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RECMGMT-L  November 2010, Week 2

RECMGMT-L November 2010, Week 2

Subject:

Re: Definition

From:

Luciana Duranti <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Records Management Program <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 9 Nov 2010 09:00:33 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (67 lines)

Dear Gary, Stephen and All:

I personally do not have any problem with "people", including our 
users, choosing the term that is to them the most evocative of what 
they have in mind.  I do have a problem with records professionals 
using inconsistently and loosely the terminology of their own 
discipline, as a consistent shared terminology is the foundation of 
professional understanding and exchange, as ell as professional identity.

With the above said, one has to recognize that, within our own 
discipline, there are terminological differences among languages and, 
within languages, among countries. Generally speaking, in most 
European and Asian languages, the term archives refers to current 
records, not to the historical ones (termed historical or permanent 
archives), and the verb "to archive" does exist and usually means to 
file a record among the records of the office handling the matter 
(consistently with the original meaning of archeion).  In Italy, for 
example, archivio is the whole of the records made or received in the 
course of business and maintained by the records manager for the use 
of the creator for action or reference.  Archiviare (the verb) means 
to close a file (normally transmitting it from the office handling 
the matter to the archivio).  By extension, archiviare un affare (to 
archive a matter), means to close it.

In consideration of the fact that we must be able to communicate 
across countries understanding the different meanings attributed to 
similar terms (terms having the same root, like archives, archivio, 
arkiv, etc.) and the different terms using to convey the same 
meanings, the International Council on Archives has just approved a 
project to build an online multilingual and multi-country 
terminological database, to which, when operational and made 
available on the ICA web site, individual professionals and groups 
will be able to add terms and meanings.  The project is going to 
launched in a couple of weeks and will be completed about a year from now.

So, keep discussing definitions and be prepared to feed the online 
suggestion box... As the project director, I will continue to stay 
tuned on this and other similar discussions happening on a variety of 
professional lists.

Luciana

Dr. Luciana Duranti
Chair and Professor, Archival Studies
Director, The InterPARES Project www.interpares.org
Director, Digital Records Forensics Project www.digitalrecordsforensics.org
School of Library, Archival and Information Studies (SLAIS) www.slais.ubc.ca
The University of British Columbia
The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
Suite 470, 1961 East Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia  V6T 1Z1 CANADA
Tel: 604.822.2587
Fax: 604.822.6006
www.lucianaduranti.ca
_________________________________________________________________
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