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Structured Glossary of Technical Terms–

Commission on Preservation and Access

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The Original Document
1.1 Medium
1.2 Format
1.3 Periodicity
1.4 Properties
1.5 Condition
1.6 Content
1.2. Document Format
Document Format refers to the class of document with respect
to its style, arrangement, or layout.Although this Glossary emphasizes the distinction between format and
medium, some formats are more closely associated with a given medium.
Thus, formats such as documentary, short, feature, and newsreel are
most closely associated with the medium of film. Consistent with the
main thrust of this Glossary, we emphasize those formats that are mostly
associated with the medium of paper, even though several of these formats
may also be embodied in other media (the “talking book,” for example,
recorded, say, on tape cassettes).

The term “format” itself may be too all-encompassing. There may be
a need to further distinguish between the “type” of a document, such
as “book,” and the arrangement or layout of the book–such as formatted
text on pages, or simply linear text that is not formatted into pages
(as in the “talking book” where pages are not distinguished). However,
this Glossary does not make this distinction, partly because of its
focus on the paper milieu, where such a distinction may not be necessary,
and partly because in the emerging world of digital technologies it
may be premature to attempt such a distinction.

The use of the term “format” should not be confused with its use in
the context of “reformatting.” The latter, as described in 3.1, is
best replaced by the term “media conversion.”

1.2.1. Manuscript
For purposes of this Glossary, an original, unpublished document directly
created by its author(s), usually on paper or parchment, and often
in the author’s own hand.
1.2.2. Book
A monograph (1.3.1) publication
containing more than 49 pages, usually on paper. [12]
1.2.3. Pamphlet
A complete monograph (1.3.1)
of at least 5 but not more than 49 pages, usually on paper (see Footnote
1.2.4. Newspaper
A serial (1.3.2) publication
issued at stated, frequent intervals containing news, opinions, advertisements,
and other topical material, usually on paper (see Footnote 12).
1.2.5. Printed Sheet
A single sheet of printed paper such as a poster (but see, broadside, folded leaflet,
or memorandum, usually on paper.
1.2.6. Periodical
A serial publication (1.3.2)
appearing at regular or stated intervals, generally more frequently
than annually, usually on paper (see Footnote 12). Includes magazines and journals.
1.2.7. Cartographic Materials
Representations of a selection of abstract features of the universe,
most often in relation to the surface of the earth, often on paper
but also on other substrates.
1.2.8. Music
In this context, printed representation of musical notation for instrumental,
chamber, orchestral, and vocal scores, usually on paper (see footnote
1.2.9. Graphic Materials Art Originals, Prints, and Reproductions
Illustrated works, such as drawings, engravings, and lithographs,
issued separately from books.The following terms are included for completeness, but without definition [13]: Filmstrips Photographs, Slides, Transparencies,
and Stereographs Pictures, Postcards, and Posters Technical Drawings (including
Architectural Plans) Miscellaneous
The Miscellaneous category includes flash cards, radiographs, study
prints, and wall charts.
1.2.10. Data File
The term Data File is used generically to denote a document
consisting of a collection of data, normally organized in some logical
fashion so as to facilitate access (3.4).
Such data may consist of factual information, statistics, numbers,
textual, or composite records to be used as a basis for reasoning,
discussion, or calculation. An entity within a data file is known as
a (data) record. A collection of data files is sometimes
known as a databank, particularly when the data files are
electronically encoded (1.1.6).Although data files may be encoded in any media (for example, a paper
card index file is an example of a data file), the term has most often
come to be used in connection with data files that are electronically
encoded and stored in digital electronic form ( Table
A data file arranged into two-dimensional form, normally consisting
of rows and columns together with headings or labels to depict the
contents of the rows and columns. Tables may themselves contain other
tables as elements resulting in a “latticed” arrangement of data. A spreadsheet is
a special form of table originally used for accounting purposes and
containing financial data, but which now includes a wide variety of
complex reports arranged in tabular form, often with the aid of computer
workstations (

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