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In working with archival material and the rapid updating of computers to save that material, one comes across terms that can be challenging, confusing, surprising and even amusing. How about these for starters?

Antiquarianism, n. – An interest in things that are old, especially because of their age rather than other qualities. Could any of us be tending in this direction?

CUSTARD, n. – abbreviation for Canadian-United States Task Force on Archival Description. Does this one make you hungry?

Densitometric method (silver), n. – A procedure to test for residual thiosulfate (fixer) in silver halide photographs. Can be a residual hypo test or a methylene blue test. Do you find this one a tongue twister?

Nonrepudiation, n. – Digital signature – The ability to demonstrate the integrity and origin of electronically signed data and to assert that the means to authenticate the data cannot be refuted. How does one do this for real?

Generation loss, n. – A degradation of quality resulting from imperfect reproduction techniques. Most of us called this making a copy of copy.

Disneyfication, n. – The process of increasing the marketability of a story by removing or downplaying distasteful or potentially controversial facts from the historical record to make the story as unobjectionable to as wide an audience as possible. This is actually a real term.

Note to Reader: If you have any term in the category of archival and records terminology that you would like us to look up for you, just give us a call. We have 433 pages of definitions! Thanks to Richard Pearce-Moss for his “A Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology” (2005). His definitions do NOT include the above italicized comments.

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