LIS Glossary

# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
There are 373 names in this directory beginning with the letter A.
A and B rolls
In motion picture production, a method of cutting negative or positive film in which the first shot is placed on one roll (the A roll) with black or blank leader in the corresponding position on a second roll (the B roll), the second shot is put on the B roll with black or blank leader in the corresponding position on the A roll, and so on, resulting in a pair of checker-boarded production elements. When the shots are printed in succession onto the next generation stock, the splices between shots are concealed. The technique is also used to create fades and dissolves not done in optical printing. A and B rolls are usually unique.
A side
In the music recording industry, the side (tune) of a two-sided audiorecording designated for promotion, based on its perceived potential for commercial success. Compare with B side.
A&I
See: abstracting and indexing.
AAA Style
See entry for American Anthropological Association Style. 
AACR
See: Anglo-American Cataloging Rules.
AACR2
See: Anglo-American Cataloging Rules.
AACR2 2002
See: Anglo-American Cataloging Rules.
AACR2-e
See: Anglo-American Cataloging Rules.
AACR2R
See: Anglo-American Cataloging Rules.
AAHSL
See: Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries.
AALL
See: American Association of Law Libraries.
AAMES
See: Asian, African, and Middle Eastern Section.
AAP
See: Association of American Publishers.
AAS
See: American Antiquarian Society.
AASL
See: American Association of School Librarians.
AAT
See: Art & Architecture Thesaurus.
AAUP
See: American Association of University Professors and Association of American University Presses.
AB Bookman's Weekly
A trade publication used mainly by antiquarian booksellers to locate rare, out of print, and difficult to find titles, AB Bookman's Weekly began as a section of Publishers Weekly under the title Antiquarian Bookman. In 1948 it became an independent weekly of the same title published by Bowker. Publication under the title AB Bookman's Weekly began in 1967 and ceased in 1999. Publishers Weekly tried to revive it in 2004 as an online magazine but failed.
ABA
See: American Booksellers Association.
ABAA
See: Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America.
abandoned property law
A statute of particular interest to archivists, describing the procedures by which an individual or organization may obtain clear, legal title to material it holds but does not own. In the United States, federal statutory law does not address abandoned property; such statutes are enacted state by state, with less than half of the 50 states having taken the step. Click here to learn about New Hampshire's Abandoned Property Law, courtesy of the New Hampshire State Treasurer. Synonymous with unclaimed property law.
abandonment of copyright
Voluntary relinquishment of legal rights in a work by the copyright holder's explicit dedication of the work to the public domain, at time of creation or subsequently.
abbreviated entry
A shortened form of a bibliographic entry, usually providing name of author, title, and publication date.
abbreviation
A shortened form of a word or phrase used for brevity in place of the whole, consisting of the first letter, or the first few letters, followed by a period (full stop), for example, assoc. for association or P.O. for post office. Some terms have more than one abbreviation (v. or vol. for volume). Also used as an umbrella term for any shortened form of a word or phrase not an acronym, initialism, or contraction, for example, the postal code CT for Connecticut. The rules governing the use of abbreviations in library catalog entries are given in Appendix B of AACR2. Abbreviated abbr.
ABC book
See: abecedary and alphabet book.
AbeBooks
A leading online market place for used, rare, and out of print books, AbeBooks provides a list of over 40 million titles available from a network of over 10,000 booksellers. The company provides additional services to librarians, such as consolidated billing and purchase orders. Click here to connect to the AbeBooks.com homepage. See also: Alibris.
abecedarium
See: abecedary.
abecedarius
See: acrostic.
abecedary
A book containing the letters of the alphabet and basic rules of spelling and grammar, used in Europe as a primer before the invention of the printing press. Early printed examples (sometimes in the form of a broadsheet) displayed the alphabet in uppercase and lowercase letters in both roman and gothic type, with separate lists of vowels, dipthongs, and consonants. By 1700, some ABC books included children's rhymes. Synonymous with abecedarium (plural: abecedarii). See also: horn book.
aberrant copy
A copy of a book containing obvious printing and/or binding errors that are more serious than minor defects.
Abstract
A short, usually non-evaluative description of the contents of a book, an article, or another library resource.  Abstracts often appear in online database records.
Acquisitions
The department of the Library where book and journal orders are processed and new materials are received.
ACS Style
See entry for American Chemical Society Style. 
Advanced Search
An option often found in online catalogs, indexes, and databases that allows users to refine their search criteria and search specific fields.  Options vary by database; check the Help screens or ask a librarian.
AMA Style
See entry for American Medical Association Style. 
American Anthropological Association Style
Used for scholary writing in Anthropology. The style is based on the Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition), but it has a few unique features. For more information, see our Citing Sources Guide.
American Chemical Society Style
Used by students and researchers in the field of chemistry. For more information, see our Citing Sources Guide.
American Medical Association Style
Used for scholarly writing about medicine, health, and other subjects in the sciences. For more information, see our Citing Sources Guide.
American Psychological Association Style
Used by students and scholars in the social sciences, especially in the fields of psychology and sociology. For more information, see our Citing Sources Guide.
American Sociological Association Style
Used for scholarly writing in sociology. For more information, see our Citing Sources Guide.
Anglo-Saxon minuscule
A distinctive minuscule script that developed in England beginning in the 8th century under the influence of Insular scripts and Carolingian minuscule. Click here to view an example of Anglo-Saxon minuscule (early 11th century) in a manuscript written in Latin by St. Aldhelm of Malmesbury (Sch?yen Collection, MS 197).
animated graphics
A graphic design technique in which a sequence of related still images, such as cartoon drawings or diagrams, is displayed in such rapid succession that the illusion of continuous motion is created on a computer screen. Animated graphics require less bandwidth than full-motion video when transmitted over the Internet (and also less memory), so they can be downloaded more quickly when a Web site containing them is selected by the viewer. Click here to see examples, courtesy of AnimationLibrary.
animation
The optical illusion of continuous motion created on film by photographing a sequence of drawings, cartoon cels, or still images, each representing a slight change from the preceding one, then viewing them in rapid succession. Animation is also achieved by photographing three-dimensional objects one frame at a time (cut-outs, models, puppets, clay figures, posed people, etc.). Camera-less animation is done by applying paint or another medium directly to the surface of the film. In some works, animation is combined with live action. Developed into an art form by animators in the studios of Walt Disney, animation techniques have provided pleasure to audiences since the early 20th century. Animated films can be of any length. Click here to learn more about animation or see Animation World Network. See also: anime, animated graphics, cameraless animation, cartoon, clay animation, pixilation, silhouette animation, and time-lapse.
anime
A Japanese abbreviation of animation, referring to a distinctive style of film animation that originated in Japan at the beginning of the 20th century. Its characteristic features include colorful graphics, exaggerated physical features, strong linear effects, and themes that appeal to adult audiences (see this example by Osamu Tezuka). Anime is distributed on television, video, and film, and also online. Anime releases are reviewed bimonthly in Video Librarian. Compare with manga.
annals
A periodical in which the transactions of a society or organization, or events and developments in a specific discipline or field of study, are recorded (example: Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, published since 1890). In a more general sense, a list of events recorded in chronological order. See also: chronicle.
annex
An addition to an existing library or archive, or a nearby facility used as an addition to the main building, usually of smaller size. A library annex is sometimes used to store low-use materials in closed stacks. See this example at Cornell University. Compare with auxiliary facility.
anniversary edition
A special edition of a previously published work of fiction or nonfiction, often containing revisions and/or additional material, such as a new introduction or preface (or an afterword), issued to commemorate the publication date of the first edition or (less often) the date of the event that is its subject. Cover design, format, and/or illustrations may also be altered. Most anniversary editions are of classic or standard works, reissued 20 or more years after the original edition. Media items, especially popular feature films, may also be issued in anniversary edition, for example, the 70th anniversary edition of Gone with the Wind.
annotate
To add notes to a written document to explain, comment on, or evaluate its content, as in an annotated edition. Also, to add a brief note, called an annotation, to an entry in a bibliography or catalog to describe, explain, or evaluate the source listed.
annotated bibliography
A bibliography in which a brief explanatory or evaluative note is added to each reference or citation. An annotation can be helpful to the researcher in evaluating whether the source is relevant to a given topic or line of inquiry. The Cornell University Libraries provide an online guide on How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography or try the OWL: Online Writing Lab at Purdue University.
Annotated Bibliography
A list of citations with accompanying notes that summarize and/or evaluate the subject matter or content of each work. For more details, including instructions and examples, see our guide to creating an annotated bibliography.
annotated edition
An edition that includes comments written by the author or another annotator, which are explanatory or supplemental rather than evaluative. Compare with critical edition.
annotation
A brief note, usually no longer than two or three sentences, added after a citation in a bibliography to describe or explain the content or message of the work cited or to comment on it.
annual
Issued once a year, every year, as in an annual report or annual review. Also refers to a form of literary anthology popular during the 19th century, usually illustrated with engravings (see this example, courtesy of the Lilly Library, Indiana University). According to Geoffrey Glaister (Encyclopedia of the Book, Oak Knoll, 1996), this type of publication was intended mainly for female readers.
annual invoice
The consolidated billing for a library's subscriptions, sent once a year by the publisher or vendor, usually in late summer or fall. The invoice is based on the titles selected by the library for renewal from an annual renewal list sent by the publisher or vendor, usually in the spring. See also: supplemental invoice.
annual report
A printed publication, usually less than 100 pages in length, submitted each year by the officers of a publicly held company to its board of directors (or other governing body) and issued in softcover for distribution to current and prospective shareholders, describing the firm's activities during the preceding fiscal year and its current financial position. Some corporations make their annual reports available online. In business libraries, annual reports are usually retained in a company file for a fixed number of years and subsequently discarded. Some nonprofit organizations also publish annual reports (click here to read the annual report of the American Library Association).
annual review
A serial publication that surveys the most important works of original research and creative thought published in a specific discipline or subdiscipline during a given calendar year (example: Annual Review of Information Science and Technology). In most academic libraries, annual reviews are placed on continuation order. See also: review journal.
Annual Review of Information Science and Technology (ARIST)
Issued once a year by the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIST) and Information Today, ARIST provides scholarly reviews of current topics in information science and technology, as substantiated by the published literature of the field. Publication of ARIST began in 1966 with the financial support of the National Science Foundation. Because the field is broad and dynamic, no single topic is treated on an annual basis. The reviews are critical in the sense of presenting the contributor's opinion concerning activities, developments, and trends within the subject area reviewed. Each volume includes a cumulative keyword and author index to the entire series. Indexing and abstracting of ARIST is provided in Library and Information Science Abstracts, Library Literature & Information Science, and ERIC. ISSN: 0066-4200.
anonymizer
A proxy server that functions as a privacy shield, enabling the user of a client computer to use the Internet without leaving a trace of his or her identity. Anonymizers can be used to prevent identify theft and to protect search histories from disclosure. They can also be used to protect illegal activities, such as distribution of child pornography, from scrutiny. Synonymous with anonymous proxy. British spelling: anonymiser.
anonymous
A work in which the author's name does not appear and cannot be traced with certainty in catalogs, bibliographies, or any other reliable source, hence a work is of unknown authorship (example: Primary Colors: A Novel of Politics published in 1996 by Random House). Click here to see a 17th-century manuscript example, courtesy of the California Institute of Technology. U.S. copyright law permits a person to register works anonymously. For an entertaining introduction to the methods used to detect the identities of writers of anonymous works, see Author Unknown: On the Trail of Anonymous by Don Foster (Henry Holt, 2000). Abbreviated anon. Compare with unattributed. See also: apocryphal and spurious work.
anonymous FTP
See: FTP.
ANS
See: autograph note signed.
ANSCR
See: Alpha-Numeric System for Classification of Recordings.
ANSEL
A character set for use in bibliographic records, formally defined in ANSI/NISO standard Z39.47 (Extended Latin Alphabet Coded Character Set for Bibliographic Use). ANSEL is nearly identical to, and sometimes used synonymously with, the extended character set defined in MARC documentation for use in the MARC record, informally known as the ALA character set.
ANSI
See: American National Standards Institute.
ANSS
See: Anthropology and Sociology Section.
answer print
The first composite print of an edited motion picture on which each scene has been corrected in the laboratory for brightness and color, allowing the quality of production, printing, or preservation elements to be checked. Several answer prints may be necessary before release prints can be made. The final answer print is usually presented to the customer for approval. Synonymous with approval print and trial print.
antedate
To put an earlier date on a document than the actual date, or to assign an earlier date to an event than the date of occurrence. Also, to precede in time. The opposite of postdate.
anthology
A collection of extracts or complete works by various authors, selected by an editor for publication in a single volume or multivolume set. Anthologies are often limited to a specific literary form or genre (short stories, poetry, plays) or to a national literature, theme, time period, or category of author. Click here to see a 19th-century example (Special Collections, Glasgow University Library, Euwing BD20-b.24). The works anthologized are listed in the table of contents by title in order of appearance in the text. In the card catalog, analytical entries may be prepared for works published in anthologies. In the online catalog, the individual works contained in an anthology are listed in the bibliographic record in a contents note searchable by keyword(s) in most catalog software. Compare with compilation. See also: garland and miscellany.
Anthropology and Sociology Section (ANSS)
The section of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) within the American Library Association (ALA) that brings together librarians and information specialists to discuss common issues; publish news, bibliographies, and reviews of important resources; and communicate with organizations devoted to scholarship in anthropology, sociology, and related fields. Click here to connect to the ANSS homepage.
anthropomorphic initial
A figure initial in a medieval manuscript or early printed book, composed wholly or in part of one or more human figures (or parts of figures), used as decoration rather than elements of a picture or narrative scene. Anthropomorphic motifs are also used in ornamental borders and as line fillers. Click here to see an example, courtesy of the British Library's Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts. Compare with historiated initial and inhabited initial. See also: zoo-anthropomorphic initial and zoomorphic initial.
anti-virus software
A computer program designed to periodically check the hard drive of a computer (or all the computers attached to a network) for the presence of man-made computer viruses and eliminate them if found. The anti-virus software used on computer networks usually includes an update feature that automatically downloads profiles of newly created viruses soon after they are detected.
antiphonal
A liturgical work containing hymns, psalms, or verses chanted or sung responsively by the choir in a worship service. Also, the book containing the choral parts (antiphons) of the Divine Office (canonical hours) of the Catholic Church, sung alternately by two halves of the choir before and after a psalm or canticle. Because the antiphonal had to be visible to a group of singers, it was typically of large size, with text and notation written in large script. Many included decorated and historiated initials. Click here to view a 13th-century illuminated Italian antiphonal (permission of the State Libary of South Australia). Synonymous with antiphonary and antiphoner. Compare with hymnal.
antiphonary
See: antiphonal.
antiphoner
See: antiphonal.
antiplagiarism program
See: plagiarism detection software.
antiquarian book
An old, used out of print book, more valuable than most secondhand books because of its rarity and/or condition, usually sold by an antiquarian bookseller. Very rare and valuable old books are sold at auction. Price guides are available for appraising old books. To see examples, browse the collections of Bauman Rare Books of New York. See also: AB Bookman's Weekly and first edition.
antiquarian bookseller
A bookseller who deals in old, rare, fine, out of print, and/or secondhand books, providing services to libraries and individual customers. Click here to connect to the Yahoo! list of antiquarian booksellers. The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America also provides a list of rare book agents. See also: AB Bookman's Weekly, Abebooks, Alibris, Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, and Oak Knoll.
Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA)
Founded in 1949, the ABAA encourages interest in fine and antiquarian books and manuscripts (and other rare or valuable printed materials), promotes ethical standards and professionalism in the antiquarian book trade, encourages collecting and preservation, advances technical and general knowledge useful to the trade, sponsors book fairs, and facilitates collegial relations among booksellers, librarians, scholars, and collectors. The ABAA publishes the quarterly ABAA Newsletter. Click here to connect to the ABAA homepage. See also: International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.
antique
In papermaking, the unpolished matte finish produced when uncoated paper is not processed through a calendering machine. Eggshell is a smooth, slightly pitted antique finish. Also refers to a contemporary calf binding designed to imitate an older binding and to gilding that has been left unburnished in binding or illumination.
antique binding
A modern binding done in the style of an earlier period, with no intent to mislead prospective buyers as to its actual age.
antique map
See: old map.
antiquities
Items of material culture from the period of human history preceding the Middle Ages, including scrolls, inscriptions, seals, coins, medallions, statues, monuments, etc.
antitrust
Federal laws prohibiting businesses from monopolizing the market for a product or service, price-fixing, and other collaborations in restraint of free trade, enforced by the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. On February 11, 2005, more than 50 lawyers and law professors, antitrust experts, federal and state regulators, economists, professors, librarians, and international delegates met at the Georgetown University Law School in Washington, D.C., to explore the effect of unconstrained mergers in the publishing industry on legal and scholarly communication, spurred by the spiraling costs of journal subscriptions. The symposium was sponsored by the American Antitrust Institute (AAI) and the Information Access Alliance (IAA), an advocacy group formed by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), the Medical Library Association (MLA), the Special Libraries Association (SLA), and the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC). Although there is, as yet, insufficient data to establish a connection between mergers and price escalation under current antitrust law, the group compiled a list of strategies for future action. For more information, see Lee Van Orsdel's report on Antitrust Issues in Scholarly and Legal Publishing in the May 2005 issue of C&RL News.
antonym
A word or phrase that is the opposite in meaning of another term. Dictionaries of antonyms are available in the reference section of larger libraries. In some indexing languages, one of the terms in a pair of opposites may be selected to represent both, with a cross-reference made from the other. The opposite of synonym.
anycast
Data sent across a computer network from a single user to the topologically nearest node in a group of potential receivers all identified by the same destination address (one-to-one-of-many), as distinct from unicast (one-to-one) and broadcast or multicast (one-to-many).
APA
See: ALA Allied Professional Association and Audio Publishers Association.
APA style
A guide for typing research papers in the social sciences, developed by the American Psychological Association, which includes the proper format for typing notes and bibliographic citations. APA style is described fully in the most recent edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, available in the reference section of most academic libraries. Click here to connect to the Yahoo! list of APA style guides. Compare with MLA style. See also: electronic style.
APA Style
See entry for American Psychological Association Style. 
APALA
See: Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association.
aperture card
A piece of card stock with one or more small, cut-out windows in which individual frames from a strip of microfilm are mounted. In a marriage with IBM punch cards, information about the microfilm image is punched into the card in Hollerith code and printed across the top (click here to see an example). A special card reader is required for viewing. The format allows individual microfilm images to be filed and used independently and provides a convenient surface for recording pertinent data about each frame. 16mm aperture cards have been used for records of 25 or fewer documents, such as student or medical records, and 35mm aperture cards have been used extensively for maps and in engineering to preserve technical drawings. To digitize the medium, an aperture card scanner reads the punched data and scans the microfilm window, producing a digital image similar to that produced by a paper scanner. The punch-coded information may be used to automatically index the scanned image. Synonymous with image card.
APHA
See: American Printing History Association.
aphorism
A very concise sentence or statement (nugget) that expresses, in a memorable and pointed way, a universally recognized truth or principle, for example, Well begun is half done. Aphorisms published in collections are usually shelved in the reference section of a library (example: Oxford Book of Aphorisms). Synonymous with maxim.
API
See: application programming interface.
Apocalypse
A medieval manuscript about the second coming of Christ and the events preceding it, as described in the Book of Revelation of the New Testament, intended not only for clerics but also for the educated laity. In Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts (Getty Museum/British Library, 1994), Michelle Brown notes that although Apocalypse manuscripts existed in the early Middle Ages, they were especially popular in 10th- and 11th-century Spain, where the text was often integrated with commentary and lavish illustration, and also in England from about 1250-1275. The manuscripts typically contain miniatures of episodes from the Book of Revelation, sometimes accompanied by scenes from the life of its author, Saint John the Evangelist. Click here to page through the Morgan Apocalypse (Morgan Library, MS M.524) and here to browse a 14th-century French example (British Library, Yates Thompson 10). Click here to see a 15th-century blockbook example (Glasgow University Library, Hunterian Ds.2.3). See also: beatus manuscript.
apocalyptic fiction
A sub-genre of science fiction which has as its central theme the catastrophic end of human civilization (example: The Last Man by Mary Shelley). Apocalyptic fiction became popular after World War II, when the nuclear arms race dominated international affairs. In post-apocalyptic fiction, the setting is a world or civilization some time after such a disaster has occurred (example: On the Beach by Nevil Shute).
apocryphal
Writings that scholars consider to be of dubious authorship or authenticity (not genuine), for example, the 14 to 15 books of the Greek translations of the Old Testament (Septuagint), known as the Apocrypha, accepted as authoritative by the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches but rejected in Judaism and not considered canonical in Protestantism. Compare with anonymous. See also: spurious work.
apograph
A text that is an exact copy made from an exemplar.
apostil
A marginal note or annotation in a book or manuscript. Also refers to certification of a document for international use under the terms of the 1961 Hague Convention, eliminating the need for legalization by the embassy or consulate of the country in which the document is to be used. To see examples, try a keywords search on the term in Google Images. Also spelled apostille.
app
See: application.
appendix
A part of a written work, not essential to the completeness of the text, containing complementary information such as statistical tables or explanatory material too long to be included in the text or in footnotes or endnotes (click here to see an example in the CIA World Factbook). An appendix differs from an addendum in having been planned in advance as an integral part of the publication, rather than conceived after typesetting occurs. Appendices usually appear in the back matter, following the text and preceding the notes, glossary, bibliography, and index. Abbreviated app.
applet
A small application program written in the Java programming language developed by Sun Microsystems for distribution over the Internet. Applets run on any Java-enabled Web browser independent of platform (Windows, Macintosh, UNIX, etc.). Click here to learn more about applets, courtesy of Sun Microsystems.
applicant
A person who has made a formal request to be considered for employment, usually by filling out an application form or by sending a resume or curriculum vitae with cover letter to a prospective employer in response to a job posting. Compare with candidate.
application
Computer software that allows the user to process data or perform calculations necessary to achieve a desired result, as opposed to the operating system designed to control the computer's hardware and run all other programs. Common microcomputer applications include word processing, spreadsheets, e-mail, presentation graphics, desktop publishing, database management systems, and Web browsers. Abbreviated app and apps. See also: mobile app and multitasking.
application programming interface (API)
A software-to-software interface that enables communication to occur seamlessly between Web-based application programs, with no indication to the user that software functions are being transferred from one application to another.
applied cover
A thin, decorative plaque, usually made of carved ivory or fine enamel or metalwork, set into or onto one of the boards of a medieval manuscript book (usually the upper board). This form of decoration was used on bookbindings from the early Christian period on. Although many survive the binding (and in some cases, the book) for which they were made, their use can be inferred from their size and rectangular or oval shape and from small holes in the corners and along the sides, points of attachment to the cover. Click here to view a 12th-13th century French example in gilded copper and champlev‚ enamel, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
APPM
See: Archives, Personal Papers, and Manuscripts.
appraisal
The monetary valuation of a gift, usually determined at the request of a library, museum, or archives by a professional appraiser familiar with the market for the type of item. Knowing the value of an item may be necessary in case of theft, for insurance purposes, or in deciding whether the expense of restoration is justified. Appraisal can be an expensive undertaking because the appraiser's specialized knowledge of books, bibliography, and reference sources must often be extensive.
Appraisal: Science Books for Young People
A nonprofit quarterly publication that for over 30 years has provided rigorous reviews of current science books for children and young adults, including new titles, series, reference books, photographic essays, picture books, science biographies, science activities and experiments, and educational software. Each title is reviewed by a practicing children's librarian as well as a scientist in the appropriate field. Each issue also includes a section on Teacher Resources and an article or essay on trends in science education.
appropriate copy
A copy of an electronic resource, generally a digital copy of a journal article, which a library user is authorized to access under the terms of the library?s subscription and licensing agreements. Journal articles are often available in electronic format from multiple sources, including aggregators and publishers? Web sites. Identifying the appropriate copy is a major function of link resolution services.
approval plan
A formal arrangement in which a publisher or wholesaler agrees to select and supply, subject to return privileges specified in advance, publications exactly as issued that fit a library's pre-established collection development profile. Approval profiles usually specify subject areas, levels of specialization or reading difficulty, series, formats, price ranges, languages, etc. In a slip plan, the vendor provides advance notification slips instead of sending the actual item. Compare with blanket order and book lease plan. See also: continuation order.
approval shelf
A shelf or shelves, usually located in or near the acquisitions department of a library, where new books ordered on approval are stored pending timely examination by the selectors responsible for deciding whether they are to be added to the collection or returned to the publisher or wholesaler.
approvals
New books sent automatically by a publisher or wholesaler in accordance with a pre-established profile of the library's needs, rather than ordered title by title by the selectors responsible for collection development. Approvals not returned within the agreed-upon time are understood to have been accepted by the library.
approved library school
See: approved program.
approved program
In the United States, a postgraduate program in library and information science, recognized or certified by a state board or educational agency as meeting its standards of quality and professionalism. Some approved programs are also ALA-accredited.
approximate the whole
Said of a work that is nearly coextensive with the subject(s) represented by a class in Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC), or that covers more than half the content of the heading, or that covers representative examples from three or more subdivisions of the class. The cataloger is permitted to add standard subdivisions to a work that approximates the whole of a subject (adapted from DDC). Compare with standing room.
apron
In printing, the area left blank to serve as the binding edge of a leaf that folds out. A full apron is a full-size leaf to which a fold-out is attached when the entire image printed on the fold-out must be displayed beyond the edges of the closed book.
aquatint
A form of etching in which a copper plate is sprinkled with finely powdered rosin which, when heated, adheres to the plate, serving as an acid-resistant ground. Areas between the melted rosin grains are etched in the acid bath, producing a network of very fine channels that hold ink in printing. The result is a veil of texture and tone resembling watercolor washes, rather than line. To achieve a darker tone, the plate is left longer in the acid bath, biting the texture deeper into the plate. Also refers to a print made by the process. Click here to see an example by the artist Goya and here to see a hand-colored aquatint from an 1820 edition of Doctor Syntax in Paris (University of Delaware Library). The technique is used extensively in William Daniell and Richard Ayton's A Voyage Round Great Britain published in London, 1814-1825 (Glasgow University Library). Click here to learn more about aquatint, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
AR
See: aspect ratio.
arabesque
An elaborate Islamic-style design consisting of intricately interlaced lines that may include flowers and foliage, or form geometric patterns, tooled or stamped as decoration on the covers of a book, or used by a printer to ornament a text. To see examples, try a keyword search on the term in the British Library's Database of Bookbindings. See also: arabesque initial.
arabesque initial
From the Italian arabesco meaning Arabian in style. An initial letter in a medieval manuscript, decorated with a complex, often interlaced, design of abstract or geometric and highly stylized foliate curvilinear forms. Adapted in about 1,000 A.D. by Muslim artisans from Hellenistic precursors, the decorative style eventually became formalized, with animal and human forms excluded for religious reasons. Click here to see examples in a 12th-century English manuscript (British Library, Arundel 74).
arabic numeral
One of the 10 digits (0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9) developed in India in the 6th century to indicate number in a system of place value based on 10. Arabic numerals were adopted by the Arabs around A.D. 900, who introduced them in Europe via Spain about 100 years later, where they replaced roman numerals. Colonization introduced them to the rest of the world. Click here to learn more about the history of arabic numerals, courtesy of Wikipedia. See also the online Arabic-Roman Numerals Converter.
ARBA
See: American Reference Books Annual.
arbitration
An extra-judicial procedure for resolving disputes, in which the contending parties present their respective cases at a hearing before an impartial person (arbitrator) or persons (board of arbitrators or tribunal) mutually selected by the parties. After consideration, the arbitrator renders a decision, which may or may not be legally binding, depending on prior agreement of the parties. Mandatory arbitration is the result of a statute or a voluntary contract in which the parties agree in advance to submit all disputes to arbitration, regardless of specific circumstances. Compare with mediation.
arcane
Requiring knowledge that is secret or difficult to obtain, in order to be understood.
archetypal novel
Early fictional tales and romances considered to be precursors of the novel in its modern form (examples: The Tale of Genji by Lady Murasaki Shikibu and Don Quixote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, both of the 17th century).
architectural binding
A style of bookbinding popular during the 16th century in which the front cover is decorated with a motif suggesting a portico or the front of a building, usually of classical design, with columns on either side supporting an arch or lintel across the top, beneath which the title is displayed on a panel (style of cover bearing no relation to content of work). The architectural design may or may not include perspective features. Click here to see a copy of an Aldine edition published in 1516 and bound some years later in architectural style for the French bibliophile Jean Grolier (Columbia University Libraries). To see other examples, try a search on the keyword architectural in the British Library's Database of Bookbindings. See also: cathedral binding.
architectural drawing
A technical drawing or sketch of a proposed construction project done by an architect or architectural firm. A full set of drawings, showing all phases of the construction process, includes the specifications used by contractors for bidding, purchase of materials and equipment, etc. Also refers to a technical drawing of an already existing structure. To see examples of architectural drawings, try a keywords search on the term in Google Images. The Getty Research Institute provides online access to A Guide to the Description of Architectural Drawings (2000) by Vicki Porter and Robin Thornes. Sometimes used synonymously with blueprint, a term derived from the process used in duplication, producing a white image on a blue ground. Compare with architectural rendering. See also: HABS/HAER and measured drawing.
architectural initial
An embellished initial letter in a medieval manuscript or early printed book composed wholly or in part of architectural motifs. This type of decorated initial is comparatively rare, foliate and figure initials being far more common. Click here and here to see examples from a 15th-century Italian gradual, courtesy of the Cornell University Library.
architectural photograph
A photograph made to record a man-made structure for architectural historians and others in need of clear representation of its history or characteristics (see this example). Architectural photographs can be seen in abundance in Library Journal's annual architectural issue, published in mid-December.
architectural rendering
A pictorial representation of a building or other structure, usually from an angle showing the front or main entrance, created by the architect or an architectural firm to give an accurate, if somewhat idealized, impression of how the structure will appear after it is constructed, sometimes used in fund-raising to promote capital projects, such as the construction of a new library facility or the renovation and/or expansion of an existing one. To see examples, try a keywords search on the term in Google Images. Compare with architectural drawing.
architecture library
A specialized library associated with a graduate school of architecture or a large architectural firm, containing books and periodicals on architecture and architectural engineering, building codes and standards, architectural drawings and renderings, abstracting and indexing services, databases, and other reference materials for research in architecture and related fields. Click here to connect to the homepage of the Built Environments Library at the University of Washington, Seattle.
Archival and Manuscripts Control Format (AMC)
See: MARC Format for Archival and Manuscripts Control.
archival box
A strong cardboard container specifically designed for the long-term storage of archival materials (manuscripts, papers, letters, periodicals, maps, prints, mounted photographs, etc.), made from strong acid- and lignin-free board, usually lined with buffered paper and fastened on the exterior with metal-edged corners, without the use of adhesive or staples. Containers made of inert polypropylene plastic are also used for this purpose. Archival boxes are available from library suppliers in a variety of sizes and designs (clamshell-hinged, drop-fronted, with telescoping lids, etc.), shipped flat or pre-assembled. They are usually neutral in color. To see a variety of examples, try a search on the term in Google Images. Synonymous with archives box. See also: box list.
archival collection
A body of archival material formed by or around a person, family, group, corporate body, or subject, either from a common source as a natural product of activity or function, or gathered purposefully or artificially without regard for original provenance (Archives, Personal Papers, and Manuscripts, Society of American Archivists, 1989). An archival collection may contain manuscript materials, correspondence, memoranda, maps or charts, drawings, pamphlets, broadsides, tear sheets from periodicals, newspaper clippings, photographs, motion pictures, sound recordings, computer files, etc.
archival copy
A copy of a document specifically created or designated for archival storage by the company, government, organization, or institution that wishes to preserve it, usually for legal, evidential, or historical purposes, for example, a copy of an academic thesis or dissertation specifically designated for preservation in the archives of the college or university to which it was submitted. See also: archival quality and preservation photocopy.
archival database
An organized collection of records in digital format, containing information to be retained for an indefinite period of time, usually for future reference, for example, the messages received and distributed by an e-mail discussion list or the reference questions received by an digital reference service, including the answers provided. JSTOR is an example of an archival journal database.
archival description
A general term encompassing both the cataloging of archival and manuscript collections and the production of finding aids (inventories, registers, indexes, and guides) to assist users in accessing such materials.
archival journal
A journal published mainly for archival purposes, as opposed to one intended for distribution to retailers and individual subscribers, usually priced for the library market with little or no attempt to market it to a wider audience.
archival jurisdiction
The limits of responsibility (large or small) mandated to an archives by law, normally encompassing the agencies, organizations, departments, and individuals that create or receive records for which the archives is responsible, and the various functions for which it is accountable (appraisal and scheduling, screening for restrictions, and the preservation, transfer, use, display, and disposal of records). Not all archives operate under a legal mandate.
archival paper
A grade of paper that is permanent and highly durable, particularly with respect to fading and physical deterioration caused by acidity, used for printing materials of archival quality. See also: rag paper.
archival quality
The physical properties of records in all media (paper, microform, magnetic tape or disk, optical disk, etc.) that make them suitable for permanent storage in archives. Items printed on paper must have a pH of 7.0 or higher and be free of other contaminates (chemicals, mildew, etc.). The Preservation Advisory Centre of the British Library recommends that archival quality paper and board should also be neutral sized, with an alkaline residual buffer of approximately 2.5%. Synonymous with archival standard. See also: archival paper.
archival value
The decision, following appraisal by a knowledgeable expert (or experts), that a document, record, or group of records is worth preserving, permanently or for an indefinite period. Records are retained for their:
archive
The building, facility, or area that houses an archival collection (the term repository is preferred by most archivists). Also, to place documents in storage, usually to preserve them as a historical, informational, legal, or evidential record, permanently or for a finite or indefinite period of time. See also: digital archive.
archives
An organized collection of the noncurrent records of the activities of a business, government, organization, institution, or other corporate body, or the personal papers of one or more individuals, families, or groups, retained permanently (or for a designated or indeterminate period of time) by their originator or a successor for their permanent historical, informational, evidential, legal, administrative, or monetary value, usually in a repository managed and maintained by a trained archivist (see this example). Also refers to the office or organization responsible for appraising, selecting, preserving, and providing access to archival materials.
Archives
(a) A special collection of non-circulating historical materials related to a library or institution.
archives policy
A formal written statement defining the authority under which an archives operates, the scope of its activities (mission, objectives, conditions/restrictions, etc.), and the range of services it provides. Compare with access policy.
Archives, Personal Papers, and Manuscripts (APPM)
A content standard for the description of archival materials based on AACR2, APPM was published by the Society of American Archivists (SAA) in 1989 under the title Archives, Personal Papers, and Manuscripts: A Cataloging Manual for Archival Repositories, Historical Societies, and Manuscript Libraries and accepted by most archives in the United States. It has been superseded by Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS) published by the SAA in 2004.
archivist
The person responsible for managing and maintaining an archival collection, usually a librarian with special training in archival practices and methods, including the identification and appraisal of records of archival value, authentication, accessioning, description and documentation, facilitation of access and use, preservation and conservation, and exhibition and publication to benefit scholarship and satisfy public interest. Archivists are organized in the Society of American Archivists. See also: Academy of Certified Archivists.
Archivists and Librarians in the History of the Health Sciences (ALHHS)
An association of librarians, archivists, and other specialists actively engaged in the librarianship of the history of the health sciences, dedicated to the exchange of information and to improving standards of service. Click here to connect to the ALHHS homepage.
Archivists' Toolkit (AT)
An open source archival data management system providing broad, integrated support for the management of archival collections, AT is intended for a wide range of archival repositories. Its primary goals are to support archival processing and production of access instruments, promote data standardization and efficiency, and lower training costs. Click here to connect to the AT homepage.
area
One of the major sections of description comprising the bibliographic record created to represent an item in a library catalog or bibliographic database, reserved for data elements of a specific category (or categories). In AACR2, the standard areas of a bibliographic description are:
area study
A publication that provides factual information about a specific region of the world (Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, etc.), including a description of its physical and social geography, economy, history, governments, and cultures, and that may also contain pertinent statistical and directory information. Area studies are often published serially (example: The Far East and Australia in the Regional Surveys of the World series, published annually by Europa). Compare with country study.
argot
The idiomatic vocabulary of a group or class of people, or of the members of a specific occupation or profession, particularly those who are on the margins of conventional society (example: A Dictionary of the Underworld by Eric Partridge). Dictionaries of argot are available in the reference section of larger libraries. Compare with slang. See also: jargon.
aria
A self-contained lyrical musical composition, usually for one or two voices with orchestral accompaniment, either independent or sung in the context of an opera, oratorio, cantata, or other longer work. Arias are sometimes published in collections, in score and in recordings. Compare with song.
Ariadne
An electronic journal for academic information science professionals, reporting on issues and developments in information service and information networking worldwide. Published quarterly by UKOLN, Ariadne aims to keep the practitioner informed of current digital library initiatives. Click here to connect to the Ariadne homepage.
Ariel
A document transmission system developed by the Research Libraries Group (RLG) that provides rapid, inexpensive, high-quality document delivery over the Internet by integrating scanning, sending, receiving, and printing functions. The user can send text and gray-scale images (illustrations, photographs, etc.) in letter, legal, and other sizes to another Ariel workstation, to an e-mail account used by an Ariel machine, or to anyone who uses MIME-compliant e-mail software and a multipage TIFF viewer. The system is used in libraries to facilitate interlibrary loan and document delivery service. Click here to connect to the Infotrieve Web page for Ariel.
ARIST
See: Annual Review of Information Science and Technology.
aristonym
A surname used as, or derived from, a formal title of nobility (example: Louis Aim‚ Augustin Le Prince).
aristotype
Originally a trade name, the term is now used for early photographic prints made commercially on non-albumen printing-out papers, both collodion silver chloride papers introduced in the 1860s and gelatin silver chloride papers introduced two decades later (see this example). Also refers to the printing-out process itself.
ARL
See: Association of Research Libraries.
ARLIS/NA
See: Art Libraries Society/North America.
ARMA
See: Association for Information Management Professionals.
armarian
The person charged with keeping the manuscripts and books owned by a medieval monastery in good order and repair, also responsible for maintaining an accurate catalog of the library's contents. It was also the armarian's duty to keep the scribes and illuminators in the scriptorium well supplied with parchment, vellum, pens, ink, pigments, gold and silver leaf, and other materials needed to copy, illustrate, and bind books by hand. Synonymous with armarius. Compare with armarium.
armarium
A wooden cupboard or free-standing piece of furniture with shelves and doors, first used to store scrolls and eventually manuscripts and books. Known to have existed during the Roman Empire, armaria were used in medieval monasteries until the end of the Renaissance. Click here to see an example in a miniature in the 7th-century Codex Amiatinus. Compare with armarian. See also: capsa and scriptorium.
armed forces library
See: military library.
armorial
A book containing illustrations of coats of arms, and sometimes other heraldic devices, usually accompanied by explanatory text. Click here to view a 15th-century manuscript treatise on heraldry (Bodelian Library, University of Oxford, MS Lat. misc.e.86).
armorial binding
A binding, usually in leather, decorated with a coat of arms or other heraldic device to signify the royal or noble lineage of its original owner. Click here to view a 16th-century Bible with an armorial design blind tooled on the back cover (Special Collections, Glasgow University Library, Da-i.35) and here to see the royal arms of King James I as a gilt-tooled centerpiece on a 17th-century presentation copy (Princeton University Library). The category also includes bindings with arms fashioned in metal affixed to the cover. Click here to see a 16th-century example (British Library, Burney 38). To view other examples, try a search on the keyword armorial in the British Library's Database of Bookbindings. See also: royal binding.
armorial bookplate
A bookplate bearing a heraldic device, such as a coat of arms, originally serving to identify the family (and social status) of the owner (see this example, courtesy of the Smith College Library).
armorial initial
An illuminated initial letter in a medieval manuscript or early printed book, decorated with a coat of arms, sometimes that of the person or family for whom the book was made. Click here to see an example in a 16th-century Italian music manuscript. Armorial motifs are also found in the ornamental borders of medieval manuscripts (see this opening page of the 15th-century Chroniques de Hainaut, courtesy of the Getty Museum).
ARPANET
Advanced Research Projects Agency network, the first computer network to use packet switching. Funded by the U.S. Advanced Research Projects Agency in 1969, ARPANET linked research computers on two University of California campuses with the Stanford Research Institute and the University of Utah. In 1983, with more than 300 computers connected, its protocols were changed to TCP/IP, and it became known as the Internet. In 1987, when the National Science Foundation (NSF) began to develop a high-speed fiber-optic backbone to connect supercomputer centers, intermediate networks of regional ARPANET sites began connecting to the backbone. In 1995, commercial Internet service providers assumed control of the major backbones in the United States. Traffic over the Net continues to expand. Click here to learn more about the history of ARPANET, courtesy of Wikipedia.
arrangement
A portion of a musical work, or an entire work, rewritten for a medium of performance or for a market other than the one for which the original was intended (synonymous in this sense with transcription); or a simplified or amplified version of a musical composition, written for the same medium. In AACR2, an arrangement is, as a general rule, cataloged under the name of the composer, with an added entry under the name of the arranger. Compare with adaptation. See also: stock arrangement.
arranger
A person who transforms an entire musical work, or a major portion of such a work, to a medium of performance other than the one intended by the original composer, or who extends or simplifies a work in the same medium, retaining a substantial amount of the original musical structure. In AACR2, an arrangement is, as a general rule, cataloged under the name of the composer, with an added entry under the name of the arranger.
array
From the Latin arredare, meaning to arrange in order. In an index or thesaurus of indexing terms, a display of entries, headings, descriptors, etc., in an orderly sequence. In classification, a set of mutually exclusive and exhaustive coordinate subclasses dividing a class by a single characteristic, for example, the array magazine and journal dividing the class periodical by form.
arrears
Library materials in need of cataloging, which have accumulated to the point of requiring a special effort to process, usually the result of heavy ordering, receipt of a large gift, or insufficient personnel to maintain normal workflow. Synonymous in this sense with backlog. Also refers to the state of being behind in the payment of salaries, wages, invoices, etc.
ARSC
See: Association for Recorded Sound Collections.
ARSL
See: Association for Rural and Small Libraries.
art
A general term used in publishing and printing for the illustrative matter in a book or other publication for which no setting of type is required, including any hand lettering, photographs, reproductions of drawings, prints, and paintings, etc. Compare with artwork.
Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT)
A structured vocabulary for describing and indexing works of visual art and architecture. Initially developed by the Getty Information Institute, the AAT is made available through the Getty Research Institute. Click here to search the AAT online.
art book
A volume, usually of relatively large size, containing high-quality reproductions of works of visual art (paintings, drawings, prints, etc.) or photographs of sculpture, architecture, or other three-dimensional works of art, usually with accompanying text. In an exhibition catalog, the text may be minimal. Because art books are expensive to produce, they are sometimes co-published to achieve economies of scale. For examples, see the books section of the Met Store at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Compare with artist's book. See also: coffee table book.
Art Libraries Society/North America (ARLIS/NA)
Founded in 1972, ARLIS is an organization of librarians, institutions, and individuals with an interest in art librarianship and the curatorship of visual art resources in public and academic libraries, museums, galleries, art institutes, and publishing houses. An affiliate of the American Library Association, ARLIS publishes the bulletin Art Documentation twice a year. Click here to connect to the ARLIS/NA homepage. See also: art library.
art library
A library charged with acquiring, organizing, preserving, and providing access to information and resources in the diverse fields constituting the visual arts (architecture, drawing, graphic design, painting, photography, sculpture, etc.). An art library usually functions as a unit within a larger academic or public library, or as a special library maintained by a host organization such as a gallery, museum, art institute, or publishing house (example: National Art Library at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London). The first modern art library in the United States was founded in 1871 by the San Francisco Art Association (now the San Francisco Art Institute). See also: art book and Art Libraries Society/North America.
Art Nouveau
An international style in decorative art and architecture that developed at the end of the 19th century in response to the Industrial Revolution and the historicism of the Victorian period, Art Nouveau remained popular until the beginning of World War I when it was superseded by Art Deco style. The name (new art) is derived from the Maison de l'Art Nouveau, an interior design gallery that opened in Paris in 1896, but the movement had different names throughout Europe, for example, Jugendstil in Germany. Characterized by highly stylized, elegantly curving natural forms (see this exhibition, courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.), the new style swept the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900 and the Turin Exposition in Italy in 1902. Click here to see an example of Art Nouveau style in book design and illustration, courtesy of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. To see examples of Art Nouveau bookbinding, try a keywords search on the term in Publishers' Bindings Online, 1815-1930 (University of Wisconsin).
art original
An original work of art created in two or three dimensions by an artist, as distinct from a reproduction of such a work. The term includes drawings, paintings, collages, sculpture, etc., but is not applied to photographs and art prints, which can be produced in multiple copies by a person other than the artist.
art print
See: print.
art reproduction
A commercially published, mechanically printed copy of an individual print, drawing, painting, or other two-dimensional work of art, as opposed to a copy made by hand or for noncommercial purposes. Also used synonymously with reproduction.
Arthur C. Clarke Award
A juried literary award given annually in recognition of the best science fiction novel published in Britain during the previous calendar year. Established in 1986 by a generous grant from author Arthur C. Clarke to encourage the writing of science fiction in Britain, the award consists of an inscribed plaque in the form of a bookend and a cash prize of a value matching the year (œ2001 in the year 2001, œ2002 in 2002, and so on). The award is administered jointly by the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) and the Science Fiction Foundation (SFF), each providing two judges, and since 1999 by the Science Museum, which provides one judge. The presentation ceremony has been held at the Museum since 1996. Click here to learn more about the Arthur C. Clarke Award.
article
A self-contained nonfiction prose composition on a fairly narrow topic or subject, written by one or more authors and published under a separate title in a collection or periodical containing other works of the same form. The length of a periodical article is often a clue to the type of publication--magazine articles are generally less than five pages long; scholarly journal articles, longer than five pages. Also, journal articles often include a brief abstract of the content (click here to see an example). Periodical articles are indexed, usually by author and subject, in periodical indexes and abstracting services, known as bibliographic databases when available electronically. Compare with column, editorial, and essay. See also: cover story and feature.
Article
A relatively short, nonfiction text on a topic by one or more authors, usually published in a journal, magazine, or newspaper.  At the Davidson College Library, you will find many articles in online databases, but we also have articles in print and microform formats.
artifact
An object made or modified by the work of one or more persons (replicas excluded), as distinct from a natural object, called a specimen when collected. Objects created for their aesthetic value are considered works of art. The value to collectors of an item as a physical object is usually reduced by any modification. Artifacts are studied for their historical value. Click here to see a Stone Age example, courtesy of PBS NOVA. Also spelled artefact. See also: realia.
artifactual value
The worth of a thing as a physical object, for example, a copy of a book that has little value in the antiquarian market but is important to textual scholars because of its typographic characteristics, or to book historians because of its unusual binding. Normally, any modification of such an object reduces its value. Compare with archival value.
artificial collection
A collection of archival materials accumulated unsystematically around a person, subject, event, activity, etc., from diverse (sometimes unknown) sources, without regard to archival integrity (respect des fonds) or provenance. Richard Pearce-Moses notes in A Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology (Society of American Archivists, 2005) that artificial collections, as distinguished from organic collections, typically do not grow out of a single, specific function, and are often arranged for the convenience of description or retrieval rather than in an order originally established by the creator of the records. In archival description, such a collection is entered under the name of the person chiefly responsible for its assemblage, with the term collector added following the name. If the collector is unknown, entry is made under the title.
artificial digit
In Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC), a letter or symbol used optionally as a substitute for the numerals 0-9 to give various languages, literatures, religions, cultures, and ethnic groups a more prominent location or shorter notation (adapted from DDC). For example, under classes 810-890 (Literature of specific languages), option B to give preferred treatment by placing before 810 through use of a letter or other symbol, e.g., literature of Arabic language 8A0, for which the base number is 8A.
artificial intelligence (AI)
Mechanical and electronic devices and applications designed to closely mimic the human ability to learn, reason, and make decisions. AI is used in voice recognition technology, expert systems, natural language and foreign language processing, and robotics. Click here to learn more about AI, courtesy of John McCarthy, Stanford University, or try Wikipedia.
artificial language
A language constructed from a pre-established set of rules. Its vocabulary can be a subset of a natural language, as in a classification system, or composed of symbols, as in a language used to program computers. Synonymous with synthetic language.
artificial leather
See: imitation leather.
artist's book
A book created as a form of visual and/or tactile artistic expression, often of unusual shape or form and incorporating materials not normally used in printing and binding. Artist's books created for exhibition may be one-of-a-kind. Examples can be seen in Personal Visions: Artists' Books at the Millennium (University of Delaware Library) and in the Exhibitions section of BookArtsWeb. The Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild (CBBAG) also provides an Online Gallery. For more information, see Structure of the Visual Book (1994) by Keith A. Smith. Synonymous with livre d'artiste. Compare with art book. See also: book art and novelty binding.
artist's proof
An impression taken in the process of printmaking to allow the artist to examine the current state of the plate, stone, woodblock, etc., while it is still possible to make alterations (some artists pull every tenth print to examine it for quality). Reserved for the artist's use and often distinguished by the artist's signature, such a print is accepted as belonging to the edition but left unnumbered or numbered separately. Some artists destroy them as competing works but to art historians, curators, and collectors, they are evidence of the development of the image, each serving as a snapshot of the work in progress. Because of their uniqueness and possible differences from the standard print of the edition, artist's proofs often command a higher price when available in the market place. Click here to see an artist's proof of an etching by Wilkie Collins.
artistic control
See: creative control.
artistic map
A map created by an artist rather than a cartographer (see this example).
ARTS
See: ARTS Section.
ARTS Section (ARTS)
The section of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) within the American Library Association (ALA) that represents librarians and specialists working or interested in the visual and performing arts. ARTS provides an umbrella organization for the promotion of library services in these fields through discussion of current issues, exchange of information, and work on suitable projects. Click here to connect to the ARTS homepage.
artwork
A general term used in publishing and printing to refer to illustration originals in any medium, as opposed to reproductions of art originals. Such works may have artistic and monetary value independent of the publication for which they were created. Compare with art.
AS
See: Acquisitions Section.
as issued
A term used in the antiquarian book trade to indicate the condition of an item that exists in the same unaltered form as when it was first published, as opposed to one that has been rebound, processed by a library, damaged, etc. Compare with doctored.
as new
See: mint.
as usual
In the antiquarian book trade, a volume which has one or more of the normal defects found in ex-library books, such as library property stamps and other markings, spine labels, pockets, missing endpapers, etc.
ASA Style
See entry for American Sociological Association Style. 
ASCAP
Pronounced as cap. See: American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
ascender
In typography and calligraphy, the stroke of a lowercase letter that extends above the highest point of an x-height letter. The letters of the Latin alphabet with ascenders are: b, d, f, h, k, l, and t. The ascender line is an imaginary horizontal line connecting the tops of ascender letters, often, but not necessarily, the same as the cap line. Compare with descender. See also: primary letter.
ASCII
An acronym for American Standard Code for Information Interchange (pronounced askee), the binary code built into most minicomputers and all personal computers to represent in digital format the uppercase and lowercase letters of the Latin script, numerals, and special characters. Each ASCII character consists of seven information bits and one parity bit for error checking.
ASCLA
See: Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies.
ASERL
See: Association of Southeastern Research Libraries.
ASI
See: American Society of Indexers.
Asian, African, and Middle Eastern Section (AAMES)
The section of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) within the American Library Association (ALA) that represents librarians and specialists in the fields of Asian, African, and Middle Eastern area studies and acts for the ACRL, in cooperation with other professional groups, in those areas of library service requiring knowledge of Asian, African, and Middle Eastern languages and cultures. Click here to connect to the AAMES homepage.
Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA)
Founded in 1980, APALA is an affiliate of the American Library Association with a membership consisting of of librarians and information specialists of Asian Pacific (APA) descent employed in the Unites States and other interested persons. APALA provides a forum for the discussion of issues and ideas of interest to APA librarians, supports and encourages library services to APA communities, establishes scholarships for APA library school students, recruits and mentors APA library and information science professionals, and fosters cooperation with other organizations with similar interests. APALA publishes the quarterly APALA Newsletter. Click here to connect to the APALA homepage. See also: Asian, African, and Middle Eastern Section.
ASIS
An acronym for American Society for Information Science. See: American Society for Information Science and Technology.
ASIST
See: American Society for Information Science and Technology.
ASJA
See: American Society of Journalists and Authors.
ASL
See: American Sign Language.
Aslib
See: Association for Information Management.
ASPA
See: Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors.
aspect
In Dewey Decimal Classification, an approach to a subject from a discipline other than the one in which the subject is classified, for example, the economic or sociological aspects of health care delivery.
aspect ratio (AR)
The relationship of width to height of a frame of motion picture film, projected or printed. The normal range of vision of the human eye is an ellipse with proportions of approximately 1.85:1. The aspect ratio of silent film was 1.33:1, but the image was later squared to accommodate a sound track along the edge of the film. In 1932, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences returned the aspect ratio of 35mm film to 1.33:1 by masking the top and bottom of the frame and Academy aperture became the international standard for theatrical releases and the source of the standardized aspect ratio for television screens. CinemaScope introduced in 1953 by Twentieth Century-Fox had an original aspect ratio of 2.55:1, later changed to 2.35:1 to accommodate an optical sound track. Standard widescreen at 1.85:1 was achieved at the expense of the image by masking the top and bottom of the frame. 70mm films are projected with an aspect ratio of 2.2:1. Click here to see a table of aspect ratios and here to see them illustrated. Wikipedia provides additonal information about aspect ratio.
ASPP
See: American Society of Picture Professionals.
ASRS
See: automated storage and retrieval system.
assessment
Quantitative and qualitative measurement of the degree to which a library's collections, services, and programs meet the needs of its users, usually undertaken with the aim of improving performance. Assessment is accomplished by various methods, including direct observation, analysis of feedback obtained through interviews, user surveys, testing, etc. When conducted by the library, rather than an outside agency, the process is known as self-assessment. See also: Measurement, Assessment, and Evaluation Section; outcomes assessment; and quality of service.
assigned indexing
See: assignment indexing.
assignment indexing
A method of indexing in which a human indexer selects one or more subject headings or descriptors from a list of controlled vocabulary to represent the subject(s) of a work. The indexing terms selected to represent the content need not appear in the title or text of the document indexed. Synonymous with assigned indexing. Compare with derivative indexing.
assistive technology
See: adaptive technology.
association
The group of persons who have joined a formal organization devoted to pursuing a common interest or purpose, usually by applying for membership and paying an annual membership fee. Professional associations, such as the American Library Association, are dedicated to promoting the interests of a specific profession and its practitioners. The most comprehensive directory of such organizations is the Encyclopedia of Associations published by Gale, available in the reference section of most libraries in the United States. Click here to connect to an online directory of scholarly societies in North America, maintained by the University of Waterloo Library. Abbreviated ass., assn., and assoc. See also: library association and trade association.
association copy
A copy of a book that has a special association with the author, with a person closely connected to the author or its content, with a well-known individual other than the author, or with a particular library or collection, as indicated by an autograph, bookplate, dedication, inscription, marginalia, special binding, or other physical characteristic, or by reliable documentation.
Association des Biblioth‚caires de France (ABF)
Founded in 1906, l'ABF is the oldest and largest association of librarians in France, with approximately 3,500 members. L'ABF publishes the annual La revue BIBLIOthŠque(s) and the quarterly Bulletin d'informations. Click here to connect to the l'ABF homepage.
Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT)
Founded in 1923, AECT is a professional association of educators and others who have an active interest in facilitating the learning process through the use of communications media and the design of instructional technology, defined not only as hardware but also in relation to the capabilities of the learner and the context in which learning occurs. AECT publishes Interpersonal Computing and Technology Journal (IPCT-J), focusing on computer-mediated communication and the pedagogical issues associated with the use of computers and technology in educational settings. Click here to connect to the AECT homepage.
Association for Information Management (Aslib)
Founded in 1924, Aslib is a nonprofit organization with an international membership of over 2,000 private and public companies and organizations in 70 countries, which have an interest in the efficient management of information resources. Divided into 14 special interest groups covering approximately 60 SIC areas, Aslib specializes in advising organizations, from small companies to large corporations and government agencies, on issues and problems related to information management. Click here to connect to the Aslib homepage.
Association for Information Management Professionals (ARMA)
A nonprofit international association serving over 10,000 information management professionals in the United States, Canada, and over 30 other countries, including records managers, MIS and ADP professionals, imaging specialists, archivists, hospital and legal administrators, librarians, and educators, ARMA provides education, research, and networking opportunities that enable its members to maximize the value of records, information, and knowledge as corporate assets. Formerly the Association of Records Managers and Administrators, ARMA publishes the bimonthly Information Management Journal. Click here to connect to the ARMA homepage.
Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE)
Founded in 1915, ALISE is an affiliate of the American Library Association dedicated to promoting excellence in research, teaching, and service in library and information science education. Its members are graduate schools offering degree programs in library and information science and their faculties. ALISE publishes the quarterly Journal of Education for Library and Information Science (JELIS). Click here to connect to the ALISE homepage.
Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS)
A division of the American Library Association since 1957, ALCTS has a membership consisting of librarians and other persons interested in the acquisition, identification, cataloging, classification, reproduction, and preservation of library materials. ALCTS publishes the quarterly journal Library Resources & Technical Services and ALCTS Newsletter Online. Click here to connect to the ALCTS homepage.
Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)
A division of the American Library Association since 1900, ALSC has a membership of librarians and persons interested in improving the quality of services for children in all types of libraries. ALSC publishes the journal Children and Libraries. Click here to connect to the ALSC homepage.
Association for Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF)
Formed in 2009 by the merger of the Association of Library Trustees and Advocates (ALTA) and Friends of Libraries USA (FOLUSA), ALTAFF is a division of the American Library Association, with a membership of library trustees and persons/organizations interested in promoting outstanding library service through educational programs that develop excellence in trusteeship and actions advocating access to information for all. Click here to connect to the ALTAFF homepage.
Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC)
Founded in 1966, with headquarters in Annapolis, Maryland, ARSC has a membership of persons in the broadcasting and recording industry, librarians, archivists, curators, private collectors, and institutions such as museums, national libraries, and foundations. ARSC publishes the semiannual ARSC Journal and the quarterly ARSC Newsletter. Click here to connect to the ARSC homepage.
Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL)
Established in 1982 by Dr. Bernard Vavrek, Director of the Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship at Clarion University in Pennsylvania, ARSL is devoted to fostering the growth and development of library services in rural and small libraries. ARSL creates sample policies for rural and small libraries, maintains a members-only LISTSERV, and sponsors an annual conference. Click here to connect to the ARSL homepage.
Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL)
Founded in 1977, AAHSL is an organization of the directors of medical libraries at over 140 accredited medical schools in the United States and Canada belonging to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Its goal is to promote excellence in academic health science libraries and to assure that health practitioners acquire the information skills necessary for quality health care delivery, education, and research. Click here to connect to the AAHSL homepage.
Association of American Publishers (AAP)
The principal trade association of the book publishing industry in the United States, AAP was created in 1970 by the merger of the American Book Publishers Council (ABPC) and the American Educational Publishers Institute (AEPI). Directed by standing committees, AAP currently focuses on a variety of core issues, such as intellectual property; new technology and telecommunications; First Amendment rights, censorship, and libel; international freedom to publish; funding for education and libraries; postal rates and regulations; and tax and trade policy. Click here to connect to the AAP homepage. See also: Association of American University Presses.
Association of American University Presses (AAUP)
Established in 1937, AAUP is a trade association representing over 120 scholarly presses, large and small, associated for the most part with colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. Its members publish in a wide range of disciplines, including the arts and humanities, social sciences, and science and technology. Some also publish books of regional interest; others include fiction and poetry in their lists. Through its programs, AAUP seeks to further the interests of scholarly publishing by monitoring legislation affecting university presses, fund-raising for projects beneficial to scholarly publishers, and helping its members market their publications and train personnel effectively. Click here to connect to the AAUP homepage. See also: Association of American Publishers.
Association of Canadian Archivists (ACA)
A professional association that originated in the Archives Section of the Canadian Historical Society, ACA is devoted to providing leadership in the preservation of Canada's documentary heritage, encouraging awareness of the importance of archives, advocating the interests of archivists with government and regulatory agencies, and fostering communication within the Canadian archival community. ACA publishes the journal Archivaria and the bimonthly newsletter ACA Bulletin. Click here to connect to the ACA homepage.
Association of Canadian Map Libraries and Archives/Association des CartothŠques et Archives Cartographiques du Canada (ACMLA/ACACC)
Established in 1967, ACMLA/ACACC is the professional association representing Canadian map librarians, cartographic archivists, and others with an interest in geographic information in all formats. ACMLA participates in the development of professional standards and international rules for cataloging cartographic materials, supports research and publishing, and seeks to heighten national awareness of issues that concern spatial information and affect map libraries and cartographic archives. Click here to connect to the ACMLA/ACACC homepage.
Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP)
Formerly known as the Independent Publishers' Association, ACP is a member-driven professional association representing over 140 Canadian book publishers, including the literary, general trade, scholarly, and education sectors of the publishing industry, devoted to encouraging the writing, publishing, distribution, and promotion of Canadian books. Click here to connect to the ACP homepage. See also: Canadian Publishers' Council.
Association of Christian Librarians (ACL)
Established in 1957 at Nyack College in New York State, ACL is an international association dedicated to empowering evangelical Christian librarians through professional development, scholarship, and spiritual encouragement for service in higher education. Membership is open to Christians of all denominations who agree with the organization's purposes and doctrinal Statement of Faith and who are involved in the practice or support of librarianship. ACL publications include The Christian Librarian, a journal issued three times a year, and Christian Periodical Index. The organization also sponsors an annual conference. Click here to connect to the ACL homepage.
Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)
A division of the American Library Association since 1889, ACRL has a membership of academic and research librarians committed to improving the quality of service in academic libraries, promoting the career and professional development of academic and research librarians, and supporting the programs of academic and research libraries. Click here to connect to the ACRL homepage.
Association of Educational Publishers (AEP)
Founded in 1895 as the Educational Press Association of America, AEP is a nonprofit trade association of educational publishers of all sizes and in all media (print and digital) that seeks to (1) provide information, training, and outreach for the development of quality educational materials; (2) facilitate communication among key interest groups (educators, policymakers, educational foundations and associations, business, and the education media); and (3) increase public awareness of the role of supplemental learning resources in successful teaching and learning. AEP sponsors an annual conference and publishes the newsletter AEP Online. Click here to connect to the AEP homepage.
Association of European Research Libraries
See: Ligue des BibliothŠques Europ‚enes de Recherche (LIBER).
Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP)
Founded in 1987, AIIP is an organization of entrepreneurs owning professional firms that provide information-related services, including online and manual information retrieval and research, document delivery, database design, library support, consulting, writing, and publishing. Click here to connect to the AIIP homepage. See also: information broker.
Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL)
Founded in 1965 with headquarters in New York City, AJL is dedicated to supporting the production, collection, organization, and dissemination of Judaic resources and library/media/information services in the United States, Canada, and over 23 other countries. AJL publishes the semiannual journal Judaica Librarianship and the quarterly AJL Newsletter. Click here to connect to the AJL homepage.
Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP)
Formed in 1972, ALPSP is the international trade association for not-for-profit publishers and those who work with them, dedicated to serving, representing, and strengthening the community of learned and professional society publishers and to demonstrating their essential role in the future of international academic and professional communication. ALPSP publishes the quarterly journal Learned Publishing and the electronic newsletter ALPSP Alert. Click here to connect to the ALPSP homepage.
Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA)
A nonprofit professional association devoted to advancing the field of moving image archiving by encouraging cooperation among the individuals and organizations concerned with the collection, preservation, exhibition, and use of moving image materials, AMIA publishes the biannual journal The Moving Image and the quarterly AMIA Newsletter. Click here to connect to the AMIA homepage.
Association of Records Managers and Administrators (ARMA)
See: Association for Information Management Professionals.
Association of Research Libraries (ARL)
Founded in 1932, ARL is an organization of large research libraries dedicated to influencing major decisions affecting the future of research libraries and their ability to serve effectively the needs of students, faculty, and the research community, by articulating concerns, forming coalitions, suggesting policy, and supporting innovations and improvements in operations. An affiliate of the American Library Association, ARL provides access to proprietary databases, training and consultation in management and program development, directories, and statistics on its membership. The Association also publishes ARL, a bimonthly report on its activities. Click here to connect to the ARL homepage.
Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL)
Founded in 1956, ASERL is the largest regional research library consortium in the United States. Its projects include the creation of a virtual electronic library system linking the online catalogs of member libraries. ASERL is also contributing to the development of American-South.org, an experimental online portal of databases focusing on the culture of post-Civil War southern history and culture, with grant support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Click here to connect to the ASERL homepage.
Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA)
A division of the American Library Association representing state library agencies, specialized library agencies, independent libraries, and multi-type library cooperatives. ASCLA publishes the quarterly newsletter Interface. Click here to connect to the ASCLA homepage.
Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA)
A nonprofit organization of specialized and professional accrediting bodies in the United States, ASPA provides a collaborative forum and a collective voice for agencies that assess the quality of specialized and professional higher education programs, representing its 50 member agencies on issues of educational quality facing institutions of higher education, governments, students, and the public. ASPA also seeks to advance the knowledge, skills, practices, and ethical commitments of accreditors and to communicate the value of accreditation as a means of enhancing educational quality. The Committee on Accreditation (COA) of the American Library Association (ALA) is a member of ASPA and follows its Code of Good Practice. Click here to connect to the ASPA homepage. See also: Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
Association of Vision Science Librarians (AVSL)
An international association of information professionals employed at educational institutions, eye clinics and hospitals, and private companies whose library collections and services include the literature of vision, AVSL is a special interest group of both the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry and the Medical Library Association. The organization publishes standards and guideliness for vision science libraries, a union list of vision-related serials, and a core list for audiovisual collections. Click here to connect to the AVSL homepage.
associational value
The significance or utility of documents or other materials based on their relationship to a specific person, family, organization, place, or event. The connection can be one of creation, ownership, use, or subject content. Often key to the intrinsic value of archival materials, associational value can be difficult to quantify. Click here to see an image of Thomas Jefferson's portable writing desk, which he used to write the Declaration of Independence at Philadelphia (Library of Congress).
associative relation
A semantic relation in which two words or phrases are conceptually connected, sometimes within a specific context, but are not related hierarchically, for example, the terms library extension and library outreach. See also: related term.
asterisk
A special character in the shape of a star (*) produced on a standard keyboard by pressing the Shift+8 keys. The asterisk is used as a reference mark in printing to indicate a footnote or other reference on the same page. A series of asterisks is sometimes used in text to indicate ellipsis, for example, to suggest an unprintable word (D***). In most bibliographic databases, the asterisk is used as the end truncation symbol in a search by keywords.
asterism
A rarely used typographical symbol consisting of a three asterisks arranged in a triangle ? to indicate a minor break in the text, to call the reader's attention to a following passage, or to separate subchapters in a book. Three consecutive asterisks or dots are often substituted for the asterism.
astronomical map
See: celestial chart.
asynchronous
Occurring at different times. In communications, a response that is delayed due to the nature of the transmission medium, for example, a letter or telegram. In computing, asynchronous communication media include e-mail, text-messaging, newsgroups, listservs, and blogs. The opposite of synchronous. See also: real time.
asyndetic
Lacking cross-references. Compare with syndetic structure.
AT
See: Archivists' Toolkit.
ATA
See: American Translators Association.
atelier
French for studio or workshop. After about 1200 A.D., a secular book trade began to flourish in Europe in large cities where the presence of universities and wealthy patrons ensured relatively constant demand. Book production was a cooperative endeavor, involving tradesmen skilled in parchment-making, illumination, and binding, as well as the scribes who copied the texts. Today, fine illuminated manuscripts are often known by the name of the master or workshop in which the work was done.
ATG
See: Against the Grain.
athenaeum
The temple of Athena, goddess of knowledge and learning, where scholars and writers met in the city of Athens in ancient Greece to exchange ideas. In early 19th-century New England, the name was applied to certain proprietary libraries, reading rooms, and buildings containing libraries. The Redwood Library & Athenaeum in Newport, Rhode Island, is the oldest surviving library of this kind in the United States.
ATLA
See: American Theological Library Association.
Atlantic bible
During the 11th and 12th centuries, scribes in Italy produced enormous Bibles, as massive and immovable as pieces of furniture, to serve as permanent fittings in churches and refectories. The term is derived from Atlas, the name of the mythical giant whose task was to support the heavens on his shoulders. Click here to see a 13th-century example made in Bohemia (National Library of Sweden) and here to see a page from the 15th-century giant Biblia Latina of Mainz (Library of Congress).
atlas
A bound or boxed collection of maps, usually related in subject or theme, with an index of place names (gazetteer) usually printed at the end. The first bound collection of maps is known to have been issued in Europe in the mid-16th century. Click here to explore a 12th-century atlas of the Mediterranean (BibliothŠque Nationale de France), here to view a 14th-century Catalan Atlas in unbound vellum leaves (BNF, ESP 30), here to see a double-page world map in the 15th-century Ulm Ptolemy (Wormsley Library, UK), here to see a 16th-century Tudor atlas of England and Wales containing hand-colored maps (Special Collections, Glasgow University Library), and here to see an online exhibit of the Doncker Sea Atlas of 1659, courtesy of the National Library of Australia. The Library of Congress also provides an online survey of early atlases.
Atlas
(a) A volume of maps.
atlas case
A free-standing piece of display furniture used mainly in libraries, usually about waist-high with a sloping top and a book stop along the front edge for displaying an open atlas. Most atlas cases are made of wood, with several deep, wide, closely spaced shelves for storing oversize reference works. Some designs have sliding shelves to facilitate use. Click here and here to see examples. Compare with dictionary stand.
atlas factice
A collected work created by the selection of previously issued maps, views, plans, etc., as opposed to an atlas containing maps not previously published. The format can be bound or loose-leaf. In the 17th and 18th centuries, some publishers assembled atlases to order. Click here to see an example, courtesy of the National Library of the Netherlands. Synonymous with compiled atlas and composite atlas.
atlas folio
The largest widely used folio, usually about 16 x 25 inches in size, used mainly for large atlases. Compare with elephant folio.
attachment
A computer file of any type linked to an e-mail message in such a way that the two are transmitted together to the designated address. Nontext attachments, such as graphics and database files, may require special encoding and decoding software. Particular care should be taken when opening attachments, as they are sometimes used to transmit harmful computer viruses.
attestation
The concluding portion of a document (especially a formal record, such as a will) signed by one or more witnesses, often containing language supporting the presumption that any statutory requirements have been met (click here to see an example, courtesy of the Nassau Library System). Also refers to the process of bearing witness, especially to the authenticity of the document being witnessed.
attribute
In classification, one of the distinguishing characteristics of a class, identified as a means of differentiating it from other classes. As defined in FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records), one of a set of characteristics enabling users of information to formulate queries and evaluate responses when searching for information about a specific entity. Attributes can be inherent in the entity (physical characteristics, labeling information, etc.) or supplied by an external agent (assigned identifiers, contextual information, etc.).
attributed
A creative work ascribed to a known person or corporate body, usually on the basis of reliable supporting evidence. Degree of certainty concerning authorship depends on the strength of the existing evidence. For example, some scholars believe the plays and sonnets of William Shakespeare to be the work of another Elizabethan writer, but the available evidence is insufficient to resolve the issue. When evidence of authorship is inconclusive, a work is said to be of unknown authorship.
attributed author
A person believed to have written or created a work published anonymously or that is of doubtful authorship (example: The Second Maiden's Tragedy attributed to the 17th-century writer Thomas Middleton). Attribution is usually based on supporting evidence, but uncertainty may arise when the evidence is meager or conflicting (The Two Noble Kinsmen ascribed to John Fletcher but sometimes erroneously attributed to William Shakespeare). In the library cataloging, attributed authorship is indicated in the note area of the bibliographic description. Synonymous with supposed author. Compare with suppositious author.
attribution
The process of ascribing the nature or identity of a characteristic, quality, or feature (e.g., authorship, provenance, date, or location) not explicit in the item described, generally on the basis of reliable evidence. See also: attributed author.
auction catalog
A list, usually arranged by lot, of the items offered for sale to the highest bidder at an auction. Often illustrated in black and white and/or color, auction catalogs are of value to collectors because they record existence, dates, provenance, number existing, size, condition at time of the sale, prices realized, etc. Click here to see a selection of historic book auction catalogs, courtesy of the American Antiquarian Society, and here to see an example of an online auction catalog. The New York Public Library maintains a collection of Sotheby's and Christie's Auction Catalogs.
auction gallery
See: book auction.
Audie Award
An award bestowed annually since 1996 by the Audio Publishers Association (APA) for outstanding quality in the publication of audiobooks. In addition to Audiobook of the Year, awards are given in over thirty categories, including narration. Click here to learn more about this year's winners.
audience
The people who actually read a literary work or attend an artistic performance or exhibition, not necessarily the same as the target audience for whom the work is intended by the author or creator, or by the publisher or producer.
audio download
A data file containing recorded sound available over the Internet for transmission to a network user's computer, free of charge or for a fee (usually payable by credit card). Dot.com booksellers like Amazon.com offer audio downloads of popular new books. Audible.com is an example of a company specializing in downloadable audiorecordings. See also: peer-to-peer.
Audio Publishers Association (APA)
Established in 1987, APA is a nonprofit trade association representing audio publishing companies and allied suppliers, distributors, and retailers of spoken word products and allied fields related to the production, distribution, and sale of audiobooks. APA brings audio publishers together to enhance public awareness of the audiobook industry through publicity, national consumer surveys, trade show exhibits, an association newsletter, and an annual conference (APAC). Click here to connect to the APA homepage. See also: Audie Award.
audiobook
A book read aloud and recorded on audiotape or compact disc (CD), usually by a professional actor or reader or by the author. Originally, books were produced on tape for the visually impaired, but the market for audibles has expanded to include joggers and walkers who like to listen as they exercise, individuals who must spend long hours traveling, persons who are illiterate or dyslexic, and others who would rather listen than read. Synonymous with book-on-tape, recorded book, and talking book. See also: Audie Award, AudioFile Magazine, and digital talking book.
audiocassette
An audiotape permanently enclosed in a hard plastic case containing two take-up reels to which the ends of the tape are attached for playback and rewinding (see this example). Libraries that allow audiocassettes to circulate usually place them in a section reserved for sound recordings, arranged by composer, performer, genre, or some other means of classification. In AACR2, the term sound cassette is used in the physical description area of the bibliographic record representing an audiocassette, with analog given as type of recording. Also spelled audio cassette. Compare with compact disc. See also: compact cassette.
audiodisc
See: phonograph record.
AudioFile Magazine
Published bimonthly since 1992, AudioFile reviews over 100 audiobooks in each issue. Available in print and online, the publication also includes feature articles, announcements, new releases, interviews with authors and narrators, and resources for locating and purchasing audiobooks. A subscription to AudioFile PLUS includes access to archives of audiobook reviews, searchable by title, author, narrator, ISBN, subject, or keywords. ISSN: 1063-0244. Click here to connect to the AudioFile homepage.
audiorecording
A generic term for any medium on which sounds are recorded for mechanical or electronic playback, including phonograph records (vinyl), audiotape, and compact disc. Synonymous with sound recording.
audiotape
A continuous strip of thin magnetic tape on which sounds can be recorded as electrical signals and converted back into sound with the proper playback equipment. The most common size in libraries is one-fourth-inch wide, stored on audiocassette. Synonymous with tape recording. See also: audiorecording.
audiovisual (AV)
A work in a medium that combines sound and visual images, for example, a motion picture or videorecording with a sound track, or a slide presentation synchronized with audiotape. Directory information for products and services provided by the audiovisual industry is available in AV Market Place (AVMP), published annually by Information Today, Inc. Also spelled audio-visual and abbreviated a-v. See also: media.
audit
An official examination of the accounts or records of an individual, company, organization, or institution to determine if they are correct. Also, to conduct such an examination, usually on a regular basis. See also: security audit.
audit trail
Information contained in available records that enables a transaction to be tracked from beginning to end, facilitating review of whether it was executed according to established policies and standards. Such information typically includes time of transaction, names of parties involved, and actions taken.
audition
A term used in cataloging moving images to indicate the form of a work created to demonstrate a performer's aptitude or as a trial of a scene in a longer work. The category includes screen tests made for film studios and television networks, and work submitted as a performer's resume.
AUP
See: acceptable use policy.
Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA)
The professional association for the Australian library and information services sector, ALIA seeks to empower the library profession in the development, promotion, and delivery of quality services to all Australians, through leadership, advocacy, and mutual support. Membership is open to individuals and organizations. ALIA sponsors a biennial national conference, presents national and regional awards, and publishes Australian Library Journal (ALJ). Click here to connect to the ALIA homepage.
authentic copy
A reproduction of a document or record that has been officially certified as genuine, often prior to admission as evidence in a court of law or other formal proceeding.
authentication
In online systems, the procedure for verifying the integrity of a transmitted message. Also, a security procedure designed to verify that the authorization code entered by a user to gain access to a network or system is valid. See also: biometric ID, password, PIN, and username.
authenticity
The quality in a thing of being what it is claimed to be (valid, real, genuine, etc.), verified in archives and special collections through an investigative process known as authentication, essential in appraising the value of an item. Establishing the authenticity of a document or record depends on identification of the creator (or creators). The presence of a verifiable signature serves as a basic test of whether the item was created by the person represented as the creator because it identifies the creator and establishes the relationship between creator and work. See also: forgery.
author
The person or corporate entity responsible for producing a written work (essay, monograph, novel, play, poem, screenplay, short story, etc.) whose name is printed on the title page of a book or given elsewhere in or on a manuscript or other item and in whose name the work is copyrighted. A work may have two or more joint authors. In library cataloging, the term is used in its broadest sense to include editor, compiler, composer, creator, etc. See also: attributed author, authorship, corporate author, local author, personal author, and suppositious author.
author abstract
A brief summary, called an abstract, written by the person responsible for creating the work summarized, as opposed to one written by someone other than the author, usually a professional abstractor or indexer.
author affiliation
The name of the organization with which the author of a publication is formally connected, usually given in books on the back flap of the dust jacket or on the title page, and in journal articles in a note at the foot of the first page, sometimes with the writer's position title and contact information.
author bibliography
A bibliography of works written by or about a specific author, which can vary in detail and extent from an unannotated list of selected titles to a comprehensive, in-depth descriptive bibliography. Compare with biobibliography.
author entry
The entry in a catalog, index, or bibliography under the authorized heading for the first-named author of a work, whether it be a person or corporate body. In most library catalogs, the author entry is the main entry.
author index
An alphabetically arranged index in which the headings are the names of the individuals and corporate bodies responsible for creating the works indexed. Author entries may be combined with the subject index or title index, rather than listed separately. Compare with name index.
author interview
A conversation in which a writer is questioned about his/her life and work by an interviewer who intends to publish the results verbatim in a book or periodical or incorporate them into a radio or television broadcast, in their entirety or excerpted. Also refers to the article or program based on such an interview. Click here to see an example, courtesy of PBS.
author mark
Letters, numerals, or other symbols representing the last name of an author, added by the cataloger to the call number to distinguish an item from others of the same classification (example: the Cutter number D548 to identify works by Charles Dickens). When a work mark is added to the author mark, the result is known as the book number (D548d for David Copperfield). Synonymous with author number.
author portrait
A plate in a book bearing a full-page image of the author, usually a photograph or reproduction of a painting, drawing, or engraving, printed on the verso of the leaf preceding the title page or, in some cases, on the title page itself, as in the First Folio of Shakespeare. Common in books published in the 19th and early 20th centuries, most show just the head and shoulders, with the author's name and the source of the portrait given in a caption. In modern book production, a small portrait photograph of the author is usually printed on the back flap of the dust jacket in hardcover editions with a brief biographical note.
author tour
A tightly scheduled trip, usually arranged by the publisher of a new trade book, in which the author (or a well-known illustrator) agrees to help promote sales by participating in book signings, author interviews, book talks, etc., usually at trade bookstores and through the mass media. Travel expenses are paid by the publisher, but the writer is usually not compensated for his or her time. Author tours are announced in the trade journal Publishers Weekly.
author-publisher
A writer, photographer, composer, etc., who self-publishes his or her own works. See also: privately printed.
author-title added entry
See: name-title added entry.
author's advance
An amount paid by the publisher to the author of a work before the completed manuscript is submitted for publication, established by contractual agreement between the two parties, usually refundable if the work is not completed. Synonymous with advance on royalty. See also: royalties.
author's binding
A copy of an edition bound to the author's specifications for purposes of presentation, usually to a friend, associate, or public figure, normally in a more attractive style, using better materials, and exhibiting superior workmanship. According to Matt Roberts and Don Etherington in Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, gilt vellum author's bindings were common in the 16th century and paneled morocco in the 17th and 18th centuries.
author's contract
See: publisher's agreement.
author's copy
One of six or more complimentary copies of a published work normally provided to the author free of charge by the publisher at the time of first publication. Faculty members sometimes donate complimentary copies of their works to the academic library at the college or university with which they are affiliated. In a more general sense, an association copy that is known, usually on the basis of documentary evidence, to have belonged to the author of the work. Click here to see an example, courtesy of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek.
author's edition
An edition of all the unpublished and previously published works of an author, issued in one or more uniform volumes, usually bearing a collective title or some other indication on the title page that all known works are included (see this example). Synonymous with complete works and uniform edition. Compare with collected edition. See also: definitive edition.
author's editor
An editor familiar with the publishing industry, employed by a university or research institution to assist faculty and researchers in preparing their work for publication and to help them negotiate the intricacies of the publishing process, as distinct from an editor employed by a publishing company who helps to prepare a manuscript for printing once it has been accepted for publication.
authoring
Creation of a multimedia work by combining text, sound, video, and images, usually with the aid of a script or special authoring software.
authoritative
A source that is official. Also, a work known to be reliable because its authenticity or integrity is widely recognized by experts in the field.
authority
The knowledge and experience that qualifies a person to write or speak as an expert on a given subject. In the academic community, authority is indicated by credentials, previously published works on the subject, institutional affiliation, awards, imprint, reviews, patterns of citation, etc.
authority control
The procedures by which consistency of form is maintained in the headings (names, uniform titles, series titles, and subjects) used in a library catalog or file of bibliographic records through the application of an authoritative list (called an authority file) to new items as they are added to the collection. Authority control is available from commercial service providers.
authority file
A list of the authoritative forms of the headings used in a library catalog or file of bibliographic records, maintained to ensure that headings are applied consistently as new items are added to the collection. Separate authority files are usually maintained for names, uniform titles, series titles, and subjects. All the references made to and from a given heading are also included in the file. See also: authority control.
authority record
A printed or machine-readable record of the decision made concerning the authoritative form of a name (personal or corporate), uniform title, series title, or subject used as a heading in a library catalog or file of bibliographic records, listed in an authority file governing the application of headings to new items as they are added to the library collection. An authority record may also contain See from and See also from records, as well as notes concerning the application of the authorized form. Click here to connect to Library of Congress Authorities, a searchable database of authority headings. See also: Functional Requirements for Authority Data (FRAD).
authority work
The process of deciding which form of a name, title, series title, or subject will be used as the authorized heading in a library catalog or file of bibliographic records, including the establishment of appropriate references to the heading, and its relationship to other headings in the authority file.
authorization
In computing, a username, password, PIN, or other access code issued to a person who is permitted to access a specific electronic resource, application program, network, or other computer system that must be entered correctly by the user in order to log on. Authorization codes are usually subject to periodic renewal. A single authentication may have multiple authorizations.
authorized biography
A biography written with the explicit consent and sometimes the cooperation of its subject or the subject's family if the biographee is deceased. Authorized biographies are more likely to be scrutinized by reviewers for bias because the biographer may have been expected to overlook or downplay embarrassing events or unflattering traits in exchange for access to firsthand information and confidential sources. Compare with unauthorized biography.
authorized edition
An edition issued with the explicit sanction of the author or holder of rights in the work or, in the case of a biography, by the person who is its subject or the subject's family if the biographee is deceased. The opposite of unauthorized edition. Compare with definitive edition.
authorized use
A purpose for which the vendor of an electronic database or other online resource allows its content to be used, usually stated explicitly in the licensing agreement signed by the library or information service that provides access. Most licensing agreements allow authorized users to search, retrieve, display, download, and print content solely for educational, research, scholarly, or personal uses. For-profit uses are generally prohibited, with responsibility for recognizing and preventing unauthorized use borne by the licensee.
authorized user
A person permitted to use an electronic database or other online resource under the provisions of the vendor's licensing agreement signed by the library or information service providing access. In academic libraries, authorized users generally include the faculty, staff, and students enrolled at the institution served by the licensee. In public libraries, authorized users include members of the public accessing the resource from computer equipment located on library premises or remotely via a system requiring authentication. See also: authorized use.
Authors Guild (AG)
Established as the Authors League of America in 1912, the Authors Guild is a professional association of published writers, providing legal assistance and other services, such as seminars and symposia and discounted health insurance. AG publishes the quarterly Authors Guild Bulletin. Click here to connect to the homepage of the Authors Guild.
authorship
The origin of a manuscript, book, or other written work, with reference to its author(s). In a more general sense, the source of an idea or creative work in any form, with reference to its creator or originator, for example, the composer of a musical work. When authorship of an anonymous work cannot be determined with a reasonable degree of certainty, it is said to be of unknown authorship. See also: diffuse authorship, doubtful authorship, mixed responsibility, shared responsibility, and spurious work.
authorware
See: courseware.
Auto-Graphics, Inc.
Canada's major bibliographic utility, providing access to machine-readable bibliographic records and authority files through its proprietary Impact/MARCit software. Auto-Graphics purchased Canada's CATSS database (formerly UTLAS) from ISM Library Information Services in 1997. The following year, the National Library of Canada purchased from Auto-Graphics copies of over 8 million bibliographic records representing the holdings of 46 Canadian libraries, with permission to load the records into its AMICUS database as part of Canada's national union catalog and to provide access to them for the purpose of resource sharing. Unlike OCLC, the primary bibliographic utility in North America, Auto-Graphics is a for-profit vendor offering a full line of integrated library system products and services. Click here to connect to the homepage of Auto-Graphics, Inc.
autobiographical fiction
A literary work in which events in the author's life, slightly disguised, are presented as fiction (example: The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler, published posthumously in 1903). Names, dates, and locations are often altered and events may be recreated to enhance dramatic effect, but the story still bears a close resemblance to the writer's life. Abbreviated autofiction. Compare with biographical fiction.
autobiography
An account of a person's life written by its subject, usually in the form of a continuous narrative of events considered by the author to be the most important or interesting, selected from those he or she is willing to reveal (example: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin). The first fully developed autobiography, the Confessions of Saint Augustine, was written in the 4th century A.D. Some autobiographies are largely fictional, for example, the Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Contemporary autobiographies of famous people are often written with the assistance of a ghost writer. An autobiography differs from a diary or journal in being written for others rather than for purely private reasons. Compare with biography. See also: confessions.
autocatalytic
A chemical process that feeds upon itself. An example from film preservation is vinegar syndrome in which the decay of acetate base motion picture film produces acetic acid, a substance that accelerates the rate of deterioration.
autochrome
Patented in 1903 by Auguste and Louis LumiŠre and introduced commercially in 1907, the autochrome was the first viable color photographic process and the only one on the market until the invention of Kodachrome film in 1935. The autochrome plate was prepared by coating a glass plate with a thin layer of minute, transparent grains of potato starch that had been dyed in the primary colors (red, green, and blue) and randomly mixed. The grains were flattened on the plate, forming a screen of colored particles. Then carbon black was applied, filling any spaces between the particles to prevent light from passing through the gaps during exposure. Finally, a standard panchromatic black and white gelatin silver emulsion was overlaid. The plate was exposed in reverse, with the uncoated side facing the subject, enabling the color screen to filter light striking the emulsion.
autograph
An original manuscript written entirely in the hand of the author (or composer) or dictated by the author, often highly prized by rare book collectors. Click here to see the title page of the original autograph manuscript of Henry David Thoreau's Walden (Huntington Library) and here to see one of two autograph manuscripts by Albert Einstein outlining the implications of his Special Theory of Relativity (Albert Einstein Archives and National Library of Australia). Compare with holograph. See also: autograph score.
autograph book
A book with blank pages intended for the collection of signatures of friends and/or famous people, with or without accompanying inscriptions. The value of an autograph book in the collectors' market depends on the rarity of the signatures it contains. Click here to see an example.
autograph document signed (ADS)
A document written and signed by its author. To see examples, try a keywords search on the term in Google Images.
autograph letter signed (ALS)
A letter handwritten by the person who signed it, as opposed to a manuscript letter written by someone other than the signer (letter signed). Click here to see an example signed by Thomas Jefferson (Harvard Medical Library). Compare with typed letter signed.
autograph note signed (ANS)
A note handwritten by the person who signed it. To see examples, try a keywords search on the term in Google Images.
autograph score
An original music score written entirely in the hand of the composer, often highly prized by museums and other collectors. Click here to see an autograph score of Beethoven's Sinfonie Nr. 8 (National Library of Australia).
autographed copy
A copy of a book or other published work signed by the author. Autographed copies may be of considerable value to collectors if the author is very well known and signed copies rare, as in the case of a small limited edition. Compare with inscribed copy.
autographed edition
An edition of a work in which all the copies are personally signed by the author, possible only in comparatively small editions.
automated materials handling (AMH)
A space-saving system that combines self-service check-in with mechanized sorting of returned library materials. Most AMH systems provide a digital interface that allows library patrons to check items in quickly and easily. Returned items are then sorted into bins without human intervention, speeding their return to the stacks. Most AMH systems are designed to process both RFID tags and barcodes, sending data directly to the library's circulation system. At the same time, electromagnetic security strips are automatically reactivated. The moving parts in AMH systems can be noisy when in operation. Click here to see examples, courtesy of 3M.
automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS)
A computer-controlled mechanical system designed to move items efficiently into compact storage and out again automatically, without human intervention. In libraries with large collections, ASRSs are used to maximize storage density and reduce labor costs by storing books and other materials in bins mechanically stacked in rows. Click here to learn about the Mathewson Automated Retrieval System (MARS), courtesy of the University of Nevada Libraries. Also abbreviated AS/RS.
automatic indexing
A method of indexing in which an algorithm is applied by a computer to the title and/or text of a work to identify and extract words and phrases representing subjects, for use as headings under which entries are made in the index. Compare with machine-aided indexing. See also: derivative indexing.
automatic renewal
An agreement between a library and a serials vendor authorizing the vendor to renew subscriptions indefinitely without an annual review of the current serials list by the library. See also: renewal of copyright.
Automation Vendors Information Advisory Committee (AVIAC)
An informal group of vendors of library automation systems and other information products to libraries, and other interested parties, that meets at the annual and midwinter meetings of the American Library Association to exchange information related to standards and other topics of mutual interest.
autonym
A person's own name. Also refers to a work published under the real name of its author, rather than a pseudonym or allonym.
auxiliary facility
A secondary library facility, often housing technical services and/or low-use and archival materials to alleviate space constraints in the main building. High-density shelving may be installed to maximize storage capacity. When used to store manuscripts and rare and fragile materials, an auxiliary facility may be equipped with conservation-level environmental controls. Click here to see the Auxiliary Library Facility (ALF) of the Indiana University Bloomington Libraries. Compare with annex. See also: off-site storage.
auxiliary schedule
In library classification, a separate list of classes (with their notations) that serves only to subdivide the classes listed in the main schedules, for example, the standard subdivisions listed in Table 1 of Dewey Decimal Classification.
AV
See: audiovisual.
availability
The circulation status of a specific item or category of items in a library collection. For example, a reference work marked library use only may not be checked out except by special permission. Under normal circumstances, an item marked available in an online catalog can be found on the shelf ready to be checked out. In a more general sense, the capacity of an item to be seen, used, or obtained by a library patron, including reference materials and items in special collections for which access may be subject to certain restrictions. Compare with out of circulation.
avant-garde
A period of experimentalism that occurred in the fine arts in Europe from about 1910 until the beginning of World War II, also influencing the book arts. The artist was concerned with analyzing and extending the possibilities of the medium itself as a means of expressing new aesthetic ideas. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City provides an online exhibition on The Russian Avant-Garde Book, 1910-1934.
avant-garde film
See: experimental film.
average price
The sum of the list prices of all the publications of a specific category issued over a given period of time, or of a representative sample, divided by the number of titles in the category selected for the purpose of calculation. In library acquisitions, average price per title is used to compute the annual rate of inflation in the cost of various types of materials, an important consideration in budgeting and the allocation of funds. See also: price index.
AVIAC
See: Automation Vendors Information Advisory Committee.
Avram, Henriette D. (1919-2006)
A leader in library automation and bibliographic control, Henriette Avram began her career in the 1950s as a systems analyst at the National Security Agency (NSA) in Arlington, Virginia, before joining the Library of Congress in 1965, where she began work on the MARC Pilot Project sponsored by the Council on Library Resources. With no formal education or training in library science, Avram mastered the principles of bibliographic control on her own and in eight months designed a bibliographic record format that could be successfully read and processed by computer. In 1970, she was appointed chief of the MARC Development Office at the Library of Congress, and from 1969 to 1971 she directed the RECON Pilot Project to test the use of a centralized source for retrospective conversion of paper records. In 1971, the MARC format was accepted by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as the national standard for the dissemination of cataloging data in automated form, and in 1973 by the International Standards Organization (ISO) as an international standard.
AVSL
See: Association of Vision Science Librarians.
award
See: library award and literary award.
award winner
A book or author awarded a prize or given special recognition, usually for outstanding literary achievement. Award-winning books are often distinguished by special graphics or text printed on the dust jacket or front cover (see this example). Also, a person or library given a library award, usually for outstanding performance or achievement.
axonometric map
A detailed, large-scale map of a city or smaller area, such as a campus, showing the buildings and other structures in perspective, usually on an incline, for the use of planners and architects. Click here to learn more about axonometric projections.
azimuth
The direction of a celestial object expressed as a angle measured clockwise from true north or magnetic north around the plane of the observer's local horizon. An object due east has an azimuth of 90ø, an object due south 180ø, and due west 270ø. An object due north has an azimuth of 0ø. The azimuth of an object on the celestial sphere and its altitude above the horizon are the coordinates used to indicate direction in the horizontal coordinate system (also called the alt-az coordinate system). Click here to see azimuth illustrated.