The 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For purposes of this Glossary, an original, unpublished document directly created by its author(s), usually on paper or parchment, and often in the author's own hand.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 12).

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 12).

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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Timestamp: Sunday, 23-Nov-2008 15:20:17 PST
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