Glossary & Terms
The legal right of citizens to use archival records in publically-supported archives. However, some archival records may be restricted. See also: Restrictions on access
Access points direct users to individuals, families and corporate bodies that created records. Access points are recorded according to international standards. Access points do not include subject headings. Access points may be browsed online. See also: Author access point(s); provenance access point(s); and non-subject access point(s).
An item, fonds or collection acquired at one time from a single source. A fonds or collection may be acquired in several accessions from an individual, or from different individuals.
ACCOMPANYING MATERIALS NOTE
Complementary records which frequently accompany specialized media. Example: textual script for audiovisual presentation
An acquisition of archival materials which belongs to a collection/fonds already in the custody of the repository. The note indicates whether PANL expects additional records in the near future.
An Act is legislation which has usually been approved by parliament and by the
representative of the crown. Prior to the establishment of representative
government (1832), legislation approved by the Governor and his appointed
Executive Council were called Ordinances. Between 1832 and 1934, a proposed Act
(or Bill) required the approval of the House of Assembly, the Legislative
Council, and the Governor. During Commission of Government, an Act was approved
by the majority of Commissioners and the Governor. Following 1949, Acts were
approved by the House of Assembly, with formal assent by the
Acts are also called Statutes. Acts and Statutes are published annually. Each
act and subsequent amendment is assigned a chapter number. Appendices in the
volumes provide useful schedules to track amendments.
Newfoundland and Labrador legislation is referenced in PANL descriptions in the
Example: Title, year, chapter: Acts, 1888, c.10
Statutes, 1949, c. 84
Published Acts and Statutes may be requested from PANL Client Services. See
also: Consolidated statutes
An addition to the holdings of an archives by transfer under an established and legally based procedure, by purchase or gift.
ADMINISTRATIVE/ BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY
The administrative history of a corporate body details its activities, including date of establishment, mandate, functions, administrative structure, predecessor and successor bodies, and changes in corporate name.
The biographical history of an individual includes genealogical information, education, professional activities, accomplishments and honours
The family history identifies key ancestors, places of residence, business and property transactions. It usually focuses on individuals in the family who are identified in the fonds/collection
Please contact us if you notice errors, or have additional information
An administrator is the individual who administers a colony in the absence of
the Governor. See the Office of the Governor fonds
An administrator is also the individual appointed by the court to manage the
estate of a person who has died without a will (or intestate). An administrator
performs the same functions as an executor, the person usually named in the will
to manage the estate. An administrator may also be appointed when a will exists,
but an executor has not been named or when the executor named is unable or
unwilling to assume his/her responsibilities
A written statement, recorded under oath and accepted as legal evidence. An
affidavit differs from a submission, which presents requests, findings, opinions
and/or recommendations See: Submissions
Unpublished sets of pages, bound or loose-leaf, with affixed images, writing, and other material. This term is used in PANL database for presentation album* (album designed to be presented to a person or an organization), autograph albums*, stamp albums*, etc. See also: Photograph album; Scrapbook
Drawings of architecture and drawings for architectural projects. This includes proposed projects and completed projects.
The organization of archival materials according to accepted archival principles. Physical arrangement includes numbering, foldering, labelling and shelving.
The intellectual arrangement involves the organization of a fonds and collection which reflects the use of the records by an individual, family, or corporate body. Usually a fonds/collection is arranged hierarchically: Series; sub-series; files; items. See the Whiteway example
See also: Arrangement Note
Details any rearrangement by archivist, or any alterations in book-keeping practices
Term used in the PANL database for any object made, modified or used by people, which record information. Example: Used for items of material culture, such as badges, insignia, pennants, ribbons, pins medals, plaques, etc.
ASSOCIATED MATERIAL NOTE
Records created by the same creator at another public institution.
AUTHOR ACCESS POINT(S)
Author access points indicate individuals, families or corporate entities that created records within fonds/collections. An author may be a photographer, an architectural designer, or an artist, as well as a writer. Author access points are included in the browse index. See: In the Whiteway example, Lady Catherine Whiteway is indicated as an author because she used the guest book, while William Vallance Whiteway is the provenance access point.
AVAILABILITY OF OTHER FORMAT(S) NOTE
Indicates if records are available in other formats, including transcripts, photocopies, digital image, cassette, VHS, etc.
Aboriginal people who resided on the island of Newfoundland. Various spellings
included Beothic, Beothucks. PANL spelling based on Library of Congress
Acknowledgement of shipped goods. Usually 3 copies, "original" (for purchaser), "shipping order"(for carrier), "memorandum" (shipper).
Statistical returns on all aspects of colonial government, entered on
pre-printed blue forms and forwarded annually to the Colonial Office by the
Colonial Secretary (or equivalent), commencing in 1822. See the Colonial Office
fonds and the Office of the Colonial Secretary fonds
Reproductive prints of architectural and other technical drawings, having white images on blue backgrounds.
"Blueline prints" are blue images on white backgrounds, "Cyanotypes" are blue-toned photographs produced by the blueprint process.
A chronological, item-level list of documents, indicating author, date, and
subject, frequently used to organize incoming and outgoing correspondence.
Calendars were sometimes called schedules
Records commercial transactions involving cash, including money, drafts, money orders, and checks. The standard cash book included date, memoranda, debit value and credit value
Graphic representation of statistical data or hierarchical structures. Used at PANL for graphs, organizational charts.
A record, usually with an official seal, which specifies rights and /or
exemptions. Charters, for example, defined land grants and the powers of
colonizers, such as the Colony of Avalon charter.
The official in the Newfoundland Executive Council responsible for the
maintenance of records. See the Office of the Colonial Secretary fonds
The informal name for the British minister, the Secretary of War and the
Colonies, who was delegated responsibility for colonies in the British Empire.
Not used in PANL descriptions
A corporate body officially established, with a specific mandate, to inquire
into specified issues, to implement certain policies, or to direct a public
institution. See: ENQUIRING MINDS
Official appointment of individual(s) to office, with specified powers and
responsibilities. These may also be called warrants
Statutes (or Acts) are frequently revised. These revisions may be minor
amendments or major changes which eliminate entire sections. Periodically, the
Newfoundland and Labrador Government consolidates the statutes and the relevant
amendments. The intent is to facilitate access and eliminate confusion by
printing the latest form of the legislation.
Consolidations of Newfoundland and Labrador statutes occurred in 1872, 1882 and
1916. These are referenced in PANL descriptions in the following manner:
Consolidated Statutes of Newfoundland (CSN), year, chapter
Example: CSN, 1916, c. 21
Following confederation, statute consolidations were termed revisions. Revised
Statutes of Newfoundland and Labrador were published in 1952, 1970 and 1998.
These are similarly referenced:
Revised Statutes of Newfoundland (RSN), year, chapter
Example: RSN, 1952, c.24
Copy of a document made at the same time or shortly after the original, usually
as a record of the transaction. Prior to the twentieth century, the contemporary
copy was frequently done by a secretary as a safeguard against the loss of
records in transit. A contemporary copy was not usually signed by its original
creator. See also: Transcript
Records collected from various sources to document a certain subject (ex. shipwrecks), genre (ex. women's diaries), place (ex. Ferryland). Collections are usually described in the same way as fonds, and the name of the collector is frequently used in the title.
Treatments (physical repair or chemical treatment) to improve the condition of damaged archival records, or to prevent further deterioration. Conservation treatment should be recommended by a conservator, a professional trained in the field.
Duplication, whole or in part, of an original document.
The regulations defining the legal rights of the author of a document and his/her heirs or assignee to publish or reproduce the document or to authorize publication or reproduction of it.
Organization of association that is identified by a particular name and that acts as an entity, and creates records. A corporate body may also be a project, a conference, or a vessel.
Written communication, consisting of letters, postcards, memoranda, notes, telegrams and cables
COUNTERPOINT. See Indenture
The person or family or corporate body which creates or receives, and uses records. The creator is also the provenance. See also: Provenance
CSN. See Consolidated Statutes
History of the location and/or ownership of the records before acquired by PANL. It includes custodians who have had physical possession and/or legal ownership of records.
Early photographic process which used iodine-sensitized silver plate and mercury vapour.
DATES OF CREATION
The inclusive dates of the archival records indicating earliest and latest dates. These are called inclusive dates. Note the following ways in which dates of creation are entered.
A fonds may include items for a single year; the remainder of the fonds covers a consistent time period. Example: 1934, 1945-1949
Estimated dates are indicated by [ ]. The following indicate ways to indicate estimated dates:
[194?] probable date
[ca. 1949] approximate date
[before 1949] terminal date
[after 1 Apr. 1949] terminal date
[1939 or 1940] one year or the other
[between 1945 and 1949] usually used for dates fewer than 20 years apart
[194-] decade certain
[194-?] probable decade
[19-] certain century
[19-] probable century
Dates of reproduction
A fonds/collection may be a reproduction of archival records. The dates are recorded with the date of the reproduction, followed by the dates of the creation of the original: Example: Microfilmed 1956 (originally created 1892-1940)
The predominate dates indicate if the records are concentrated within a certain period
See also: Dates of creation note
DATES OF CREATION NOTE
Provides any clarification concerning dates of creation, indicating significant gaps, conflicting dates, etc.
Book which recorded daily purchases on credit, noting date, customer's name, nature of transaction, and monetary value
A deposition is the process of acquiring sworn evidence.
A deposition is evidence given under oath. See also: Submission(s)
The recording of information in a standardized form about the structure, function and content of archival materials. In Canada the CCA has endorsed Rules for Archival Description
Official correspondence, usually between the Colonial Office and vice-regal
officials, such as governors, military and naval commanders. Despatches were
usually numbered chronologically, allowing researchers to link records in the
Office of the Governor to the Colonial Office. This number is called the
Recorded information regardless of medium or characteristics. Documents may be textual, photographic, cartographic, audiovisual or electronic.
A person, family or corporate body that has given materials to an archives.. See also
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Records on electronic media, such as computer disks, CD-ROMs, emails, etc.
Items created for specific and limited use. A very useful term for miscellanea. Used for business & advertising cards, tickets, menus, display cards, forms, invitations, bookmarks, ballots, etc.
Concept in copyright law which provides exceptions to exclusive rights of copyright owners. These exceptions are limited use for research or educational purposes.
An exact copy of the final document, which included corrections and revisions
A level of description, usually linked to a series. Includes materials are related to the same subject, activity, time frame or transaction.
A finding aid provides a context for the records, explains their arrangement and facilitates their retrieval. It may be published or unpublished, printed or online.
Note the PANL finding aid number to facilitate retrieval.
A folded sheet of cardboard or heavy paper serving as a cover for a set of related documents. A case file may be arranged in several file folders.
The term "fonds" has been borrowed from French archival practice for records created, described and used by an individual, family, or corporate body. The fonds is the highest level of description in a multilevel description.. A fonds may contain two or more accessions; similarly, an accession may contain more than one fonds.
The title on an item, similar to a title on a book. This is recorded in the RAD description.
Includes any information relevant to the fonds/collection which has not been included in other descriptive fields. Example: Notes related artifacts at the Provincial Museum of Newfoundland and Labrador.
GUIDE TO HOLDINGS
A finding aid arranged by fonds, which describes the archival materials in an archives. A RAD-compliant Guide is in accordance with Canadian Council of Archives rules for description. A guide to holdings may also focus on a specific topic: Example: A guide to the military records at PANL
Private hearings, which are closed to the public and to the press.
Legal agreement between two or more parties. Each party receives a signed copy,
called a counterpoint
Please note the institutional number, as it is necessary for retrieval. GN designates government records; MG indicates manuscripts, and MF indicates a small fonds (smaller than 2 cm.)
Document which outlined the authority, rights and responsibilities of an officer
of the Crown. Royal Instructions were issued to a governor, usually in
conjunction with his commission. These were clarified and/or supplemented by
Additional Instructions to the governor. Interpretation of the Instructions is
frequently found in the despatches
IMMEDIATE SOURCE OF ACQUISITION NOTE
The individual, family or corporate body who donates or sells records to the archives. The note details the date of the donation/purchase and the relationship of the donor /seller to the records
The language of the Innu
The language of the Inuit
Documentation which enhances access to archival materials by describing the context of the archival materials, their arrangement and their informational content.
LANGUAGE OF MATERIALS
Details languages in the archival records, and notes if translations are available
Transparent positive image made or mounted on glass for projection, usually photographic, sometimes hand-tinted. Use for magic lantern slides Use for lantern slide transparencies
LOCATION OF ORIGINALS NOTE
In the case of reproduced archival records, the note indicates the location of the originals
Book with copies of letters sent. Initially hand-written; later, blotter copies, and carbon copies
Official, public documents created by the Crown which record land grants,
appointments (commissions), pardons, as well as the revocations of rights
The elected representative from an electoral district to the House of Assembly
is called the Member of the House of Assembly. Representative government was
established in 1832; however, responsible government (including elections and
the sittings of the House, were suspended during Commission of Government
The official, succinct account of the proceedings of the Executive Council,
particularly decisions, are called the Minutes of the Executive Council. An
individual item is called a Minute-in-Council.
The physical material on which information is recorded (example: paper, film, magnetic tape).
NON-SUBJECT ACCESS POINT(S)
Indicates offices held by individual(s); custodians; and titles. Used infrequently
Recorded orders for goods to be delivered. Noted type & quantity of goods, name & address of purchaser, price
The official authorization of the Governor (later the Lieutenant-Governor),
based on the Minute-in-Council, for the implementation of decisions of the
Executive Council, usually through the appointment of officials and/or the
delegation of powers for specific tasks. An Order-in-Council is always based on
the Minutes of the Executive Council.
An Order-in-Council usually includes the signature (or initials) of the author
(the Governor) and the date of the approval.
Usually defined as the first copy of a document from which other instruments may be transcribed, copied, or imitated.
In archival science, the original is the final, complete record upon which all
copies are based. However, in legal terms, there may be several originals. In
the case of indentures and contracts among parties, all documents bearing the
original signatures are considered originals. A contemporary copy does not bear
the original signature.
The principle that an archivist retains the arrangement within a fonds as established by its creator.
A written appeal, usually in a formal format, signed by individual(s), and
presented to officers of the Crown, especially the Governor, the Executive
Council, or a member of the House of Assembly. The petition may request a
specific favour ( a pardon), improved services (local hospital), rights (land
grant or license), or protest a perceived injustice (interference on the French
Thin material made from calf, sheep or goat skin. Used for parchment roll parchment, sheet, vellum etc.
Indicates the physical extent and the type of records. Example: 22 photographs
Textual records are measured by the shelf space occupied by the archival storage boxes. A standard box is 18 cm. In the Whiteway example, his textual records fill 2 boxes.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION NOTE
Clarifying information, usually indicating dimensions of items, processes, colour, etc. Example
Pictorial work produced by transferring images by means of a plate, block or screen, using a variety of printing methods. Use for engraving*, lithograph*, etc..
The accessioning, arrangement, description and proper storage of archival materials. During processing, preservation concerns are identified.
The individual, family or corporate body that created, accumulated and/or maintained and used records prior to their transfer to an archives. Provenance is the creator
PROVENANCE ACCESS POINTS
The provenance access point allows users to search for creators of fonds. The provenance access point is recorded in a standard fashion. A see reference directs clients from various forms (non-preferred or
variant names) to the standard name..
For individuals, PANL has added the dates of birth and death. If this information is currently unknown, the term fl.with dates is used, indicating the period for which PANL has information. Example: Crout, Henry, fl. 1612-1617
Rules for Archival Description endorsed by the Canadian Council of Archives. These are standard rules for Canadian archives
A document created to convey information and preserved by an individual, family or corporate body. A record may be a letter, memorandum, plan, map, photograph, videotape or any other documentary material, regardless of form.
RELATED GROUPS OF RECORDS IN DIFFERENT FONDS/SERIES
Suggests other fonds at PANL generated by the same creator. Also interlinks series which have a direct relationship. Example: For William Vallance Whiteway, the Office of the Prime Minister is a related fonds
RESPECT DES FONDS
The principle that the records of a person, family or corporate body must be kept together in their original order, if it exists or has been maintained, and not be mixed or combined with the records of another individual or corporate body.
RESTRICTIONS ON ACCESS
A limitation on the use of archival materials or of single items. Restrictions may be imposed by law (example: privacy legislation), by the archives having custody of the materials (example: for unprocessed or fragile materials), or by the donor (example: access closed during life of creator). Restrictions may also limit reproduction.
Locating and withdrawing archival materials from storage.
A report, usually addressing specific questions, sometimes narrative, but
usually statistical. Shipping returns, for example, detailed vessels entering
and leaving port, tonnage, crew, port of origin, etc.
ROYAL INSTRUCTIONS. See: INSTRUCTIONS
RSN: See Consolidated statutes
A seal was initially a wax, paper or metal disk, with a stamped impression,
attached to records, intended to identify the authority of the author and to
ensure the authenticity of the documents.
The Great Seal for Newfoundland and Labrador represents the authority and
jurisdiction of the Government. The Privy Seal of the Governor (and later the
Lieutenant-Governor) represents the authority of that office.
Antiquated term for government (or public) records. The Calendars of State
Papers, for example, are published, item-level summaries from the records of the
British Public Record Office for America and the West Indies.
A broad term which encompasses information presented to government, including
its officers, committees, agencies and enquiries. Submissions may include
reports, background research, petitions, memoranda.
See also: Affidavit(s)
SOURCE OF TITLE
The title of a fonds/collection is usually assigned by the PANL archivist, consisting of the creator's name. An individual's name is entered in full, without occupational or honourary titles. The name of a family is entered, with chief place of residence. The name of a corporate body is usually the last name for which PANL holds records.
The source of title may include the specific source, such as Order-in-Council, for entities with legal and popular names.
SCOPE AND CONTENT
Provides an overview of types of records, their content, arrangement, and relevant dates
Drawings intended for construction, mechanical or mapping purposes. Follows precise conventions of scale and projection
Written records. Can be handwritten, typed, or printed. Non-textual records include photographic, cartographic, architectural & technical drawings, electronic records
Photographic process which produces a direct positive image on a thin sheet of lacquered metal, usually iron (never tin).
At the fonds or collection level, the title is the full name of the creator, followed by the term fonds or collection.
At the series level, the title will indicate the creator of the series, if different from the creator of the fonds, Otherwise, the title reflects the function or activities, or the particular form. Example: Briefs, reports and submissions
See also: Formal title
See also: Source of title
A transcript is usually a copy of oral evidence or of documents filed with a
government agency. The accuracy of a transcript should be evaluated. Was it
prepared by the author (or his/her staff) of the records? What were the
qualifications and skills of the transcriber? When was the transcript prepared?
For what purpose were the transcripts prepared?
See MG 8, Patrick Thomas McGrath fonds which includes transcripts prepared for
the Labrador Boundary Case.
VARIATIONS IN TITLE
Indicates any previous title used at PANL Also notes any abbreviated or common name for fonds. Example: Commonly called the Hughes Commission
The official document which authorizes an act. A Warrant can authorize a
transaction (land survey), the detention, arrest and release of individual(s),
or an appointment, although Warrants of appointments are usually termed
A document issued under seal by an officer of the Crown (a governor, chief
justice), addressed to an individual or party, authorizing or restricting