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Glossary


Accession.  The act of transferring physical custody and control of records to the University Archives.  The materials transferred to the archives.

Accession record.  An administrative and descriptive document identifying the contents, provenance, and disposition of material brought into the archives.

Active records.  Records which are required for ongoing operational purposes and are referred to more than once per month per linear foot.

Administrative records.    Records which document the support or “housekeeping” functions of the office, such as human resources, finance, equipment and supplies, buildings and properties and general administrative matters.

Administrative value.  The usefulness of records to originating offices for the conduct of day-to-day business.

Appraisal.  The evaluation of records to determine their value and proper disposition.

Archival value.  The permanent and continuing worth of records based on their informational value, evidential value, and legal/individual rights value.

Archives.  The inactive records of an individual, organization, or institution kept for their continuing value; the agency or institution responsible for the care of archival materials; the building or other repository housing archival records.

Case files. In the University File Plan, Case files are a global secondary that applies to the Administration, Buildings and Properties, and Equipment & Supplies main subject groups.  It is used for records associated with a specific primary that relate to a particular action, event, person, product, unit, etc.  Case files are not typically third-party reference materials but are materials generated or received by the office in the course of performing its administrative duties.

Central offices.  In the University File Plan, Central Offices are the Controller’s Office and Central Human Resources.

Classification scheme.  See File Plan.

COM.  See Computer output microfilm

Committees.  In the University File Plan, Committees are a global secondary that applies to the Administration, Buildings and Properties, and Equipment and Supplies main subject groups.  It is used for records associated with a specific primary that are generated or received by committees, councils, etc.

Computer output microfilm.  A process of converting the data on a magnetic computer tape directly onto microfilm by means of a cathode ray tube, electron beam, or other electronic process.

Copyright.  The right to copy.  An incorporeal right granted by statute to the creators of literary works and artistic productions whereby the creators are invested for a specified period with sole and exclusive privilege of multiplying copies or authorising performance of the same and publishing, communicating and profiting from the sale of them.

Correspondence.  Interoffice memoranda, letters, postal cards, printed information slips, etc.

Decentralized offices.  University offices other than Central Human Resources and the Controller's Office. 

Deliberative processes.  Records containing matter in the nature of, or relating to, opinions, references, assessments, advice or recommendations obtained, prepared or recorded, or consultations or deliberations that have taken place, in the course of, or for the purpose of, the deliberative processes of the University where such disclosure would undermine the effectiveness of these processes. For further information see University Policy on Access to Information and protection of privacy-on related links page.

Density.  The measure of the degree of contrast between an image such as a microform image, and its background.

Direct access filing.  A system that permits access to files without reference to an index.

Disposition.  The final action to be taken on records at the end of their retention periods.  This could include destruction or permanent retention at the University Archives.

Document.  Recorded information that is made or received in the course of a practical activity.

Evidential value.  The value of a record that documents the policy and decision-making activities of an organization.

File. The smallest conceptual unit of aggregated documents.  Files typically relate to one subject or one sub-activity.

File codes.  In the University File Plan, File Codes are the lowest level of classification available.  File codes are symbols or numbers that represent a particular location, time period, organization, etc.  They are added to subject numbers to facilitate the classification, filing or retrieving of records. 

File plan.  A classification scheme for the physical arrangement, storage, and retrieval of files.

Filing.  The process of arranging and sorting records so that they may be retrieved rapidly when needed.

Filing unit.  Each word, abbreviation, or initial used to file information.

Final disposition.  See Disposition.

Finding aid.  A descriptive document created to allow retrieval.  Types of finding aids include file lists, inventories and guides.

Fiscal value.  The usefulness of records for financial purposes, such as to confirm moneys paid, taxes owing, monetary worth, or outstanding debts.

General.  In the University File Plan, General is a global secondary that applies to all main subject groups.  It is used for records associated with a specific primary that are of a general nature or of too low a volume to justify the creation of a separate secondary.

Global.  See Global Secondary Subjects

Global secondary subjects.  In the University File Plan, Global Secondary Subjects are secondaries that apply to all primaries or to all primaries within a main subject group.

Holdings.  The totality of documents in the custody of an archival repository. 

Housekeeping records.  See Administrative records.

Imaging.  To copy or capture a record that can be used to generate an intelligible reproduction of that record.  May include the use of microforms or digital images.

Inactive records.  Records that are no longer required to carry out the administrative or operational functions for which they were created and which are referred to less than once per year per 5 linear feet.

Indexing.  Determining the name by which a document is to be filed or referenced.

Indirect access filing.  Filing where the code under which the material is filed must be referenced before the file can be identified.

Informational value.  The value of a record that provides unique and permanent information for purposes of research.

Legal value.  The value of a record for legal purposes, such as protecting the rights of an organization and of individuals associated with the organization.

Life continuum.  The unified pattern of a record’s life comprised of four integrated stages: creation or receipt; classification; scheduling and its implementation; maintenance and use.

Life cycle.  The life span of a record comprised of eight sequential stages; creation or receipt; classification; maintenance and use; disposition through destruction or transfer to an archives; description in archival finding aids; preservation; reference and use.

Main subject groups.  In the University File Plan, main subject groups are the first level of classification.  They are:  Administration, Buildings and Properties, Equipment and Supplies, Finance, and Human Resources.

Microfiche.  Microform containing multiple microimages in a grid pattern on a transparent sheet of film.

Microfilm.  Microform containing multiple microimages on a roll of transparent film.

Microform.  A generic term for any form containing microimages.  Microfiche and microfilm are examples of types of microforms.

Micrographics.  The art of producing or reproducing information in miniature form.

Office of primary responsibility.  The University office that is considered to be primarily responsible for the maintenance of the official university record.  Offices of primary responsibility are identified in the University File Plan at the secondary level.

Official records.  Records or sets of records that the University must maintain for legal, fiscal or archival purposes.  All non-official records are considered to be duplicates or convenience copies. 

Operational records:  Records that document the specific mandate or activities of the office and are unique to the office as indicated by the mandate of that office.
 

Optical Character Recognition:  The recognition of printed or written text characters by a computer. This involves scanning of the text, analysis of the scanned-in image, and then translation of the character image into character codes, such as ASCII. 

Original order.  The order and organization in which records were created and / or stored by the creator or office of origin.

PACARM.  Acronym for Presidential Advisory Committee on Archives and Records Management.   The PACARM plays an advisory role to UTARMS and helps to develop strategic direction and approves final products.

Permanent record.  Records considered to be so valuable or unique in documenting the history of an office that they are preserved in the archives.

Personal information bank.  A collection of personal information that is organized and capable of being retrieved by an individual's name, an identifying number, symbol or other particular assigned to an individual.

Personal records.  Records related to the teaching and research functions of faculty members.  These can include research and study notes, teach materials, manuscripts, publications, and personal communications of individual faculty members, staff and students that are not created in the context of University work.

Personnel records. Document an individualís employment history from appointment to retirement or termination. The records may be organized as individual case files in paper or electronic format. They may include correspondence, memoranda, letters of application, job advertisements, CVs, letters of reference, recommendations, letters of appointment and acceptance, as well as information on leaves, immigration status, position number, contract and salary changes, release or relief time, and awards. 

Pixel:  The smallest mark or dot on a screen.  Short for picture element.

Policy and Procedures:  In University File Plan, Policy and Procedures is a global secondary that applies to all main subject groups.  It is used for records associated with a specific primary that relate to policy and procedures.

Primary subjects.  In the University File Plan, Primary Subjects classification is the second level of classification.  Primary subject classification follows classification by the main subject groups.

Provenance.  The office of origin, or person or agency that created or collected records in the course of their activities.

Quality index (QI).  A system identifying particular degrees of resolution taking into account both the size of the typeface in the original (usually the lower case 'c') and the quality of resolution achieved in the microfilm.

Record.  Recorded information, regardless of physical form or characteristics.  Includes documents and other material created by institutions, organizations, businesses, etc., in the course of their daily activities.

Records centre.  A facility separated either physically or adminstratively from the archives, used to store and provide reference service for semi-active and inactive records of the creating agency pending the ultimate disposition of the material.

Records inventory.  An identification and quantification of all of the records possessed by an organization.

Records management.  The systematic control of all records, regardless of media format, from initial creation to final disposition.

Records retention.  Holding documents for further use.

Records retrieval.  Locating documents and delivering them for use.

Records schedule.  A timetable that identifies the length of time a record must be retained in active and inactive status before final disposition.  Also called records retention and disposition schedule.

Records series.  A group of identical or related records that are normally used and filed as a unit and that permit evaluation as a unit for retention scheduling purposes.

Records survey.  Complete and accurate listing of file contents showing individual or groups of records.

Reports and Statistics. In the University File Plan, Reports and Statistics are a global secondary that applies to the Administration, Buildings and Properties, and Equipment and Supplies main subject groups.  It is used for records associated with a specific primary that consist of reports and statistics.

Retention period.  The period of time during which records must be kept before final disposition.

Respect des fonds.  The principle of arrangement of archival material that records of different provenance not be intermingled. See also provenance.

Respect for original order.  The principle that original documents should be maintained in the same order or arrangement given to it by the creator so that the relationship among its components and the evidential significance are preserved.

Resolution.  The measure of sharpness of an image, such as a microform image.

Secondary subjects.  In the University File Plan, the third level of records classification.  Secondary subject classification follows classification by main subject group, then primary subject.

Semi-active records.  Records that are not required constantly for current use and are referred to less than once per linear foot per month.

Stack area.  That portion of a records centre or archives that contains the records holdings.

Subject Files:  In the University File Plan, Subject Files are a global secondary that applies to the Administration, Buildings & Properties, and Equipment & Supplies main subject groups.  It is used for records associated with a specific primary that consist of reports and statistics.

System.  An array of components that interact to achieve some objective through a network of procedures that are integrated and designed to carry out a major activity.

Tertiary subjects.  In the University File Plan, the fourth level of records classification.   Tertiary subject classification follows classification by main subject group, primary subject, and then secondary subject.  It is not required to classify records to the Tertiary Subject level.

Total archives.  A Canadian archival principle that archives acquire and preserve historical materials in all medium or form from both public and private sources.
 

University Records:  Records  under the control of the University’s administrative officers relating generally to the operation of the University, information relating to students, teaching and administrative staff individually, and records in these categories placed in the University Archives by or under the authority of administrative officers.    See also Personal Records.

UTARMS.  Acronym for the University of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services.

Vital records.  Records that are essential to resume or continue an organization; those necessary to recreate the company's legal and financial position; and /or those necessary to preserve the rights of the organization, its employees, and others associated with the organization.
 
 

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