archives [English]

Other Languages

Syndetic Relationships

InterPARES Definition

n. ~ 1. Archives, IP2 · The whole of the documents made and received by a juridical or physical person or organization in the conduct of affairs, and preserved. – 2. Archives · A place where records selected for permanent preservation are kept. – 3. Archives · An agency or institution responsible for the preservation and communication of records selected for permanent preservation.
— (archive, v.) ~ 4. Computing · To save digital data, documents, and records, typically those that are not current, offline.

General Notes

Archive4, as used in information technology, connotes migrating seldom-used data to offline or nearline storage. Where traditional archival science emphasizes protecting the authenticity, reliability, and integrity of the records for an indefinite period, information technologies often focus on a more limited period – often ten to twenty years – and may not include processes to protect the records' trustworthiness.

Other Definitions

  • IP2 Dictionary (†242 ): n. ~ 1. The building (or portion thereof) housing archival collections. – 2. The division within an organization responsible for maintaining the organization's records of enduring value. – 3. Non-current records preserved, with or without selection, by those responsible for their creation or by their successors in function for their own use or by an appropriate archives because of their archival value. – 4. The whole of the records of a creator. – 5. (also: archival fonds) The whole of the records created by an agency and preserved. – 6. The documents created or received and accumulated by a person or organization in the course of the conduct of affairs, and preserved because of their continuing value. Historically, the term referred more narrowly to the noncurrent records – 7. Inactive records of an organization or institution preserved because of their on going value. – 8. An organization which collects the archives of individuals, families, or other organizations; a collecting repository. – 9. The agency or program responsible for selecting, acquiring, preserving, and making available archival materials; also referred to as an archival agency, archival institution or archival program. – 10. An agency or institution responsible for the acquisition, preservation, and communication of archives selected for permanent preservation. – 11. Rooms or sets of rooms for the systematic maintenance and storage of records and documents. – 12. Archival documents contain accurate and detailed information relevant to many aspects of musical scholarship: to biography, chronology, history of institutions and societies, the place and function of musicians in society, performing practice (in the fullest sense of that phrase) and many others. They yield the kind of information that primarily musical manuscripts and printed sources cannot provide.
  • RFC 4949 (†591 s.v. "archive"): n. ~ 1a. A collection of data that is stored for a relatively long period of time for historical and other purposes, such as to support audit service, availability service, or system integrity service. (Compare: backup, repository.) – v. ~ 1b. To store data in such a way as to create an archive. (Compare: back up.)
  • SAA Glossary 2005 (†241 ): n. (also archive) ~ 1. Materials created or received by a person, family, or organization, public or private, in the conduct of their affairs and preserved because of the enduring value contained in the information they contain or as evidence of the functions and responsibilities of their creator, especially those materials maintained using the principles of provenance, original order, and collective control; permanent records. – 2. The division within an organization responsible for maintaining the organization's records of enduring value. – 3. An organization that collects the records of individuals, families, or other organizations; a collecting archives. – 4. The professional discipline of administering such collections and organizations. – 5. The building (or portion thereof) housing archival collections. – 6. A published collection of scholarly papers, especially as a periodical.
  • Wikipedia (†387 s.v. archive): An accumulation of historical records, or the physical place they are located [University of South Dakota Library, 2009]. Archives contain primary source documents that have accumulated over the course of an individual or organization's lifetime, and are kept to show the function of that person or organization.


  • Duranti 2013 (†408 ): Archives are regarded as the trusted custodians of our historical documentary memory. For millennia the place where this memory is kept has been as important to its permanence and quality as the knowledge of the professionals responsible for it. In the Justinian Code, which is the summa of all Roman law and jurisprudence, an archives is defined as locus publicus in quo instrumenta deponuntur (i.e., the public place where deeds are deposited), quatenus incorrupta maneant (i.e., so that they remain uncorrupted), fidem faciant (i.e., provide trustworthy evidence), and perpetua rei memoria sit (i.e., and be continuing memory of that to which they attest). [Note omitted.] (†479)
  • Duranti 2013 (†408 ): In the ancient world, the archives was a place of preservation under the jurisdiction of a public authority. This place, public as well, endowed the documents that passed its threshold with trustworthiness, thereby giving them the capacity of serving as evidence and continuing memory of facts and acts. (†480)