Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

Glossary of Terms

Active Records
Records that are required for day-to-day business and are subject to frequent use; generally referred to more than once per month per file drawer.
Administrative Value
In appraisal, the usefulness of records for the conduct of current and/or future administrative business needs.
Agency
An organizational entity of government, either executive, legislative or judicial, that is defined by law and has decision-making authority. Can be an office, department, board, commission, or other separate unit.
Agency-Specific Schedule
Retention schedule which specifies the approved disposition of a record series unique in purpose and function to its creating agency.
Appraisal
The process of determining the value and thus the disposition of records based on their current administrative, fiscal, and legal value; their evidential and informational value; their arrangement and condition; their intrinsic value; and their relationship to other records.
Archives
1. The noncurrent historical records of an organization or institution, preserved because of their enduring value.
2. The agency responsible for selecting, preserving, and making available, records determined to have permanent or continuing value.
3. The building in which an archival repository is located.
The Utah State Archives is a division within the Department of Administrative Services. The division name encompasses both the main offices on Capitol Hill and the Records Center in West Valley City.
Archivist
One who is professionally trained for or whose primary duties consist of appraising, describing, referencing, and caring for archival records.
Arrangement
The order or relationship of individual files within a record series to each other, frequently reflecting the function of the record series to the organization, i.e., alphabetical by county, numerical by case number, alphanumerical by address, or chronological.
Authority to Weed
Authority given to the State Archives by the agency and approved by the State Records Committee to purge a record series of duplicate or nonessential materials prior to permanent retention. This process ensures the integrity of the record series and increases its accessibility and usefulness to the agency and prospective researchers.
Classification
"Classify" and their derivative forms means determining whether a record series, record, or information within a record is public, private, controlled, protected, or exempt from disclosure under UCA 63G-2-201(3)(b).
Computer Output Microfilm (COM)
A process of converting electronic data directly onto microfilm. Generally used instead of hard copy printouts.
Controlled Data
According to UCA 63G-2-304, data on an individual collected and maintained by state government, necessary for the administration of government programs, which is available only to appropriate agencies and to others by express consent of the individual, but not to the individual himself. A record is controlled if: (1) the record contains medical, psychiatric, or psychological data about an individual; (2) the governmental entity reasonably believes that: (a) releasing the information in the record to the subject of the record would be detrimental to the subject's mental health or to the safety of any individual; or (b) releasing the information would constitute a violation of normal professional practice and medical ethics; and (3) the governmental entity has properly classified the record.
Conversion of Records Formats
The process of transferring records from one physical format to another. Conversion includes changing paper to microform, optical disk, or another electronic format.
Copy
A reproduction of the contents of an original document which is not the official file copy of the agency. Copies are usually identified by their function, i.e., action copy, reading file copy, tickler file copy, etc. In most instances, copies will have a shorter retention than the official file copy (see Record Copy) of a record series.
Cubic Feet
Measurement of volume for records and manuscripts, 1'x1'x1'; also shown as cu. ft. or c.f. A single State Records Center storage box holds one cubic foot of letter or legal size paper records.
Custody
The guardianship of records and manuscripts which may include both physical possession (protective responsibility) and legal title (legal responsibility).
Data Administration
Developing and administering policies, procedures, practices, and plans for defining, organizing, protecting and efficiently utilizing data.
Data Dictionary
Information on the definition, structure, and usage of data within a system or organization. See also Metadata and Documentation.
Designation
Indicating the primary classification that a majority of records in a record series would contain, based on a governmental entity's familiarity with a record series or based on a governmental entity's review of a reasonable sample of a record series.
Disposition
The final action that puts into effect the results of an appraisal decision for a series of records. Transfer to an archival repository, retain permanently in the agency, or destruction, are among possible disposition actions.
Documentation
Information on the definition, structure, and usage of data within a system or organization. Includes printed instructions, comments, and information for a particular system of computer hardware and software. See also Metadata and Data Dictionary.
Duplicate
1. Pertaining to microforms, a duplicate is a working copy other than the master or security copy, which is administratively useful to an agency. In most instances, duplicates will be scheduled to serve the same or shorter retentions than master copies.
2. Often used interchangeably with Copy.
Electronic Records
Records consisting of data and information which is input, created, manipulated and/or stored on electronic media which show evidence of actions and decisions occurring during transactions of government business. Also referred to as Machine-readable records.
Evidential Value
In appraisal, the value of a record that documents the activities of an organization or agency.
Files Management
Applying records management principles and techniques to filing practices in order to organize and maintain records properly, retrieve them rapidly, ensure their completeness, and make their disposition easier.
Fiscal Value
In appraisal, records required until a financial audit is completed or financial obligations are fulfilled.
General Records
Records that are common to many agencies within the same organization or type of government.
General Schedule
Retention schedule which specifies the approved disposition of certain series of general records common to many agencies and serves as a model for agencies to evaluate similar record series.
Historical Value
In appraisal, the value that documents the history of an organization. Sometimes referred to as archival, continuing, or enduring value. Secondary Historical Value does not document the history of an organization, but recognizes a record containing information that is useful for conducting historical research.
Hybrid System
An information management system composed of elements of microfilm technology and digital imaging; used to manage efficient retrieval and long-term preservation of the information.
Imaging
Means electronic or "digital" imaging; the ability to capture, store, retrieve, display, process, distribute, and manage information as a digitized representation of the original.
Inactive Records
A series of records with a reference rate of less than one search per file drawer per month.
Information Management
The application of planning and standards to the creation, use, retrieval, retention, conversion, disposition, and preservation of information resources in any format.
Information System
A system which provides input, storage, processing, communications, output, and control functions in relation to information and data. Normally used to describe computer systems.
Informational Value
In appraisal, the value of a record that provides unique and permanent information for purposes of research.
Inventory
A survey of agency records and nonrecord materials that is conducted primarily to develop retention schedules and also to identify various records management problems, such as improper applications of record-keeping technology.
Legal Value
In appraisal, the usefulness of records containing evidence of legally enforceable rights or obligations. Also refers to retentions specified by statute, rule, or regulation.
Machine-readable Records
Records containing coded data or information which must be translated by a computer. May be stored on magnetic tape, diskettes, optical disks, or imaging systems and may include computer software, programs, database management systems, applications, and textural records such as system documentation.
Master
Pertaining to microforms, the master is the original film from which duplicates are made. The master usually serves as the security copy of the filmed records and is maintained in a secure and controlled, off-site, records center location.
Metadata
Information on the definition, structure, and usage of data within a system or organization. See also Data Dictionary and Documentation.
Microfiche
Microfilm containing multiple micro images in a grid pattern on a transparent sheet of film.
Microfilm
Reduced scale, photographic image of a record.
Microforms
Microfilm media, including reels, fiche, jackets, and computer output microfilm (COM) containing micro images.
Micrographics
The technology involved in the creation and use of micro images.
Open Systems
An environment that allows interchangeability and integrated operation between software systems from different vendors. Addresses the areas of portability--ability to use a variety of computer systems; inter-operability--the ability of different computers to exchange information; and open architecture--the ability to connect different peripheral computer devices.
Permanent Records
Indicates a disposition other than "destroy." Specifically, records would either be transferred to the State Archives or maintained permanently in office. These records need continued retention due to their long-term administrative, legal, fiscal, or historical value.
Policy Manual
A publication that states the course of action to be followed by an organization, unit, or department in conducting its activities.
Preservation
Action taken to slow or prevent the deterioration or damage of archival records. Basic actions to provide adequate facilities for the protection, care, and maintenance of archives, records, and manuscripts.
Private Data
According to UCA 63G-2-302, data on an individual collected and maintained by a governmental entity, necessary for the administration of government programs, which are available only to appropriate agencies and to others by express consent of the individual, and to the individual himself or next of kin when information is needed to acquire benefits due a deceased person. Records which must be considered private include medical records, library circulation records, and certain data element regarding public employees.
Processing
1. To arrange records in a logical way so that they can be used for research and to describe them in order to provide for intellectual control.
2. To preserve records of enduring value.
3. A section of the Utah State Archives with the above responsibilities.
Protected Data
A record that is classified protected as provided by UCA 63G-2-305. Protected records usually contain non-personal data and are only accessible by those who submitted the information or those whose interests were sought to be protected. Records in this category include undercover law enforcement information, audit procedures, locations of prehistoric sites, etc.
Provenance
Means the office or agency of origin that created the records, which were created and received in the course of business.
Public Data
According to UCA 63G-2-301, data on individuals collected and maintained by a governmental entity, necessary for the administration of government programs, which are not classified as "private" or "controlled" or "protected" and therefore open to the public, unless otherwise exempted or restricted by law. Certain information is required to be public, such as laws, minutes of open meetings, and the gross compensation of public employees.
Record Copy
The original file copy of a record series maintained by the creating agency, sometimes referred to as the designated original or blue-ribbon copy.
Record Series
A group of identical or related records, files, documents and/or other media created by one agency that are normally used, indexed, or filed together, and that permit evaluation as a unit for retention and disposition purposes.
Record Series Number
See Series Number.
Records
All books, papers, letters, documents, maps, plans, photographs, sound recordings, management information systems, or other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received, and retained by any public office under state law or in connection with the transaction of public business by the offices, agencies, and institutions of the state and its counties, municipalities, and other political subdivisions.
Records Analysis Section
The section of the Utah State Archives and Records Service which provides records management education and services to Utah's state and local government agencies. Records appraisal and scheduling is the cornerstone function of Records Analysis' responsibilities. Analysts will travel to specific offices to conduct one-on-one training, hold regional training sessions, and basic training (offered monthly) for new records officers.
Records Center
A facility especially designed and constructed to provide low-cost, efficient storage and retrieval service on inactive records, pending ultimate disposition. The Utah State Archives Records Center is located at Building C-6 5th St & C St, in Clearfield, Utah. Their phone number is 801-525-3045 and FAX is 801-825-3293. This facility is not open to the general public.
Records Management
The application of management techniques to the creation, utilization, maintenance, retention, preservation, and disposition of records, undertaken to reduce costs and improve efficiency in record keeping. Includes management of filing and microfilming equipment and supplies: filing and information retrieval systems; files, correspondence, reports, and forms management; historical documentation; micrographics; systems applications; retention scheduling; and vital records protection.
Records Officer
In Utah, an agency-appointed person whose responsibilities include the development and oversight of records management programs and who serves as the agency's contact person with the State Archives.
Records Transfer Sheet (RTS)
The form required by the State Records Center to accompany all semi-active records which will be maintained in the Records Center or permanent records transferred to the custody of the State Archives. The form serves as a receipt of transfer, an accessioning tool, and a reference and agency retrieval document. These forms are provided an appendix of this volume, and can be copied for agency use. They can also be obtained by calling the State Archives (538-3012).
Research Center
A reference service providing secure and controlled public access to the holdings of the Utah State Archives, a records management library, and a computer network service linking the State Archives with state and university libraries and repositories nationwide. Patron, telephone, and mail inquiries are welcome. Their email address is historysresearch@utah.gov.
Retention Period
The period of time during which records are kept in the custody of the creating agency (including Records Center storage) before disposition occurs; usually in terms of years or contingent upon an event, such as an audit.
Retention Schedule
A list or other instrument describing record series and their minimum retention periods.
Schedule
Used as a verb, means to establish retention periods for current records and provide for proper disposition at the end of their active use.
Series Number
This number is a unique identifier assigned by the Utah State Archives to each record series created and maintained by each state and local government agency. The series number permits agencies to submit agency-specific retention and disposition schedules and allows the State Archives to catalog and share specific information about Utah's governmental records with research institutions and archival repositories across the country.
Transferring
Moving inactive records to the records center on a regular schedule.
Vital Records
Records essential to the continued functioning or reconstitution of an organization during and after an emergency and also those records essential to protecting the rights and interests of that organization and of the individuals directly affected by its activities. Sometimes called essential records. Recommended that there be duplicates located off-site.