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Archivalscience
FromWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

Archivalscience,orarchivalstudies,isthestudyandtheoryofbuildingandcuratingarchives,[1]
whicharecollectionsofrecordingsanddatastoragedevices.

Tobuildandcurateanarchive,onemustacquireandevaluaterecordedmaterials,andbeabletoaccess
themlater.Tothisend,archivalscienceseekstoimprovemethodsforappraising,storing,preserving,
andcatalogingrecordedmaterials.[2]

Anarchivalrecordpreservesdatathatisnotintendedtochange.Inordertobeofvaluetosociety,
archivesmustbetrustworthy.Therefore,anarchivisthasaresponsibilitytoauthenticatearchival
materials,suchashistoricaldocuments,andtoensuretheirreliability,integrity,andusability.Archival
recordsmustbewhattheyclaimtobeaccuratelyrepresenttheactivitytheywerecreatedforpresenta
coherentpicturethroughanarrayofcontentandbeinusableconditioninanaccessiblelocation.[3]

Anarchivecuratoriscalledanarchivistthecurationofanarchiveiscalledarchiveadministration.

Contents
1Background
1.1History
1.2Standards
2Provenanceinarchivalscience
2.1Theprincipleofprovenance
2.2Practicesbeforetheemergenceofprovenance
2.3Emergenceofprovenance
2.4Debates
3Preservationinarchivalscience
3.1Thebeginningsofpreservation
3.2Archivalpreservation
3.3Digitalpreservation
4Professionalassociations
5RegionalProfessionalAssociations
6Seealso
7References
8Externallinks

Background
History

Archivalscienceemergedfromdiplomatics,thecriticalanalysisofdocuments.[1][4]

In1540,JacobvonRammingen(15101582)wrotethemanuscriptoftheearliestknownarchival
manual.Hewasanexpertonregistries(Registraturen),theGermanwordforwhatlaterbecameknown
asarchives.[5]
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RammingenelaboratedaregistryfortheAugsburgcitycouncil.However,sincehecouldnotattendthe
councilmeeting,hedescribedthestructureandmanagementofthearchivesinwriting.Althoughthisis
notthefirstworkaboutarchivalscience(Rammingenhimselfreferstoearlierliteratureaboutrecord
keeping),earliermanualswereusuallynotpublished.Archivalsciencehadnoformalbeginning.Jacob
vonRammingen'smanualwasprintedinHeidelbergin1571.[5]

Traditionally,archivalsciencehasinvolvedthestudyofmethods
forpreservingitemsinclimatecontrolledstoragefacilities.Itis
alsothestudyofcataloguingandaccession,ofretrievalandsafe
handling.Theadventofdigitaldocumentsalongwiththe
developmentofelectronicdatabaseshascausedthefieldtore
evaluateitsmeansandends.[6]Whilegenerallyassociatedwith
museumsandlibraries,thefieldalsocanpertaintoindividuals
whomaintainprivatecollectionsorbusinessarchives.Archival
Scienceistaughtincollegesanduniversities,usuallyunderthe
umbrellaofInformationScienceorpairedwithaHistory
program.

Standards

Thereisnouniversalsetoflawsorstandardsthatgovernsthe
formormissionofarchivalinstitutions.[7]Theforms,functions,
andmandatesofarchivalprogramsandinstitutionstendtodiffer Theearliestarchivalmanuals:Jacob
basedongeographicallocationandlanguage,thenatureofthe vonRammingen,VonderRegistratur
societyinwhichtheyexistandtheobjectivesofthoseincontrol (1571),BaldassareBonifacio,De
ofthearchives.[7]Instead,thecurrentstandardsthathavebeen Archivis(1632).
providedandaremostwidelyfollowed,suchastheICA
standard,ISOstandard,andDIRKSstandard,actasworkingguidelinesforarchivestofollowandadapt
inwaysthatwouldbestsuittheirrespectiveneeds.

Whencataloguingarchives,archivistsareexpectedtofollowasetofstandards.RulesofArchival
Description,alsoknownasRAD,providesarchivistswithasetofruleswhichaimtoprovidea
consistentandcommonfoundationforthedescriptionofarchivalmaterialwithinafonds,basedon
traditionalarchivalprinciples.[8]Thesestandardsareinplacetoprovidearchivistswiththetoolsfor
findingandmakingaccessiblearchivalmaterialtothepublic.[9]

Metadataprovidesarchivistswiththecontextualdatasurroundingarecordoraggregateofrecords.
StandardssuchasMachineReadableCataloguing(MARCformat),EncodedArchivalDescription
(EAD),andDublincorearestandardsforarchivalmetadatawhichprovidearchivistswithappropriate
descriptionsinregardstocollections.[10]

Provenanceinarchivalscience
Provenanceinarchivalsciencereferstothe"originorsourceofsomethinginformationregardingthe
origins,custody,andownershipofanitemorcollection."Asafundamentalprincipleofarchives,
provenancereferstotheindividual,family,ororganizationthatcreatedorreceivedtheitemsina
collection.Inpractice,provenancedictatesthatrecordsofdifferentoriginsshouldbekeptseparateto
preservetheircontext.[8]Asamethodology,provenancebecomesameansofdescribingrecordsatthe
serieslevel.

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Theprincipleofprovenance

Describingrecordsattheseriesleveltoensurethatrecordsofdifferentoriginsarekeptseparate,
providedanalternativetoitemlevelmanuscriptcataloguing.[11]Thepracticeofprovenancehastwo
majorconcepts:"respectdesfonds,"and"originalorder.""Respectdesfonds"rosefromtheconviction
thatrecordsenteringanarchiveshouldbedescribedattheserieslevel,wherearchivistsrespectthe
personorofficethatgeneratedandusedtherecords.[12]Recordsfromformerorexistingunitsaregiven
aseparatearchivalgrouping,or"fonds,"whereintheirrecordsareplaced."Originalorder,"refersto
keepingrecords"asnearlyaspossibleinthesameorderofclassificationasobtainedintheofficesof
origin,"givesadditionalcredibilitytopreservedrecordsandtotheiroriginating"fonds."[11]Records
mustbekeptinthesameordertheywereplacedinthecourseoftheofficialactivityoftheagency
concernedrecordsarenottobeartificiallyreorganized.Recordskeptintheiroriginalorderaremore
likelytorevealthenatureoftheorganizationswhichcreatedthem,andmoreimportantly,oftheorderof
activitiesoutofwhichtheyemerged.[13]

Notinfrequently,practicalconsiderationsofstoragemeanthatitisimpossibletomaintaintheoriginal
orderofrecordsphysically.Insuchcases,however,theoriginalordershouldstillberespected
intellectuallyinthestructureandarrangementoffindingaids.

Practicesbeforetheemergenceofprovenance

FollowingtheFrenchRevolution,anewfoundappreciationforhistoricalrecordsemergedinFrench
society.Speakingtothepast,recordsbeganto"acquirethedignityofnationalmonuments"andtheir
carewasentrustedtoscholarswhoweretrainedinlibraries.[13]Withanemphasisonhistoricalresearch,
itseemedobviousatthetimethatrecordsshouldbearrangedandcataloguedinamannerthatwould
"facilitateeverykindofscholarlyuse."[13]Tosupportresearch,artificialsystematiccollections,often
arrangedbytopic,wereestablishedandrecordswerecataloguedintotheseschemes.[12]Witharchival
documentsapproachedfromalibrarianshipperspective,recordswereorganizedaccordingto
classificationschemesandtheiroriginalcontextofcreationwerefrequentlylostorobscured.[13]This
formofarchivalarrangementhascometobeknownasthe"historicalmanuscriptstradition."

Emergenceofprovenance

Theprincipleof"respectdesfonds"andof"originalorder"wasadoptedinBelgiumandFranceabout
1840andspreadthroughoutEuropeduringthefollowingdecades.[12]Followingtheriseofstaterun
archivesinFranceandPrussia,therisingvolumeofmodernrecordsenteringthearchivemadethe
adherencetothemanuscripttraditionimpossibletherewerenotenoughresourcestoorganizeand
classifyeachrecord.Provenancereceiveditsmostpointedexpressioninthe"Manualforthe
ArrangementandDescriptionofArchives,"aDutchtextpublishedin1898andwrittenbythreeDutch
archivists,SamuelMuller,JohanFeith,andRobertFruin.Thistextprovidedthefirstdescriptionofthe
principleofprovenanceandarguedthat"originalorder"isanessentialtraitofarchivalarrangementand
description.[14]

ComplementingtheworkoftheDutcharchivistsandsupportingtheconceptofprovenancewerethe
historiansoftheera.Thoughsubjectbasedclassificationaidedresearch,historiansbegantoconcern
themselveswithobjectivityintheirsourcematerial.Foritsadvocates,provenanceprovidedanobjective
alternativetothegenerallysubjectiveclassificationschemesborrowedfromlibrarianship.Historians
increasinglyfeltthatrecordsshouldbemaintainedintheiroriginalordertobetterreflecttheactivityout
ofwhichtheyemerged.
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Debates

Althoughoriginalorderisagenerallyacceptedprinciple,therehasbeensomedebatesurroundingthis
theoryinregardstopersonalarchives.[12]Ithasbeenarguedthatoriginalorderisnotalwaysidealfor
personalarchivesastheyarefarmorecomplexthanorganizationalarchives.[13]However,othersprefer
toremainloyaltotheprincipleoforiginalorderandmaintainthatpersonalrecordsarecreatedand
maintainedformuchthesamereasonasorganizationalarchivesandshouldthereforefollowthesame
principles.[13]

Preservationinarchivalscience
Preservation,asdefinedbytheSocietyofAmericanArchivists(SAA),isthedisciplineofprotecting
materialsfromphysicaldeteriorationorlossofinformation,ideallyinanoninvasiveway.[8]Thegoalof
preservationistomaintainasmuchoriginalityaspossiblewhilemaintainingalltheinformationwhich
thematerialhastooffer.Bothscientificprinciplesandprofessionalpracticesareappliedtothis
techniquetoobtainmaximumeffectiveness.Inanarchivalsense,preservationreferstothecareofallthe
aggregateswithinacollection.Conservationcanbeincludedinthispracticeandoftenthesetwo
definitionsoverlap.[9]

Thebeginningsofpreservation

Preservationemergedwiththeestablishmentofthefirstcentralarchives.In1789,duringtheFrench
Revolution,theArchivesNationaleswasestablishedandlater,in1794,transformedintoacentral
archives.[12]Thiswasthefirstindependentnationalarchivesandtheirgoalwastopreserveandstore
documentsandrecordsastheywere.Thistrendgainedpopularityandsoonothercountriesbegan
establishingnationalarchivesforthesamereasons,tomaintainandpreservetheirrecordsastheywere
createdandreceived.[9]

Culturalandscientificchangealsohelpedtobringabouttheideaandpracticeofpreservation.Inthelate
eighteenthcentury,manymuseums,nationallibraries,andnationalarchiveswereestablishedinEurope
thereforeensuringthepreservationoftheirculturalheritage.[9]

Archivalpreservation

Preservation,likeprovenance,isconcernedwiththeproperrepresentationofarchivalmaterials.
Archivistsareprimarilyconcernedwithmaintainingtherecord,alongwiththecontextinwhichitwas
produced,andmakingthisinformationaccessibletotheuser.[9]

Toutensembleisadefinitionrelatingtopreservation.Thisdefinitionencompassestheideaofcontext
andtheimportanceofmaintainingcontext.Whenarecordisremovedfromitsfellowrecords,itlosesits
meaning.Inordertopreservearecorditmustbepreservedinitsoriginalentiretyorelseitmayloseits
significance.Thisdefinitionrelatestotheprincipleofprovenanceandrespectdesfondsasitsimilarly
emphasizestheideaoftheoriginalrecord.[9]

Metadataiskeyforthepreservationofcontextwithinarchivalscience.Metadata,asdefinedbythe
SAA,isdataaboutdata.[10]Thisdatacanhelparchivistslocateaspecificrecord,oravarietyof
recordswithinacertaincategory.Byassigningappropriatemetadatatorecordsorrecordaggregates,the

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archivistsuccessfullypreservestheentiretyoftherecordandthecontextinwhichitwascreated.This
allowsforbetteraccessibilityandimprovestheauthenticityoftherecord.[15]

Physicalmaintenanceisanotherkeyfeatureofpreservation.Therearemanystrategiesinplaceto
preservearchivesproperlysuchasrehousingitemsinacidfreecontainers,storingitemsinclimate
controlledareas,andcopyingdeterioratingitems.Thesepreservationtechniquesaretobecarriedout
withrespecttoprovenance.[9]

Digitalpreservation

Digitalpreservationinvolvestheimplementationofpolicies,strategies,andactionsinordertoensure
thatdigitizeddocumentsremainaccurateandaccessibleovertime.Duetoemergingtechnologies,
archivesbegantoexpandandrequirenewformsofpreservation.Archivalcollectionsspreadtoinclude
newmediasuchasmicrofilm,audiofiles,visualfiles,movingimages,anddigitaldocuments.Manyof
thesenewtypesofmediasufferfromashorterlifeexpectancythanpaper.[9]Withthequick
advancementofourtechnologicalsociety,oldmediaisbecomingobsolete.Therefore,migrationfrom
oldformatstonewformatsisnecessaryforthepreservationofthesedigitalmediassotheycanremain
accurateandaccessible.[15]

Metadataisanimportantpartofdigitalpreservationasitpreservesthecontext,usage,andmigrationof
adigitalrecord.Similarlytotraditionalpreservation,metadataisrequiredtopreservethecontext,
authenticity,andaccessibilityofarecord.[15]

Professionalassociations
Professionalarchivistassociationsseektofosterstudyandprofessionaldevelopment:

ArchivesandRecordsAssociation(UKandIreland)
ArchivesandRecordsAssociation,Ireland
AssociationofMovingImageArchivists
AssociationofRecordsManagersandAdministrators
AssociationofCanadianArchivists
AustralianSocietyofArchivists(https://www.archivists.org.au/aboutus/about)
InternationalAssociationofSoundandAudiovisualArchives
InternationalCouncilonArchives
SocietyofAmericanArchivists

RegionalProfessionalAssociations
Smallerprofessionalregionalassociationsalsoprovidemorelocalprofessionaldevelopment,suchas:

SocietyofNorthCarolinaArchivists
NewEnglandArchivists(http://www.newenglandarchivists.org/)
SocietyofRockyMountainArchivists(http://www.srmarchivists.org/)
SocietyofOhioArchivists(http://www.ohioarchivists.org/)

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In2002,theSocietyofAmericanArchivistspublishedguidelinesforagraduateprograminarchival
studies,[16]butasof2007theseguidelineshavenotbeenadoptedbymanyuniversities.Practitionersof
archivalsciencemightcomefromsuchacademicbackgroundsaslibraryscience,informationscience,
history,ormuseology.

Seealso
Archivalappraisal
Archivalbond
Digitalartifactualvalue
EncodedArchivalDescription
Findingaid
Libraryscience
Manuscriptprocessing
Mediapreservation
Preservation(libraryandarchivalscience)
Provenance
Recordsmanagement
Listofarchives

References
1. "AGlossaryofArchivalandRecordsTerminology"(http://www2.archivists.org/glossary/terms/a/archival
science).SocietyofAmericanArchivists(http://www.archivists.org).Retrieved20121207.
2. "TheArchivalParadigmTheGenesisandRationalesofArchivalPrinciplesandPractices"
(http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub89/archival.html).CouncilonLibraryandInformationResources[1]
(http://www.clir.org/).Retrieved20070403.
3. "Aboutrecords,archivesandtheprofession"(http://www.ica.org/125/aboutrecordsarchivesandthe
profession/discoverarchivesandourprofession.html).InternationalCouncilonArchives
(http://www.ica.org).Retrieved20111103.
4. Duranti,LucianaHeatherMacNeil(January1996)."TheProtectionoftheIntegrityofElectronicRecords:An
OverviewoftheUBCMASResearchProject"
(http://journals.sfu.ca/archivar/index.php/archivaria/article/view/12153/13158).Archivaria1(42):4667.
Retrieved20070216.
5. Weidling,T.(2013)."Denldstaarkivlran:JacobvonRammingensbdalrobckeriregistraturoch
arkivsktselfrn1571,samtenmonografiomarkivfrn1632avBaldassareBonifacio"[Theoldestarchival
science:JacobvonRammingen'stwomanualsofregistryandarchivalmanagementfrom1571,anda
monographyonarchivesfrom1632byBaldassareBonifacio].ScandinavianJournalofHistory(inSwedish)
38(2):270271.doi:10.1080/03468755.2013.776405
(https://dx.doi.org/10.1080%2F03468755.2013.776405).
6. "ForwardtoStandardsforArchivalDescription:ahandbook"
(http://www.archivists.org/catalog/stds99/foreword.html).SocietyofAmericanArchivists
(http://www.archivists.org).Archived
(http://web.archive.org/web/20070405070948/http://www.archivists.org/catalog/stds99/foreword.html)from
theoriginalon5April2007.Retrieved20070403.
7. AdrianCunningham,"ArchivalInstitutions,"inArchives:RecordkeepinginSociety,ed.SueMcKemmishet
al.(WaggaWagga,NewSouthWales:CharlesSturtUniversity,CentreforInformationStudies,2005),21
22.
8. "SAA:GlossaryofArchivalTerminology,"2005http://www2.archivists.org/glossary/terms/p/provenance.
9. MichleV.Cloonan,"PreservingRecordsofEnduringValue,"inCurrentsofArchivalThinking,ed.Terry
EastwoodandHeatherMacNeil(SantaBarbara,California:LibrariesUnlimited,2010),6988.
10. "SAA:GlossaryofArchivalTerminology,"2005http://www2.archivists.org/glossary/terms/m/metadata
11. LukeJ.GillilandSwetland,TheProvenanceofaProfession:ThePermanenceofthePublicArchivesand
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archival_science 6/7
8/9/2015 ArchivalscienceWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

HistoricalManuscriptsTraditionsinAmericanArchivalHistory,AmericanArchivist54,no.2(1991):160
174.
12. ErnstPosner,"SomeAspectsofArchivalDevelopmentSincetheFrenchRevolution
(http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015014985066view=1upseq=183),"AmericanArchivist3,no.3
(July1940):159174.
13. JenniferDouglas,"Origins:EvolvingIdeasaboutthePrincipleofProvenance,"inCurrentsofArchival
Thinking,ed.TerryEastwoodandHeatherMacNeil(SantaBarbara,California:LibrariesUnlimited,2010),
2343.
14. TerryCook,"WhatisPastisPrologue:AHistoryofArchivalIdeasSince1898,andtheFutureParadigm
Shift,"Archivaria43,no.1997(February1,1997):1762.
15. KateCumming,"MetadataMatters,"inManagingElectronicRecords,ed.JulieMcLeodandCatherineHare
(London:FacetPublishing,2005)3449.
16. "GuidelinesforaGraduatePrograminArchivalStudies"(http://www.archivists.org/prof
education/ed_guidelines.asp#_ftn1).SocietyofAmericanArchivists(http://www.archivists.org).Archived
(http://web.archive.org/web/20070406075051/http://www.archivists.org/profeducation/ed_guidelines.asp)
fromtheoriginalon6April2007.Retrieved20070403.

Externallinks
DirectoryofRegional,StateandLocalArchivalOrganizationsintheUnitedStates
(http://sophia.smith.edu/%7Epnelson/regionals/)
TheAcademyofCertifiedArchivists(http://www.certifiedarchivists.org/)
ArchivesandRecordsAssociation(UK&Ireland)(http://www.archives.org.uk/)
AustralianSocietyofArchivists(http://www.archivists.org.au/)
TheSocietyofAmericanArchivists(http://www.archivists.org/)

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