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SP 516 - The Feminist Archive in 19th Cent. Latin American Literature: Fundamentals of Archival Studies

A course guide containing resources for students enrolled in SP 516.

Key Terms

access: the ability to locate relevant information through the use of catalogs, indexes, finding aids, or other tools; the permission to locate and retrieve information for use (consultation or reference) within legally established restrictions of privacy, confidentiality, and security clearance


appraisal: the process of identifying materials offered to an archive that have sufficient value to be accessioned; the process of determining the length of time records should be retained, based on legal requirements and on their current and potential usefulness; the process of determining hte market value of an item


arrangement: the process of organizing materials with respect to their provenance and original order, to protect their context and to achieve physical or intellectual control over the materials


collection: a group of materials with some unifying characteristic


context: the organizational, functional, and operational circumstances surrounding materials' creation, receipt, storage, or use, and its relationship to other materials


description: the process of creating a finding aid or other access tools that allow individuals to browse a surrogate of the collection to facilitate access and that improve security by creating a record of the collection and by minimizing the amount of handling of the original materials


finding aid: a description of records that gives the repository physical and intellectual control over the materials and that assists users to gain access to and understand the materials


linear feet: a measure of shelf space necessary to store documents


original order: the organization and sequence of records established by the creator of the records; a fundamental principle in archives meant to preserve existing relationships and evidential significance that can be inferred from the context of the records 


provenance/respect des fonds: the origin or source of something; information regarding the origins, custody, and ownership of an item or collection. Note: The principal or provenance and respect des fonds is fundamental in archives and dictates that records of different origins (provenance) be kept separate to preserve their context


record: data or information that has been fixed on some medium; that has content, context, and structure; and that is used as an extension of human memory or to demonstrate accountability


Terms and definitions obtained from the Glossary of the Society of American Archivists (SAA).