4390-1996, Part 1, 4.14) Source: Continuum


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Facilitative records

  1. Records that are created for the purpose of creating other records and are therefore not required to be maintained for any period of time because they do not provide evidence of business activity. For example, reference material, notes of meetings where a formal record is made. Source: Disposal Standard


(n) An organised unit of documents, accumulated during current use and kept together because they deal with the same subject, activity or transaction and which may or may not be fastened together with or without a cover. The unit may be paper or electronic.
(v) The action of placing documents in a predetermined location according to an overall scheme of control. (KA, p.470) Source: Continuum

Finding Aids

  1. "The descriptive media, published and unpublished, manual or electronic, created by an archives or an archival programme, to establish physical or administrative and intellectual control over records and other holdings. Finding aids lead both archives staff and users to the information they are seeking from or about archives. Basic finding aids include guides (general or repository, subject or topical), descriptive inventories, series registers, accession registers, card catalogues, special lists, shelf and box lists, indexes, and, for machine-readable records, software documentation.
  2. The registers, indexes and filing system guides produced by the agency or person who created the records, also referred to as control records or contemporaneous finding aids. (KA, p.471) Source: Continuum

See Description, Shelf List


  1. "The physical medium in which information is recorded or carried, e.g. paper files, computer printout, photographs, microfilm, [electronic] records, plans, cards, volumes, etc. A selection of descriptive elements set out in a prescribed manner and sequence so that the resulting description will be standardised for all types of records." (KA, p.471) Source: Continuum


  1. "[T]he largest unit of business activity in an organisation or jurisdiction." (AS 4390-1996, Part 1, 4.15) Source: Continuum


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General Disposal Authority (GDA)

  1. A disposal authority issued by the Chief Archivist that covers records common to multiple public offices e.g. financial records. A GDA does not authorise disposal of records specific to the functions of a public office. Source: Continuum 

See Disposal Authority, Disposal Schedule

General Housekeeping Records

  1. Records usually disposed of on a daily basis by most staff members. These are not records that relate to an organisation's primary duties and responsibilities. For guidance on general housekeeping records, see Archives New Zealand General Disposal Authority GDA3: General Housekeeping Records. Source: Continuum


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Inactive Records

  1. Those records no longer required for the conduct of business and which may therefore be transferred to intermediate storage, archival custody or destroyed. Source: S2 - Storage Standard


  1. The "process of establishing access points to facilitate retrieval of records and/or information". (ISO 15489-2001, Part 1, 3.11) Source: Continuum

Information Management

  1. "A professional field concerned with optimising the uses of information, using both social and technical approaches." (Kennedy & Schauder, p.296) Source: Continuum

Information Systems

  1. "[O]rganised collections of hardware, software, supplies, policies, procedures and people, that store, process and provide access to information." (AS 4390-1996, Part 1, 4.17) Source: Continuum

Intellectual Control

  1. "The control established over the informational content of records and archives resulting from ascertaining and documenting their provenance, and from the processes of arrangement and description." (KA, p.472) Source: Continuum


  1. "The smallest discrete unit of record material which accumulates to form a series (i.e. a file or part file in a series of files; a volume in a series of volumes, etc.). Sometimes the term is also used as equivalent to Document (2). Also referred to as record item." (KA, p.473) Source: Continuum

See Document


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Knowledge Management 

  1. The creation of value from an organisation's intellectual and knowledge based assets. Source: Continuum


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Legacy System

  1. "Previous generation/version information technology architectures and their contents whose dysfunctionalities need to be overcome in deploying new generation/version information technology." (Kennedy & Schauder, p.296) Source: Continuum


  1. "An approach to viewing records management through a lifecycle model. It divides the records into five major phases of existence: creation, distribution, use, maintenance and disposal. As part of the disposal it may enter into the archives or be destroyed." (JISC:PRO, Appendix 3: Glossary, p.16)
  2. Current records management theory and methodology in Australasia favours the concept of the records continuum over that of the lifecycle model. Source: Continuum


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  1. "[To retain] records in identifiable recordkeeping systems over time in accordance with appraisal decisions. Records that are required to be maintained should be accessible, their integrity should be protected and, where necessary, they should meet the conditions or requirements identified in order to meet business needs, organisational accountability and community expectations. This may include migrating records across successive systems and other preservation strategies." (DIRKS, Glossary, p.9) Source: Continuum


  1. "Data describing context, content and structure of records and their management through time." (ISO 15489-2001) Source: Continuum


  1. The "act of moving records from one system to another, while maintaining the records' authenticity, integrity, reliability, and usability". (ISO 15489-2001, Part 1, 3.13) Source: Continuum


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NZGLS (New Zealand Government Locator Service)

  1. Defines the structure of the descriptions government agencies will apply to their information and services (NZGLS Metadata Standard); Defines the terms used to describe information and services. (NZGLS Thesauri); Ensures that government agencies have appropriate tools to capture, manage, and apply the descriptions to the information and services. (NZGLS Metadata management) Source: Continuum


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One-Off Disposal Authority

  1. "[A] non-continuing approval, not intended to set a precedent, which provides a particular disposal action for a specific set of circumstances." (KA, p.468) Source: Continuum

Open Access Record

  1. A public record or a local authority archive that has been classified as open access and to which public access has not been prohibited. For public records to be open access records they must also have been in existence for at least 25 years or have been transferred to the control of the Chief Archivist. (PRA, s4) Source: Continuum

Original Order

  1. "The order in which records and archives were kept when in active use, i.e. the order of accumulation as they were created, maintained and used. The principle of original order requires that the original order be preserved or reconstructed [where possible]." (KA, p.475) Source: Continuum

See Arrangement


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Physical Control

  1. "The control established over the physical aspects (such as format, quantity and location) of the archives and records in custody." (KA, p.476) Source: Continuum

Prescribed Record

  1. A record declared to be a prescribed record by the Chief Archivist by means of a notice in the Gazette. The Chief Archivist may use this power in relation to a record not held by the relevant public office, a local authority record not held by the local authority, or a private record. A person may not transfer a prescribed record without giving the Chief Archivist the first option to purchase the record. Details of records which are prescribed records are entered in a public register with Archives New Zealand. (PRA s4 and s38) Source: Continuum


  1. The "processes and operations in ensuring the technical and intellectual survival of authentic records through time". (ISO 15489-2001, Part 1, 3.14) Source: Continuum

Protected Record

  1. A local authority record declared by the Chief Archivist to be a protected record by notice in the Gazette. A local authority must provide for the adequate protection and preservation of its protected records. Protected records must not be disposed of without the authorisation of the Chief Archivist. The list of local authority protected records is known as the "Local Government Schedule." (PRA, s40) Source: Continuum


  1. "The agency, office, or person of origin of records, i.e. the entity which created, received, or accumulated, and used the records in the conduct of business or personal life. Also referred to as records creator. The chain of custody which reflects the office(s) or person(s) that created, received or accumulated and used the records in the conduct of business or in the course of personal life. Identifying and documenting the provenance of records is an essential part of establishing their authenticity and integrity as evidence. In archival theory, the principle of provenance requires that the archives of an agency or person not be mixed or combined with the archives of another, i.e. the archives are retained and documented in their functional and/or organisational context." (KA, p.476) Source: Continuum

Public Archive

  1. A public record that is under the control of the Chief Archivist. (PRA, s4) Source: Continuum

Public Office

  1. The legislative, executive and judicial branches of the Government of New Zealand and their agencies or instruments, including departments, offices of Parliament, state enterprises, Crown entities, the Police, the Defence Force, and the Security Intelligence Service. Crown entities include district health boards, school boards of trustees and tertiary education institutions. (PRA, s4) Source: Continuum

Public Record

  1. A record created or received by a public office in the conduct of its affairs. This includes records declared to be public records by the Governor:General and estray records. This does not include special collections (records collected for purposes such as research) or records created by the academic staff or students of a tertiary education institution, unless the records have become part of the records of that institution. (PRA, s4) Source: Continuum

Public Records Act

  1. The legislation governing records, recordkeeping and archives in the New Zealand public sector, including local government. Replaced the Archives Act 1957 and Part XVII of the Local Government Act 1974. Source: Continuum


  1. The issue of copies of a work to the public; including making it available to the public by means of an electronic retrieval system. (Copyright Act 1994, s10) Source: Continuum


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  1. The International Standard on Records Management defines a record as: information created, received and maintained as evidence and information by an organisation or person in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business. (ISO 15489) The Public Records Act defines a record as: "information, whether in its original form or otherwise, including (without limitation) a document, a signature, a seal, text, images, sound, speech, or data compiled, recorded, or stored, as the case may be: "in written form on any material; or on film, negative, tape, or other medium so as to be capable of being reproduced; or by means of any recording device or process, computer, or other electronic device or process." (PRA, s4) Source: Continuum


  1. "The creation and maintenance of complete accurate and reliable evidence of business transactions in the form of recorded information." (AS 4390:1996, Part 1, 4.19) Recordkeeping includes the following: the creation of records in the course of business activity and the means to ensure the creation of adequate records; the design, establishment and operation of recordkeeping systems, including the definition of metadata; and the management of records used in business (traditionally regarded as the domain of records management) and as archives (traditionally regarded as the domain of archives administration). Source: Continuum

Records Management

  1. "Activities within the management of the continuum (1) of records of an organisation which facilitate the systematic capture, control, maintenance, dissemination and disposition of the records of that organisation. Records management is primarily concerned with capturing complete, accurate, and reliable documentation of organisational activity for current purposes." (KA, p.477) Source: Continuum

Records System

  1. "[I]nformation system which captures, manages and provides access to records through time". (ISO 15489-2001, Part 1, 3.17) Source: Continuum


  1. The "act of giving a record a unique identifier on its entry into a system". (ISO 15489-2001, Part 1, 3.18) Source: Continuum

Relative Humidity

  1. "The ratio, expressed as a percentage, of the amount of water vapour present in the atmosphere to the amount required to saturate it at the same temperature. Relative humidity varies with temperature." (KA, p.478) Source: Continuum


  1. "The building or room, or part thereof, set aside for the storage of archives and/or intermediate records. Archival repositories are often constructed to meet specific environmental standards designed to ensure the longevity of the records." (KA, p.478) Source: Continuum

See Archives

Restricted Access Record

  1. A record to which access has been restricted. Records can only be restricted if good reason exists or if another enactment requires a record to be withheld from public access. (PRA s4 and s44) Source: Continuum 


  1. Any condition imposed on access to records or archives. Source: Continuum

Retention Period

  1. "The period of time, usually based on an estimate of the frequency of current and future use, and taking into account statutory and regulatory provisions, that records need to be retained before their final disposal. Sometimes used to indicate the length of time records are to be retained in offices before being transferred to intermediate storage." (KA, p.479)
  2. The retention period usually commences from the time of the disposal trigger. Source: Continuum


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  1. Sentencing involves identifying and classifying the records according to the requirements of the disposal authority, for example through annotating physical records, or using metadata in control records (including electronic recordkeeping systems) or business systems. This process is generally a discrete or irregular activity, and the first step of applying the disposal authority. Source: Disposal Standard


  1. "Those records or archives having the same provenance which belong together because: they are part of a discernable filing system (alphabetical, numerical, chronological, or a combination of these); they have been kept together because they result from the same activity; or they are of similar formats and relate to a particular function. A series may consist of only one item. Also referred to as a record series." (KA, p.479) Source: Continuum

See Class

Shelf List

  1. "A list of the holdings of an archives arranged sequentially in the order of the contents of each shelf." (KA, p.479) Source: Continuum

See Finding Aids


  1. "Records management and recordkeeping standards are authoritative standards to which an organisation is subject or which it chooses to adopt. Standards provide benchmarks for measuring performance and describe best practices in any or all aspects of recordkeeping. Thus standards may function to specify minimum performance levels or describe best practice." (DIRKS, Glossary, p.13)
  2. The standards issued by the Chief Archivist under s27 of the Public Records Act. (PRA, s4) Source: Continuum


  1. "[T]he function of storing records for future retrieval and use." (AS 4390-1996, Part 1, 4.25) Source: Continuum


  1. "The process of gathering information in a systematic and consistent way about records in their administrative context. The most common uses of a survey are: An examination of archives to examine their provenance, original order, and interrelationships prior to commencing full arrangement and description processes. An examination of active or intermediate records noting briefly their nature, systems of arrangement, date ranges, quantities, function, physical condition, reference activity, and rates of accumulation. This information is used to develop disposal schedules, plan conservation, or project space requirements, among other uses. Also referred to as records survey." (KA, p.480) Source: Continuum


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The Community Archive

  1. A web-based guide to archival and manuscript holdings of archives, libraries, museums, galleries, schools, and societies across New Zealand. The Community Archives listings may be searched or browsed by a number of criteria. Source: Continuum



  1. "A list of terms that can be used to conduct word searches on a database or to create file or record titles that can be searched." (AAHA, p.119) Source: Continuum

See Controlled Vocabulary


  1. The process of "creating, capturing, and maintaining information about the movement and use of records". (ISO 15489-2001, Part 1, 3.19) Source: Continuum


  1. "[T]he smallest unit of business activity. Uses of records are themselves transactions." (AS 4390-1996, Part 1, 4.27) Source: Continuum


  1. Used generally, refers to the transfer of records from one recordkeeping system to another. Used with reference to the Public Records Act, refers to the transfer of control of records to the Chief Archivist, or to a public office or local authority that has taken over the recordkeeping responsibilities of a disestablished public office or local authority. Source: Continuum

Transfer Lists

  1. A list of records compiled at the time of transfer. It usually includes item identifier and date range. (Adapted from definition of Box list, KA, p.464) Source: Continuum


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Unchanged Records

  1. "Records for which no disposal authority exists and as a result have not been sentenced." (AAHA, p.119) Source: Continuum


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Version Control

  1. "A process that allows for the precise placing of individual versions of documents within a continuum." (JISC:PRO, Appendix 3: Glossary, p.17) Source: Continuum

Vital Records

  1. "Those records that are essential for the ongoing business of an agency, and without which the agency could not continue to function effectively. The identification and protection of such records is a primary object of records management and disaster planning." (KA, p.481) Source: Continuum

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