archival bond [English]

Syndetic Relationships

InterPARES Definition

n. ~ IP2 · The network of relationships between a specific record and others in the same aggregation.

General Notes

The archival bond is established when the record is set aside as part of an aggregate. It is an essential element distinguishing a record from an otherwise identical document that lacks a relationship to a larger whole. The archival bond can give specific identify to a record by distinguishing it in terms of its function from other records that are identical, except for differences in the aggregate to which they belong.

Other Definitions

  • IP2 Glossary (†386 ): The network of relationships that each record has with the records belonging in the same records aggregation.
  • SAA Glossary 2005 (†241 ): The interrelationships between a record and other records resulting from the same activity.


  • Duranti 1997 (†758 p. 215): At the core of archival science is the concept of archival bond, that is, the network of relationships that each record has with the records belonging in the same aggregation.8 The archival bond is originary, because it comes into existence when a record is created (i.e., when, after being made or received, it is set aside in the fonds of the physical or juridical person who made or received it for action or reference), necessary, because it exists for every record (i.e., a document can be considered a record only if it acquires an archival bond), and determined, because it is qualified by the function of the record in the documentary aggregation in which it belongs. The archival bond first arises when a record is set aside and thereby connected to another in the course of action, but it is incremental, because, as the connective tissue that joins a record to those surrounding it, it is in continuing formation and growth until the aggregation in which the record belongs is no longer subject to expansion, that is, until the activity producing such aggregation is completed. (†1914)
  • Duranti 1997 (†758 p. 216): Besides determining the structure of the archival fonds, the archival bond is the primary identifying component of each record, as several identical documents become as many distinct records after they acquire the archival bond. (†1915)
  • Duranti 1997 (†758 p. 217): Every record has a juridical-administrative context, a provenancial context, a procedural context, and a documentary context, if one proceeds from the general to the specific. But context is by definition outside the record, even if it conditions its meaning and, in time, its interpretation, while the archival bond is an essential part of the record, which would not exist without it. (†1916)
  • Duranti 1997 (†758 p. 217): The archival bond is expression of the development of the activity in which the document participates, rather than of the act that the document embodies (e.g., appointment, grant, request), because it contains within itself the direction of the cause-effect relationship. Therefore, the archival bond determines the meaning of the record. (†1917)
  • Duranti 2010 (†759 p. 7): While in a traditional paper environment the archival bond is implicit in the physical location of the record in the aggregation in which it belongs, in the digital environment it must be made explicit and expressed among the metadata, otherwise, according to the archival postulate that a record is made up of a document and the whole of its relationship, we are unable not only to identify the record, but to have a record altogether (†1919)
  • IP2 (†761 p. 5): The archival bond may be expressed in a classification code or some other unique identifier that appears on the face of a record. (†1923)
  • Lemieux and Sporny 2017 (†847 ): The archival bond expresses the network of relationships that each record has with the records resulting from the same activity. (†2351)
  • Lemieux and Sporny 2017 (†847 ): An example is offered by two documents that simply read: “press the red button.” In one case, the document is linked to other documents through an archival bond that establishes them all as part of an elevator or lift repair process. In another case, they are linked by an archival bond that establishes them as part of a nuclear launch process. The content of the documents is the same, and even their bit structure may be the same, but the identities of the documents as records (i.e., evidence of facts about acts or transactions) are completely different by virtue of the different procedures of which they form a part (as represented by the archival bond). (†2352)
  • PaaST (0.11) 2016 (†778 ): Traditionally, the archival bond has been treated as equivalent to the arraingement of records in a filing system. With physical records, placement of records in file folders and series is probably the most effective way of expressing and perpetuating the archival bond. But other relationships can arise when information is used in activities and, in the digital realm, such relationships can be persistent and accessible independently of any actions to file records. For example, communication threads persist in the header fields of email and other Internet messages. The preservation of retrospective relationships other than record keeping classifications is one way that Archival Object and Archival Aggregate classes can be used to preserve Information Objects that do not satisfy the archival definition of record. (†1991)
  • Thibodeau 2016 (†757 ): The archival bond perpetuates relationships that originated when a record came into existence, exist of necessity for every record, and are determined by the purpose for which the record was produced or acquired in the activity. (†1912)