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HIST 4990 Senior Seminar-Crime, Punishment, and Human Rights (Soper-special collections): Glossary of Useful Terms

Glossary of Useful Terms

Archival:  adj. ~ 1. Of or pertaining to archives. - 2. Records · Having enduring value; permanent. - 3. Records media · Durable; lacking inherent vice; long-lived; see archival quality. - 4. Storage conditions · Not causing degradation. - 5. Procedures · Following accepted standards that ensure maximum longevity. - 6. Computing · Information of long-term value that, because of its low use, is stored on offline media and must be reloaded, or that is in a form that must be reconstructed before use.

Constituent: n.~ a person who authorizes another to act in his or her behalf, as a voter in a district represented by an elected official.

Constituent correspondence: n. ~ Letters received by elected officials from individuals in their districts, often expressing the authors' opinions on matters of public policy or seeking assistance in interactions with the government.

Finding Aid: n. ~ 1. A tool that facilitates discovery of information within a collection of records. - 2. A description of records that gives the repository physical and intellectual control over the materials and that assists users to gain access to and understand the materials.

Flexys: n. ~ Referes to a specific tracking system that was used by some congressional offices in the 1960s and 70s to manage constituent mail.  The system  began with attaching the actual letter (incoming and outgoing), along with copies of approved response paragraphs. These materials were then organized under a subject access point. With the adoption of the on-line correspondence management system (CMS) in the 1970s, computer databases became a key component of the correspondence records, and access became more flexible, but dependent on the CMS. This system provided word processing; the capability of inserting selected, approved paragraphs; personalized salutations and closings; personalized text; the ability to create targeted mailing lists; correspondence records; mail count on issues; automatic filing; and correspondence tracking. 

Primary Source: n. ~ Material that contains firsthand accounts of events and that was created contemporaneous to those events or later recalled by an eyewitness.

Record: n. ~ 1. A written or printed work of a legal or official nature that may be used as evidence or proof; a document. - 2. Data or information that has been fixed on some medium; that has content, context, and structure; and that is used as an extension of human memory or to demonstrate accountability. - 3. Data or information in a fixed form that is created or received in the course of individual or institutional activity and set aside (preserved) as evidence of that activity for future reference. - 4. An instrument filed for public notice (constructive notice); see recordation. - 5. Audio · A phonograph record. - 6. Computing · A collection of related data elements treated as a unit, such as the fields in a row in a database table.- 7. Description · An entry describing a work in a catalog; a catalog record.

Secondary Source: n. ~ 1. A work that is not based on direct observation of or evidence directly associated with the subject, but instead relies on sources of information. - 2. A work commenting on another work (primary sources), such as reviews, criticism, and commentaries.

Series: n. ~ 1. A group of similar records that are arranged according to a filing system and that are related as the result of being created, received, or used in the same activity; a file group; a record series.