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Cincinnati Children's Archives

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Jim Damico
Cincinnati Children's
3333 Burnet Avenue
MLC 7043
Cincinnati, OH


Archives Definitions

Welcome to the guide for archival definitions. Here you will discover some of the basic terminology used in the field of archives as it relates to the Cincinnati Children's Archives program. We hope this helps you better understand some of the terminology used in these pages.

Archival definitions can be found at: Society of American Archivists Dictionary

What is an archival resource?

  1. A record or collection of records retained for its continuing value
  2. funds, buildings, staff, tools, and holdings of an archives

What is a finding aid?  

The Society of American Archivists says: “a description that typically consists of contextual and structural information about an archival resource”

A finding aid places archival resources in context by consolidating information about the collection, such as acquisition and processing; provenance, including administrative history or biographical note; scope of the collection, including size, subjects, media; organization and arrangement; and an inventory of the series and the folders. Finding aids could also describe a single level or a single item.

What is the difference between a manuscript and an archival collection?

A manuscript collection is a collection of personal or family papers. Although manuscript literally means handwritten, 'manuscript collection' is often used to include collections of mixed media in which unpublished materials predominate. They may also include typescripts, photographs, diaries, scrapbooks, news clippings, and printed works.

An archival collection is made up of records created or received by a person, family, or organization and preserved because of their continuing value.

What is continuing value?

The usefulness or significance of records based on the information they contain that justifies their ongoing preservation.