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ODLIS

Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science

by Joan M. Reitz
Now available in print! Order a copy of the hardcover or paperback from Libraries Unlimited.

Browse by letter: | About | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | JK | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | XYZ |
3-D view
A two-dimensional image that gives the illusion of perception in three dimensions (depth). See this 3-D view of Grand Canyon, courtesy of NASA. Also spelled 3D view.

8mm film
A gauge of motion picture film, 8 millimeters wide from edge to edge. Introduced for the home market by Kodak in 1932, "Cine Kodak Eight" utilized a special 16mm film that had double the number of perforations along both edges, enabling the filmmaker to run the film through the camera in one direction, then reload and expose the other half of the film, similar to the way an audiocassette is used. After development, the film was slit lengthwise down the center and spliced end to end in the laboratory, fitting four times as many frames in the same amount of film. Regular 8mm has 80 frames per foot and the same size sprocket holes as 16mm film. In 1965, Kodak introduced cartridge-loading Super 8mm that eliminated the need to flip and rethread the film. Super 8 has 74 frames per foot and smaller sprocket holes, leaving more area for the image. It is used by both amateurs and professionals and has developed a following among experimental filmmakers. Many well-known cinematographers and directors began their careers using Super 8. Click here to learn more, courtesy of Wikipedia. See also: 35mm film.

16mm film
A gauge of motion picture film, 16 millimeters wide from edge to edge, with perforations along one edge and space for a sound track along the other (silent 16mm film has perforations on both sides). Introduced by Kodak in 1923 as a safe, nonflammable alternative for the amateur and educational (documentary) markets, 16mm film is the gauge most commonly found in the collections of American archives, libraries, and museums. Used extensively for military training films during World War II, it has 40 frames per foot and one perforation per frame. Sound 16mm film is shot and projected at a speed of 24 frames per second; silent 16mm at 16 frames per second. Introduced in 1971, Super 16mm is a negative-only film with a frame area 40 percent greater than regular 16mm, enlarged to 35mm in processing. Because 16mm cameras and projectors are portable and easy to operate, early enthusiasts formed cine clubs to share their work and exchange information. Many 16mm users switched to videotape in the 1970s when portable video equipment became widely available. The Ann Arbor Film Festival still features 16mm films. Click here to learn more, courtesy of Wikipedia. See also: 8mm film.

24/7 reference
Library reference services that are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for example, the QuestionPoint online collaborative reference service from OCLC.

35mm film
A gauge of motion picture film, 35 millimeters wide from edge to edge, with perforations on both sides. Used by Thomas Edison in his Kinetoscope, a personal film viewer patented in 1887 and introduced at the Brooklyn Institute of Arts in 1893, 35mm film was originally made by cutting 70mm Eastman Kodak roll film in half down the center. It eventually became the standard gauge for the theatrical motion picture industry. With the introduction of sound in 1929, the frame was squared to allow space for the sound track, but the more visually pleasing rectangular frame was soon restored by reducing frame size. 35mm sound film has 16 frames per foot, 6 perforations per inch, and is shot and projected at a speed of 24 frames per second. Because 35mm film is expensive to use and the cameras and projectors are too bulky and heavy to be portable, Kodak developed smaller gauge films (16mm and 8mm) for the amateur and educational markets. Click here to learn more about 35mm film, courtesy of Wikipedia.

70mm film
A gauge of high-resolution motion picture film, introduced in the 1950s, which measures 65mm from edge to edge in the camera. On prints intended for projection, 2.5mm is added along each side to accommodate magnetic stripes capable of holding 6 tracks of surround sound. Each frame has 5 perforations on each side, with an aspect ratio of 2.2:1. Well-known theatrical 70mm films include 2001: Space Odyssey, Lawrence of Arabia, and My Fair Lady. IMAX 70mm films, shot on 65mm film with the frames positioned lengthwise, have no sound tracks on the projection print; instead, synchronized digital sound is played separately. Click here to learn more about 70mm film, courtesy of Wikipedia.

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.

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.

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.

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.

In medieval manuscripts, abbreviations were often used to save time and space, and readers of the time would have been familiar with them. Michelle Brown notes in Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts (Getty Museum/British Library, 1994) that Irish scribes relied on them extensively in copying pocket-size Gospel books used for study.

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.

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.

aberrant date
In archives, a date that falls outside the chronological sequence of dates pertaining to the majority of the documents in the record unit described (Richard Pearce-Moses, A Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology, Society of American Archives).

aboutness
The totality of subjects explicitly or implicitly addressed in the text of a document, including but not limited to the meaning(s) of the title, the stated and unstated intentions of the author, and the ways in which the information may be used by readers. Levels of specificity must be considered in ascertaining the subject(s) of a work. In the case of the hypothetical title The Japanese Teamwork Approach to Improving High School Effectiveness, is the work about:

1. education?
2. educational effectiveness?
3. high school effectiveness?
4. teamwork?
5. a Japanese approach to teamwork?

As a general rule, catalogers and indexers assign the most specific subject headings that describe the significant content of the item. In a post-coordinate indexing system such as the one used in the ERIC database, the descriptors "Educational effectiveness," "High schools," "Japan," and "Teamwork" would probably be assigned to the example given above, but in a pre-coordinate system, such as the Library of Congress Subject Headings list, the appropriate headings might be "High schools--Japan," "Teacher effectiveness--Japan," and "Teaching teams--Japan." See also: summarization.

above the fold
The printed half of a broadsheet newspaper that appears higher on the page than the horizontal fold. Articles placed near the top have greater prominence because most languages are read from top to bottom of the writing surface.

Abridged Decimal Classification (ADC)
A logical truncation of the notational and structural hierarchy of the full edition of Dewey Decimal Classification, developed for general collections of 20,000 titles or less. Click here for more information, courtesy of OCLC.

abridgment
A shortened version or edition of a written work that preserves the overall meaning and manner of presentation of the original but omits the less important passages of text and usually any illustrations, notes, and appendices. Often prepared by a person other than the original author or editor, an abridged edition is generally intended for readers unlikely to purchase the unabridged version because of its length, complexity, or price (example: The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary). Also spelled abridgement. Abbreviated abr. Synonymous with condensation. Compare with simplified edition. See also: abstract, brief, digest, epitome, summary, and synopsis.

absenteeism
The failure of an employee to report for work, usually due to illness, accident, family responsibilities, or personal business. A persistently high rate of absenteeism may be a sign of low morale among the staff of a library or library system. See also: burnout.

absorbency
The capacity of paper to absorb and retain moisture, which varies with type of paper and is of particular importance in printing processes that use liquid ink. See also: water-damaged.

absorption
The incorporation of one serial by another. The note Absorbed: followed by the title of the assimilated serial is added to the bibliographic record representing the assimilating publication, and the corresponding note Absorbed by: followed by the title of the assimilating serial is added to the record for the assimilated publication. The absorbed title usually assumes the title and numbering of the assimilating publication. Compare with merger.

abstract
A brief, objective representation of the essential content of a book, article, speech, report, dissertation, patent, standard, or other work, presenting the main points in the same order as the original but having no independent literary value. A well-prepared abstract enables the reader to 1) quickly identify the basic content of the document, 2) determine its relevance to their interests, and 3) decide whether it is worth their time to read the entire document. An abstract can be informative, indicative, critical, or written from a particular point of view (slanted). Examples of the various types of abstracts can be seen in the Appendix of the ANSI/NISO Z39.14 Guidelines for Abstracts.

Length depends on the type of document abstracted and the intended use of the abstract. As a general rule, abstracts of long documents, such as monographs and theses, are limited to a single page (about 300 words); abstracts of papers, articles, and portions of monographs are no longer than 250 words; abstracts of notes and other brief communications are limited to 100 words; and abstracts of very short documents, such as editorials and letters to the editor, are about 30 words long. In a scholarly journal article, the abstract should appear on the first page, following the title and name(s) of author(s) and preceding the text. In a separately published document, the abstract should be placed between the title page and the text. In an entry in a printed indexing and abstracting service or bibliographic database, the abstract accompanies the citation. Because the abstract is a searchable field in most bibliographic databases, attention must be paid by the abstractor to the keywords included in it. Authorship of an abstract can be unattributed or indicated by name or initials. An author-supplied abstract is usually written by the author of the work abstracted. Compare with summary. See also: abstracting journal, author abstract, and structured abstract.

abstracting
The preparation of a brief, objective statement (abstract) of the content of a written work to enable the researcher to quickly determine whether reading the entire text might satisfy the specific information need. Abstracting is usually limited to the literature of a specific discipline or group of related disciplines and is performed by an individual or commercial entity, such as an indexing and abstracting service, that provides abstracts regularly to a list of subscribers.

abstracting and indexing (A&I)
A category of database that provides bibliographic citations and abstracts of the literature of a discipline or subject area, as distinct from a retrieval service that provides information sources in full-text.

abstracting journal
A journal that specializes in providing summaries (called abstracts) of articles and other documents published within the scope of a specific academic discipline or field of study (example: Peace Research Abstracts Journal). Synonymous with abstract journal. Compare with abstracting service.

abstracting service
A commercial indexing service that provides both a citation and a brief summary or abstract of the content of each document indexed (example: Information Science & Technology Abstracts). Numbered consecutively in order of addition, entries are issued serially in print, usually in monthly or quarterly supplements, or in a regularly updated bibliographic database available by subscription. Abstracting services can be comprehensive or selective within a specific academic discipline or subdiscipline. Compare with abstracting journal.

abstract live action
In moving images, a work that fragments or otherwise presents live objects in a manner that renders them non-representational (example: Text of Light [1974] by Stan Brakhage).

academic freedom
The principle that faculty members employed at institutions of higher education (including librarians with faculty status) should remain free to express their views and teach in the manner of their own choosing, without pressure or interference from administration, government, or any outside organization.

academic library
A library that is an integral part of a college, university, or other institution of postsecondary education, administered to meet the information and research needs of its students, faculty, and staff. In the United States, the professional association for academic libraries and librarians is the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), which publishes Standards for Libraries in Higher Education. For more information on academic libraries in the United States, see Academic Libraries: 2004, a report published in November 2006 by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Libweb provides a list of links to academic libraries in the United States by region and state. Compare with research library. See also: college library, departmental library, graduate library, undergraduate library, and university library.

academic status
Recognition given by an institution of higher education that the librarians in its employ are considered members of the teaching or research staff but are not entitled to ranks, titles, rights, and benefits equivalent to those of faculty. The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has published Guidelines for Academic Status for College and University Librarians (January 2007). Compare with faculty status.

Academy Award
An award given annually in the United States by the voting membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for excellence in motion picture performance and production. To qualify, a film must have opened in Los Angeles during the preceding calendar year. Nominees are announced in advance and the ceremony, hosted by a celebrity, is televised nationally. Awards are given in seven major categories: best picture (feature length), best director, best actor, best actress, best supporting actor, best supporting actress, and best foreign-language film. Awards are also given for animated and short films. Also called an "Oscar" for the nickname given to the golden trophy statuette received by each winner. See HowStuffWorks for more information about the Academy Awards. The Internet Movie Database provides a summary of past award winners. Click here to connect to the official Academy Awards Web site.

academy file
In archives, a series, often found in Congressional records, that includes applications for admission to one of the United States service academies, often accompanied by letters of recommendation from appropriate members of Congress. The academies include the Military Academy at West Point, the Naval Academy at Annapolis, the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, the Coast Guard Academy at Groton, and the Merchant Marine Academy at King's Point.

Academy format
The moving image format chosen by representatives of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, American Society of Cinematographers (ASC), Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), and American Projection Society to be the standard for 35mm film. Academy format for silent film had an aspect ratio of 4:3 or 1.33:1 (width to height of image). When sound film was introduced, the format changed to 1.37:1, which remained the international standard for about 25 years until widescreen was introduced (the image ratio remained 1.33:1 with an added area on one side for the sound track). Synonymous with Academy aperture.

Academy of Certified Archivists (ACA)
Founded in 1989 at the annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists, ACA is an independent, nonprofit professional organization that certifies individuals who meet specific standards and requirements for archival education, knowledge, and experience. To become a Certified Archivist, applicants must pass an examination given annually in conjunction with the annual meeting of the SAA and simultaneously at several announced sites and petitioned sites in the United States and Canada. Click here to connect to the ACA homepage.

acanthus
A stylized representation of the elegantly scalloped leaf-form of Acanthus spinosus, a species of Mediterranean herbaceous plant with thick, fleshy leaves, used in Antiquity to ornament Corinthian capitals and later as a decorative motif in medieval art, especially in the borders and initial letters of illuminated manuscripts, often painted in unrealistic colors (red, yellow, blue, purple) in combination with small images of flowers, birds, insects, and animals. Click here to see acanthus borders in a 15th-century Flemish Book of Hours, courtesy of Special Collections, Glasgow University Library, (Sp Coll MS Euing 3). Another variation on the style can be seen in this 15th-century version of Saint George and the Dragon (Getty Museum, MS 2). Compare with rinceaux.

accelerated aging test
A laboratory procedure used by archivists and special collections librarians to estimate the rate at which a material (film, paper, ink, etc.) will deteriorate in storage, to facilitate prediction of its life expectancy. According to the Society of American Archivists, such tests are often based on the Arrhenius function, which assumes that materials age in a predictable manner relative to temperature. However, such tests may be of limited usefulness because degree of permanence is influenced by conditions of storage, which vary widely. Also, empirical verification of the accuracy of accelerated aging tests requires experiments conducted over a number of years.

acceptable use policy (AUP)
Guidelines established by a library or library system concerning the manner in which its computer systems and equipment may be used by patrons and staff; for example, most public and academic libraries prohibit the use of library computers for private commercial or unlawful activities. In most libraries, a printed copy of acceptable use policy is posted near the workstations to which restrictions apply. Some libraries make their policy statement available electronically at log on, and users may be required assent by clicking on a small box or icon before access is granted. Synonymous with Internet use policy.

access
The right of entry to a library or its collections. All public libraries and most academic libraries in the United States are open to the general public, but access to certain areas such as closed stacks, rare books, and special collections may be restricted. In a more general sense, the right or opportunity to use a resource that may not be openly and freely available to everyone. See also: accessibility.

In computing, the privilege of using a computer system or online resource, usually controlled by the issuance of access codes to authorized users. In a more general sense, the ability of a user to reach data stored on a computer or computer system. See also: open access and perpetual access.

access code
An identification code, such as a username, password, or PIN, which a user must enter correctly to gain access to a computer system or network. In most proprietary systems, access codes are tightly controlled to exclude unauthorized users. Synonymous with authorization code.

access copy
A copy of a motion picture on film, videotape, DVD, or some other medium, used for public service (viewing, circulation, etc.), as opposed to a copy used for preservation or a master used for duplication. Similarly, a copy of a photograph or other document made in any format for normal daily use, to protect the original from wear and accidental damage. Synonymous with use copy.

Also, a digital object, typically a graphic image, scaled down from a high quality original to a lower quality (often smaller) version to facilitate transmission over networks of low bandwidth.

accessibility
The ease with which a person may enter a library, gain access to its online systems, use its resources, and obtain needed information regardless of format. In a more general sense, the quality of being able to be located and used by a person. In the Web environment, the quality of being usable by everyone regardless of disability. See the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).

In information storage and retrieval, the manner in which a computer system retrieves records from a file, which usually depends on the method of their arrangement in or on the storage medium.

accession
To record in an accession list the addition of a bibliographic item to a library collection, whether acquired by purchase or exchange or as a gift. In automated libraries, the addition is usually recorded by enhancing a brief order record that is expanded in cataloging to become the full bibliographic record entered permanently in the catalog. Also refers to the material added. The process of making additions to a collection is known as accessions. The opposite of deaccession. Compare with acquisitions. See also: accession number and accession record.

In archives, the formal act of accepting and documenting the receipt of records taken into custody, part of the process of establishing physical and intellectual control over them. In the case of donated items, a deed of gift may be required to transfer legal title.

accession number
A unique number assigned to a bibliographic item in the order in which it is added to a library collection, recorded in an accession record maintained by the technical services department. Most libraries assign accession numbers in continuous numerical sequence, but some use a code system to indicate type of material and/or year of accession in addition to order of accession. See also: Library of Congress Control Number and OCLC control number.

accession order
The arrangement of books or other documents on shelves in the chronological and numerical order of their addition to a specific category or class, as opposed to an arrangement based entirely on a classification system.

accession record
A list of the bibliographic items added to a library collection in the order of their addition. Normally such a list includes the accession number, brief bibliographic identification, source, and price paid for each item. Synonymous with accession catalog, accession list, and accession register.

access level record
A standard catalog record, developed by the CONSER Program, that applies to all serials formats (digital as well as print), replacing existing multiple records and reducing serials cataloging costs by requiring in serials records only elements necessary to meet FRBR user tasks. The emphasis is on access points rather than elaborate and often redundant description (click here to learn more). The Library of Congress plans to implement access level MARC/AACR records (click here for more information).

access point
A unit of information in a bibliographic record under which a person may search for and identify items listed in the library catalog or bibliographic database. Access points have traditionally included the main entry, added entries, subject headings, classification or call number, and codes such as the standard number, but with machine-readable cataloging, almost any portion of the catalog record (name of publisher, type of material, etc.) can serve as an access point. In the MARC record, most access points are found in the following fields (with XX in the range of 00-99):

1XX - Main entries
4XX - Series statements
6XX - Subject headings
7XX - Added entries other than subject or series
8XX - Series added entries

In a more general sense, any unique data element that serves as a point of entry to an organized file of information. In files indexed with controlled vocabulary, an access point may be a preferred or nonpreferred term.

Also refers to a physical location where wireless access is available.

access policy
A formal written statement issued by the person(s) or body responsible for managing archives or special collections, specifying which materials are available for access and by whom, including any conditions or restrictions on use, usually posted or distributed by some method to users.

access services
The provision of access to a library's resources and collections, which includes the circulation of materials (general circulation, reserves, interlibrary loan, document delivery), reshelving, stack maintenance, security, and signage. Large libraries employ an access services librarian to manage these activities.

access time
The amount of time a computer takes to retrieve requested data from an electronic storage medium (hard drive, CD-ROM, remote server) to a user who follows correct procedures. In online retrieval, speed of Internet connection is an important factor, but even with a fast connection, access time may be slower during periods of peak use.

Access to Learning Award
An annual award sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and administered by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), given to a library, library agency, or comparable organization outside the United States for efforts to expand free public access to information, computers, and the Internet for all people through an existing innovative program. The winner receives US$1 million to expand its services. Applications are reviewed by an international advisory committee of librarians and information technology experts who make the final selection. The award is presented at the World Library and Information Congress, the annual meeting of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). Click here to learn more about the Access to Learning Award.

acclimatization
The process of allowing archival records and other materials to adapt to environmental changes (in temperature, humidity, etc.), especially when removed from cold storage for use at room temperature. Because materials can take hours to adapt to normal room temperature, the Society of American Archivists does not recommend cold storage as a practical solution for preserving frequently consulted items. Click here to learn about acclimatization of film, courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. Also spelled acclimatisation.

accompanying material
Related but physically distinct material issued with an item, for example, a floppy disk, CD-ROM, slide set, answer book, teacher's manual, atlas, or portfolio of prints or plates, intended by the publisher to be used and stored with it, often in a pocket inside the cover or loose inside the container. In AACR2, the presence of accompanying material is indicated in the physical description area of the bibliographic record. See also: dashed-on entry.

accordion fold
A method of folding a piece of paper (or several pieces pasted together edge to edge) in which each successive fold is parallel with, but in the opposite direction to, the preceding one. Click here to see a 14th-century Korean accordion-style manuscript of the Lotus Sutra on indigo-dyed mulberry paper (Metropolitan Museum of Art) and here to view an untitled early 19th-century example from Nepal (Library of Congress). See also this early 20th-century Thai manuscript in a lacquered cover (Cornell University Library). Synonymous with fan fold and z-fold. See also: Chinese style and concertina.

accountability
The extent to which persons in government and the workplace are held answerable for their conduct in office and for the quality of their performance of assigned duties, particularly when incompetence, dereliction, or malfeasance is at issue. See also: performance evaluation.

In the management of academic libraries, the use of assessment data to evaluate a library's effectiveness in achieving its educational mission, as a basis for continual improvement. See also: LibQUAL+ and Project SAILS.

account book
A blankbook, ruled or unruled, in which the details of transactions, usually financial, are recorded, often in the form of a ledger with columns tallied at the end of each day, week, month, or year to show the profitability of the enterprise. Account books can be a valuable source of historical information. Click here to see the manuscript account book of an 18th-century American tradesman, courtesy of the American Philosophical Society, and here to see a page from a 19th-century household account book (National Museum of American History). Compare with cash book.

accreditation
The voluntary nongovernmental evaluation process by which an educational or service organization regularly establishes that its programs, or the institution as a whole (or one of its schools or units), meets pre-established standards of quality and integrity. In higher education, accreditation is a collegial process based on self-assessment and peer evaluation for the improvement of academic quality and public accountability. In the United States, institutions of higher learning are evaluated by regional accrediting bodies. Evaluation of academic libraries is included in the institutional process. Graduate programs of library and information science are evaluated by the Committee on Accreditation (COA) of the American Library Association (ALA). Formal evaluation of individual competence is called certification. See also: accredited program and credential.

accreditation action
One of seven possible decisions by the Committee on Accreditation (COA) of the American Library Association (ALA) affecting the accreditation status of a library and information studies program under the Standards for Accreditation of Master's Programs in Library and Information Studies (2008), conveyed to the dean of the program and to the institution's chief executive officer in a formal Decision Document. The actions are:

Precandidacy granted - the program�s and institution�s commitment to achieving ALA accreditation is accepted
Candidacy granted - the program is ready to begin the two-year process culminating in the Program Presentation document, comprehensive review, and COA accreditation decision
Initially accredited - the program is accredited for the first time
Accreditation continued - the program continues to demonstrate conformity to ALA Standards (synonymous with Accredited)
Conditionally accredited - the program needs significant and immediate improvement to maintain conformity to ALA Standards
Accreditation withdrawn - the program is no longer accredited by the ALA, as of the date specified by the COA (an appeal may be filed)
Initial accreditation denied - the program or institution may file an appeal

The Committee on Accreditation may withdraw accreditation for serious lack of conformity to the Standards, for failure to participate in the evaluation process, or for not meeting financial obligations to the COA.

accredited program
In the United States, a professional degree program in library and information science, regularly evaluated by the Committee on Accreditation (COA) of the American Library Association (ALA) and found to meet or exceed pre-established standards of quality, as distinct from an approved program recognized or certified by a state board or educational agency as meeting its standards. Some approved programs are also ALA-accredited. See also: accreditation action and retroactive period of accreditation.

accumulation
In library collection development, the policy of acquiring as much of the published literature as possible on a subject, or in an academic discipline, usually in support of primary research in the field. The collections of large academic and research libraries typically reflect this priority, in contrast to public libraries, where weeding is done regularly on the basis of usage, and special libraries operating under constraints that require maintenance of the collection in a steady state. In archives, the accumulation of recurring records is often governed by a disposition schedule.

accuracy
The quality of correctness as to fact and of precision as to detail in information resources and in the delivery of information services. In libraries, it is essential that the resources used by librarians to provide reference service be free of error. Accuracy is also an important criterion in judging the reliability of information provided on the Internet. The accuracy of a statement is verified by consulting other sources that provide the same information. The opposite of inaccuracy (the quality of being incorrect or mistaken).

In cartography, a measure of the degree to which the coordinates of points shown on a map conform to actual survey coordinates. In a broader sense, the degree to which a value or set of values, either measured or calculated, approximates a specific standard for that value (Cartographic Materials; A Manual of Interpretation for AACR2, 2002 Revision, ALA, 2003).

acetate decay
The chemical deterioration of film that has an acetate plastic base, an autocatalytic process caused by moisture, heat, and high relative humidity. According to The Film Preservation Guide (National Film Preservation Foundation, 2004), decay occurs in five stages, accelerating at it progresses: (1) the film releases acetic acid, emitting a characteristic vinegar odor; (2) the film base begins to shrink, curling and warping along both dimensions (length and width); (3) the film loses flexibility; (4) the emulsion begins to crack (see crazing) and flake off; and (5) a white powder appears along the edges and surface of the film. Acetate decay cannot be reversed, only slowed by cold storage. The Image Permanence Institute (IPI) recommends freezing film in an advanced state of decay until the content can be evaluated for transfer to new film stock or copying in another medium. Synonymous with vinegar syndrome. Compare with nitrate decay. See also: A-D strip and molecular sieve.

acid barrier
A sheet of acid-free or buffered paper, or polyester film, placed loose between an acidic component of a book, such as a bookplate, and the adjacent leaf or board to prevent acid migration.

acid-free
Materials with a pH value of 7.0 (neutral) or higher (alkaline), preferred in printing and binding to prevent deterioration caused by acid over time. Acid-free papers are often buffered to counteract acids that may develop with age as a result of bleaching and sizing or be introduced through acid migration or atmospheric pollution. Synonymous with nonacidic.

acid-free paper
Paper that has a neutral or alkaline pH level (7.0 or higher) at the time of manufacture, commonly used for fine art prints, limited edition printing, and photo albums, and in the preservation of library materials. Lignin contained in wood pulp is the primary source of acid in paper and board. Acid-free paper is not necessarily permanent, but permanent papers are acid-free. See also: buffering.

acidic
Substances that have a pH value less than 7.0 (neutral). The main source of acid in paper products is lignin contained in wood used for pulp. Because acid causes the paper and board used in printing and binding to deteriorate over time, lignin is removed in all but the lowest-grade papers. A buffer such as calcium carbonate or magnesium carbonate may be added in papermaking to neutralize acids that develop or are introduced after the manufacture of paper. The opposite of alkaline. Compare with acid-free.

acid migration
The movement of acid from a material containing acid to one that is less acidic, pH neutral, or alkaline. The process can occur through direct contact or vapor transfer. One of the most common problems in document preservation is the migration of acid from the boards, endpapers, or paper covers of a book to the less acidic paper of the text block (or vice versa). Acid can also migrate from bookplates, inserts, tissues used in interleaving, and labels that are not acid-free. The result may be discoloration and eventual embrittlement (click here to see an example of acid migration from a newspaper clipping to the pages of a book, courtesy of the MIT Libraries). The process can be arrested by removing the contaminating material and subjecting the sheet(s) or volume to deacidification. Synonymous with acid transfer. See also: buffered paper.

acid paper
Paper that has a pH value less than 7.0 (neutral). The primary source of acid in paper is lignin, an organic substance contained in untreated wood pulp, but acid can also develop from the addition of certain types of size or from residual chlorine used in bleaching. It can also be introduced by acid migration or atmospheric pollution (sulfur dioxide). Because acidity weakens the cellulose in plant fiber, it can cause paper, board, and cloth to yellow and become brittle over time, making it an important factor in the preservation of printed materials. To ensure durability, publishers are encouraged to use acid-free permanent paper in printing trade books. Buffering helps neutralize acids that develop after manufacture. Acid can be removed from fiber-based materials by an expensive process called deacidification. The opposite of acid-free-paper.

acknowledgments
The section of the front matter of a book in which the author gives formal recognition to the contributions others have made to the work. The acknowledgments usually follow the preface or foreword and precede the introduction. Some authors include their acknowledgments in the preface. Also spelled acknowledgements. Compare with dedication.

acoustic hood
A soundproof covering or enclosure designed to be placed over a device such as a public telephone, photocopier, or computer printer, to reduce noise when it is in use (see this example).

acoustic recording
An early method of recording music by mechanical means (without electrical amplification) in which the master recording was made by grouping performers around a large metal acoustic horn, similar to the horn on a phonograph record player but larger (see this example). The horn channeled sound (acoustic energy) from voices and/or musical instruments through a diaphragm, causing it to vibrate. The vibration moved a stylus in a mechanical cutting lathe (usually located in another room), directly inscribing the signal as a modulated groove in the surface of a master cylinder or wax disc. Acoustic recording was replaced by electric recording in the early 1930s, following the invention and commercial introduction of the microphone, electric amplifier, mixing desk, and speaker. Electrical recording captures a wider range of frequencies (bass and treble) than acoustic recording. Some early acoustic recordings have been rereleased on compact disc (CD).

acquisition number
A unique number used by the acquisitions department of a library to identify a specific bibliographic item on a purchase order. Some libraries use a standard number such as the ISBN (International Standard Book Number) or ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) as the acquisition number.

acquisitions
The process of selecting, ordering, and receiving materials for library or archival collections by purchase, exchange, or gift, which may include budgeting and negotiating with outside agencies, such as publishers, dealers, and vendors, to obtain resources to meet the needs of the institution's clientele in the most economical and expeditious manner.

Also refers to the department within a library responsible for selecting, ordering, and receiving new materials and for maintaining accurate records of such transactions, usually managed by an acquisitions librarian. In small libraries, the acquisitions librarian may also be responsible for collection development, but in most public and academic libraries, this responsibility is shared by all the librarians who have an active interest in collection building, usually on the basis of expertise and subject specialization. For a more detailed description of the responsibilities entailed in acquisitions, please see the entry by Liz Chapman in the International Encyclopedia of Information and Library Science (Routledge, 2003). Click here to connect to AcqWeb, an online resource for acquisitions and collection development librarians. Compare with accession. See also: Acquisitions Section.

Acquisitions Section (AS)
Created in 1991, AS is the section of the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) within the American Library Association (ALA) charged with (1) promoting the effective acquisition of information resources in all formats, through purchase, lease, and other methods, in all types of institutions; (2) developing sound ethical, fiscal, and legal policies and procedures in acquisitions management, including relationships with suppliers; and (3) assessing and advancing awareness of the organization and role of the acquisitions function within the library and in relationships with other functional areas (purchasing, accounting, collection management, etc.). Click here to connect to the AS homepage.

acronym
A new name or word (neologism) that is pronounceable and hence memorable, coined from the first or first few letters or parts of a phrase or compound term (example: ERIC for Educational Resources Information Center). Acronym Finder(AF) is an example of an online acronym dictionary. Compare with abbreviation and initialism. See also: anacronym.

acrostic
A verse or list of words composed in such a way that certain letters of each line (usually the first and/or last), when read in order of appearance, spell a word, phrase, or sentence. An abecedarius is an acrostic in which the pattern consists of the letters of the alphabet in traditional order. An acrostic can be single, double, or triple, depending on how many words in each line are composed in this way. As a matter of policy, newspaper and magazine editors routinely check verses for acrostics prior to publication to avoid embarrassment. The following well-known example is an all-around acrostic in Latin:

S A T O R
A R E P O
T E N E T
O P E R A
R O T A S

act
One of the major divisions in the action of a play, usually marked by the dropping of the curtain and followed by an intermission. In modern drama, most plays are divided into three acts, which may be further subdivided into scenes. See also: one-act play.

Also refers to a piece of legislation (a bill) after it has been passed into law (example: Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998). Click here to view an early American printing of the Stamp Act of 1765, courtesty of the Lilly Library at Indiana University.

Acta Diurna
A daily gazette published in ancient Rome from the period of the late Republic onward, devoted primarily to matters of state (official events, public speeches, legal proceedings, public building projects, major military actions) and announcements of births, marriages, and deaths. It also contained news of unusual occurrences (earthquakes, strange accidents, portents) and information about the private lives of prominent persons (scandals, divorces, lawsuits). The text was posted on public buildings, and copies were made for wealthy Romans living in the city and provinces or away temporarily on public business. The actuarii responsible for gathering the news were sometimes misled by persons intent on manipulating commodity markets and political events for personal gain. Surviving fragments, preserved in the writings of Petronius, read very much like a modern newspaper.

acting edition
An edition of a play intended for the use of actors and others directly involved in theater production, which includes fuller stage directions (entrances, exits, stage properties, etc.) than one intended for reading, usually published in limp paper covers and priced lower than other editions of the work. Compare with script.

active records
Records required by an agency or individual to function effectively on a daily basis, usually kept close at hand, organized to render them readily accessible. Synonymous with current records. The opposite of inactive records. See also: intermediate records.

activity book
A book designed to engage the user in a pursuit other than (or in addition to) reading, for example, an instruction manual for science or craft projects, or a volume containing puzzles or word games. Some children's activity books are oversize. Libraries select judiciously, avoiding formats that require the reader to fill in the blanks or otherwise alter the physical state of the item. When an activity book is part of a kit, its presence is indicated in the physical description area of the bibliographic record.

activity card
A card or set of cards printed with symbols, words, numerals, and/or pictures intended for use by an individual or group in performing a specific action (or set of actions) or in following a pursuit. Compare with flash card. See also: game and kit.

activity log
A written record of things done during a given period of time, usually listed in the order accomplished, often used in analyzing time management.

actuality
A nonfiction motion picture (documentary), usually of very short length, made prior to 1910 to demonstrate the technological advance of moving images over still photography. Most examples capture familiar scenes of everyday life (people, places, and events) with authenticity but, in some instances, a bit of manipulation. Exotic novelties borrowed from 19th-century commercial photography were also popular. The earliest public venues were nickelodeons--peep show parlors with machines that played short film loops. By the turn of the century, "movies" were being shown in store-front theaters and traveling carnivals. During the first decade of the 20th century, when they also began to be projected in vaudeville and burlesque theaters, the growing popularity of the fiction film eclipsed the actuality, which peaked in 1903. Click here to learn more about actualities and view examples, courtesy of the American Memory project of the Library of Congress.

adaptation
A work that has been edited or rewritten, in part or in its entirety, for a new use, audience, or purpose. Also, a work converted to another literary form or artistic medium to serve a different or related purpose, while retaining as much of the action, characters, language, and tone of the original as possible, for example, a novel or story adapted for performance on the stage (see these examples), a play adapted for the motion picture screen, or an engraving based on a painting. In AACR2, adaptations of texts are cataloged under the name of the adapter, or under the title if the adapter is unknown, with a name-title added entry for the original work. Abbreviated adapt.

In music, a work that is a distinct alteration of another musical work (for example, a free transcription), or that paraphrases parts of various works or imitates the style of another composer, or that is somehow based on another musical work (AACR2). Cataloging follows the practice used for texts. See also: arrangement.

adaptive technology
Systems, devices, and software specifically designed to make library materials and services more accessible to people with physical and/or cognitive disabilities, including large print books, closed captioned videorecordings, Braille signage, voice amplification devices, screen magnification and screen reading software, voice recognition software, etc. Some libraries have found focus groups helpful in selecting adaptive technologies. Synonymous with assistive technology. See also: alt tag.

added charge
A further charge made by a publisher or vendor against a subscriber's account after initial payment has been received, usually to cover (1) an increase in the subscription price that occurs after billing, before the order is processed; (2) publication of additional volumes; or (3) fluctuations in currency exchange rates. The charge is made in the form of a supplemental invoice.

added copy
A copy of an item already owned by a library, added to the collection usually when demand warrants. Compare with duplicate.

added edition
An edition of a work added to a library collection, which is not the same as editions of the same title already owned by the library.

added entry
A secondary entry, additional to the main entry, usually under a heading for a joint author, illustrator, translator, series, or subject, by which an item is represented in a library catalog (AACR2). See also: name-title added entry and tracings.

added title page
A title page preceding or following the one used by the cataloger as the chief source of information in creating the bibliographic description of an item. It may be more general, as in a series title page, or of equivalent generality, as in a title page in another language (AACR2).

addendum
Brief printed matter, less extensive than a supplement or appendix, included in a book or other publication after the work has been typeset because it is considered essential to the meaning or completeness of the text, usually printed separately on a slip of paper tipped in at the beginning or end of the text. Plural: addenda. Compare with errata.

additional volume
An extra volume issued by the publisher of a serial, not included in the original publication schedule for the title, for which an added charge may be made against the customer's account, on a supplemental invoice.

add note
A brief note in the Dewey Decimal Classification schedules instructing the cataloger to append to a given base number one or more numerals found elsewhere in the classification in order to build a class number. For example, the instruction to "add to base number 027.1 (private and family libraries) notation from 1-9 from Table 2, e.g., family libraries in the United Kingdom 027.141."

address
In computing, a character or set of characters used to identify a specific location in main memory or peripheral storage, usually for the purpose of accessing stored data. See also: Internet address.

Also, a written or spoken speech, especially a formal discourse in which the speaker's comments on an important issue or event are directed to a known audience (examples: President George Washington's first Inaugural Address and Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address). A funeral address is a tribute delivered, sometimes by a close associate or admirer, at the formal ceremony honoring a person after death. The address at Lincoln's burial was delivered by the Reverend Matthew Simpson.

adhesive
A substance applied to a material to make it stick to another surface by chemical or mechanical action. Gummed adhesives require moisture to be effective. Solid at room temperatures, hot-melt adhesives liquefy when heated and set up quickly as they cool. Some types of adhesive are pressure-sensitive. Various kinds of adhesives are used extensively in binding and by libraries in technical processing. In document conservation, adhesives are often selected for their reversibility. See also: adhesive binding, glair, glue, paste, and polyvinyl acetate.

adhesive binding
A generic term for binding methods in which the leaves are held together by a strong adhesive applied directly to the back of the text block, usually done after the binding edge is milled but sometimes after the sections are sewn. The most commonly used adhesives are animal glues, hot-melts, and polyvinyl acetate (PVA). Click here to see an example of adhesive binding. Synonymous with threadless binding and unsewn binding. Compare with non-adhesive binding. See also: caoutchouc binding, double-fan adhesive binding, notched binding, Otabind, perfect binding, and two-shot binding.

adhesive tape
Tape manufactured with a sticky backing. It should be avoided when mending torn paper because the adhesives used on most brands stain with age, and it can be difficult to remove, causing permanent damage to library materials (see this example).

ad hoc
Latin for "to this," used to indicate that something was created or exists for the particular purpose in view at the moment. Also refers to something organized for a specific purpose, for example, an ad hoc committee elected or appointed to address a specific issue or handle an unanticipated contingency, usually dissolved once the need has been met.

adjunct
A librarian employed part-time in an academic library at an institution that grants librarians faculty status. At some institutions, an adjunct employed less than half-time may not be eligible for benefits. Synonymous with part-time faculty.

ad loc.
An abbreviation of the Latin phrase ad locum, meaning "at the place [cited]."

administration
The range of activities normally associated with the management of a government agency, organization, or institution, such as a library or library system. Also refers collectively to the persons responsible for such activity, from director to secretary. See also: library administration.

administrative history
In archives, the part of a finding aid that provides pertinent information concerning the records it lists and describes, such as the history and organizational structure of the agency (or group of related agencies) that generated them, or significant details of the life and career of the individual or family with which they are associated, usually in the form of a biographical note.

administrative metadata
Data about an information resource primarily intended to facilitate its management, for example, information about how and when a document or digital object was created, the person or entity responsible for controlling access to and archiving its content, any restrictions on access or use, and any control or processing activities performed in relation to it. Compare with descriptive metadata and structural metadata. The concept of administrative metadata is subdivided into:

Rights metadata - facilitates management of legal rights in a resource (copyright, licenses, permissions, etc.)
Preservation metadata - facilitates management of processes involved in ensuring the long-term survival and usability of a resource
Technical metadata - documents the creation and characteristics of digital files

Adobe Acrobat
A document exchange program created by Adobe Systems that allows data files created on one software platform (DOS, Windows, Macintosh, etc.) to be displayed and printed on another without loss of text formatting. This capability is particularly important in communication over the Internet, which interconnects computers of all types and sizes. Adobe Systems sells the software required to create or convert documents to its Portable Document Format (PDF) but does not charge users for the software needed to read PDF documents. The Acrobat Reader program can be downloaded directly from the company Web site at: www.adobe.com. See also: plug-in.

adopt a book
A library program in which a person, often a library patron, agrees to donate a modest sum (usually a fixed amount) to help cover the cost of conserving a book or other bibliographic item that is deteriorating from age or overuse. Click here to learn about the British Library's Adopt a Book program. The University of Leeds Library uses a commemorative bookplate to record the adoption. At some public libraries in the United States, the program is designed to supplement funding for collection development (click here to see an example). Also spelled adopt-a-book.

adoption
An agreement that a specific textbook will be used for teaching purposes in a state-supported educational institution (school, college, or university). Government approval is required for textbook adoptions in the public schools in many states in the U.S. (see this example).

A-D strip
A type of dye-coated paper strip manufactured by the Image Permanence Institute (IPI) for detecting and measuring the severity of acetate decay ("vinegar syndrome") in film collections. The strips are indicators that change color in the presence of acetic acid vapor released in the chemical deterioration of acetate base films. They provide an objective means of documenting the extent of decay and deciding when motion picture film, microfilm, or still picture film needs to be duplicated for preservation. Sold in packages of 250, they come with instructions and a color reference pencil. IPI received a Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1997 for developing A-D strips. Click here to learn more about them, courtesy of the IPI.

adult
A fully grown, mentally competent person of sufficient age to be considered capable of making mature decisions and held legally accountable for the consequences of his (or her) actions. Libraries operate on the assumption that adult patrons are capable of deciding independently what they wish to read and borrow. Although the parent is responsible for supervising the actions of his or her child, it is appropriate for a librarian to provide guidance to users of all ages in the selection of materials suitable to their age level and interests, if asked to do so. Older adults often have special needs that must be met through outreach. See also: readers' advisory.

adult content
Material in digital or print format, considered by some to be unsuitable for children, usually because it contains sexually explicit text and/or images, graphic depictions of violence, or frank discussions of gender identity or sexual preference. In August 2005, American Libraries reported that a state statute was enacted in Utah on March 21, 2005 establishing an Adult Content Registry of legal Web sites deemed harmful to minors, to be compiled and maintained by the Utah State Attorney General's Office. Internet users may request that a service provider block sites on the Registry or offer filtering software. ISPs that do not comply face criminal misdemeanor charges and a fine of up to $10,000 for each day that listed material is not blocked. On June 9, 2005, a group of 14 Utah bookstores, Internet service providers, and free-speech groups filed suit in the U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City challenging the constitutionality of the new law. Among the plaintiffs are the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Utah, the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF), and the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. See also: adult content filter.

adult content filter
Software designed to block retrieval over on the Internet of material considered unsuitable for children (violence, sexually explicit text and images, etc.). The constitutionality of laws requiring the use of such filters in libraries is a subject of debate in the United States. Most image search engines include a default adult content filter that the user can turn off. Synonymous with mature content filter. See also: Children's Internet Protection Act.

adult education
Courses designed specifically for adults who have spent their lives outside the system of formal higher education. Because nontraditional students often lack the library skills of students who follow a traditional course of study, they may require more assistance at the reference desk and a more basic level of bibliographic instruction.

adult learner
A person older than traditional college age who pursues an independent, organized course of study, usually without the benefit of formal instruction at an established educational institution. When enrolled as a nontraditional student at a college or university, such a person may require reference services and bibliographic instruction at a more basic level than traditional students.

adult services
Materials, services, and programs intended to meet the needs of the adult users of a public library, as opposed to those designed for children and young adults, for example, information on tax or resume preparation. See also: readers' advisory.

advance copy
A copy of a book or other publication bound in advance of the normal press run to enable the publisher to check that all is in order before binding of the edition proceeds. Advance copies are also sent to booksellers, book club selection committees, and reviewers before the announced publication date, sometimes unbound or in a binding other than the publisher's binding, often with a review slip laid in. Copies sent unbound are known as advance sheets. Synonymous with early copy. Compare with reading copy and review copy.

advance on royalty
A non-refundable sum paid by the publisher to the author(s) of a new book prior to its publication against the royalties it is expected to earn, usually offered as an inducement to sign a book contract. When actual royalties exceed the advance, additional earnings are paid out according to the terms of the publisher's agreement. Synonymous with author's advance. See also: unearned advance.

advance order
An order placed for a new book prior to its date of publication, usually in response to prepublication promotion. The number of copies ordered in advance may assist the publisher in determining the size of the first printing, the price, and how much to spend on advertising.

adventure
In literature and film, a fiction genre in which the hero undertakes a difficult venture of uncertain issue, usually in an exotic setting, often culminating in a hazardous chase or decisive physical struggle. Character development is usually minimal. Adventure appeals to a predominantly male audience. Subgenres include the spy/espionage novel, tales of political intrigue or terrorism, thrillers, survival stories, and male romance (example: Kim by Rudyard Kipling). Adventure stories are often published in series featuring a series hero (example: the Horatio Hornblower novels of C.S. Forester). If the hero is a swaggering ruffian, the tale is known as a swashbuckler. See also: romance and western.

advertisement
A public notice of the availability of goods or services through purchase, subscription, or other commercial means, commonly appearing in newspapers and magazines and on broadsides, handbills, posters, etc. In magazines, the word "Advertisement" may appear at the head of the page to distinguish advertising from editorial content. In binding, stacked advertising in issues of a periodical may be removed to reduce bulk. See also: advertorial.

advertorial
Advertising text written in editorial style and format. To avoid confusion, most magazine publishers add the word "Advertisement" to the running head. See also: infomercial.

adverts
Advertisements bound into a book, usually at the end of the back matter. Click here to see an example following the title page in a late 18th-century edition (University of Pittsburgh Libraries). Abbreviated ads or advrts.

advice book
A form of literature for women that provided practical and philosophical guidance on the domestic skills required in everyday life, such as etiquette, household management, cooking, gardening, childcare, family health and recreation, and female employment, often written from the perspective of a parent, Christian minister, or other authority, rather than from a feminist point of view. Beginning with The English Housewife by Gervase Markham, published in 1615, such works conveyed the code of behavior considered appropriate for women in society up to the early 20th century. Examples can be seen in the online exhibitions Defining Her Life: Advice Books for Women (University of Delaware Library) and The Making of a Homemaker (Smithsonian Institution Libraries). A precursor of the how-to book and self-help book. Synonymous with conduct book.

advisory service
A periodical publication, usually issued weekly, biweekly, or monthly in print or online, providing research, statistical analysis, and guidance on financial investments (stocks, bonds, options, mutual funds, etc.), for example, The Value Line Investment Survey, published weekly since 1936 by Value Line, Inc. Libraries often store current issues of a print advisory service in loose-leaf bindings to facilitate updating.

advocacy
Concerted action taken in support of libraries, particularly political action aimed at securing adequate funding for library operations and capital improvements, which may include lobbying legislators and government officials, organizing voter rallies, securing media coverage, etc. The most effective advocacy campaigns are often based on an action plan. Thomas J. Hennen, Jr., recommends "10 Rules for Local Advocacy" in the article Stand Up for Libraries in the June/July 2005 issue of American Libraries. The American Library Association (ALA) maintains an Issues & Advocacy Web site. The Advocacy Institute offers workshops at ALA annual and midwinter conferences to help train participants in advocacy skills and strategies. See also: Americans for Libraries Council and library advocate.

a.e.g.
An abbreviation of all edges gilt. See: gilt edges.

a.e.m.
An abbreviation of all edges marbled. Marbling applied to the fore-edge and the top and bottom edges of a volume (see this example).

aerial photograph
A detailed photographic image of the surface of the earth (or another celestial body) taken from the air downwards, vertically or at a predetermined angle from the vertical, usually from a passing aircraft or satellite, for use in mapping, reconnaissance, exploration, etc. In a vertical aerial photograph, the shot is taken downward with the camera axis as close to vertical as possible, producing an image that lies approximately in a horizontal plane (click here to see an example). An oblique aerial photograph is taken with the axis of the camera directed between the vertical and horizontal planes (see this example). A high oblique aerial photograph shows the horizon line and a low oblique aerial photograph does not (camera angle usually less than 45 degrees from the vertical). Click here to see the various types of aerial photographs illustrated. Aerial photographs must be rectified to eliminate displacement and distortions before they can be used in mapping.

Libraries catalog aerial photographs as cartographic materials. Click here to connect to the historic Illinois Air Photo Imagebase maintained by the Grainger Engineering Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. See also: orthophotograph, photomap, photomosaic, quad-centered photograph, and remote sensing image.

aeronautical chart
A chart prepared specifically for aerial navigation, showing essential topographic features, known obstructions, navigational aids, and other information of interest to aircraft pilots, such as airport name and 3-letter designator, control tower radio frequency, field elevation, length of longest runway, etc. Aeronautical charts are generally produced in several series, each on a specified map projection and differing in scale, format, and content, for use as dictated by type of aircraft and whether the flight is to be conducted under visual or instrument flight rules (Glossary of Cartographic Terms, Perry-Castañeda Library). Click here and here to see examples at different scales.

affidavit
A sworn statement made by an individual voluntarily in writing, especially under oath or on affirmation before an authorized magistrate or notary public as to the truth of its contents (see this example).

affiliate
A separately administered organization closely connected with another by formal agreement and mutual interest, for example, the various organizations affiliated with American Library Association (ALA). Also refers to the process of forming such a link. See also: affiliated library.

affiliated library
A library that is, by formal agreement, part of a larger library system but administered independently by its own board or management structure. Medical and law libraries at large universities often fall into this category. Compare with branch library.

affirmative action
An active effort, begun in the late 1960s, to enhance opportunities in the United States for minority groups and women, through federal regulations and programs intended to counteract bias and discrimination in government employment and contracting and in admissions to state-supported educational institutions. Most publicly supported libraries in the United States are affirmative action employers. The legality of affirmative action has been called into question by individuals and political groups who believe that legislating equality discourages initiative and results in reverse discrimination. See also: diversity.

African American Studies Librarians Section (AFAS)
The section of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) devoted to librarianship and collection development as it relates to African American studies; to the ongoing evaluation and discussion of research in African American studies; and to resource sharing, archival materials, bibliographic control, retrospective collecting, electronic information retrieval, and oral history as they relate to the field. Click here to connect to the AFAS homepage.

afterword
A brief passage or essay, usually written by the author, appearing at the end of a work as explanation or, in a special edition, as commentary on the work's reception. In a collection, the editor(s) may include an afterword to tie together or sum up the main themes developed in the selected works. Compare with epilogue.

against the grain
A popular expression meaning "contrary to natural inclination" originally used in the printing trade to refer to machine-made paper folded across the grain of its fibers. In book production, sheets are printed with the grain running from top to bottom of the leaves, allowing them to flex easily lengthwise after they are bound. When folded with the grain, paper tears easily and cleanly along the fold. When folded across the grain, it cracks and leaves a ragged edge when torn.

Against the Grain (ATG)
A bimonthly journal providing news about libraries, publishers, book jobbers, and subscription agents, with reports on the issues, literature, and people affecting books and journals. ISSN: 1043-2094. Click here to connect to the ATG homepage.

agate
A naturally occurring stone, composed of a form of silica similar to chalcedony, usually light in color with darker bands of brown, purple, or pink, shaped and polished for use as a burnishing tool, to impart a reflective sheen to gold and other metal leaf in the edge gilding of books, raised gilding in manuscripts, and gilding of paintings and picture frames. When mounted in a handle, such a tool is known as a "dog tooth" (see these modern examples in various shapes). Click here to see an agate burnisher in use.

agency
For archival purposes, any commercial enterprise, organization, institution, or other corporate body that creates and manages records of its business, activities, or affairs. In very large organizations, subordinate units (sections, departments, offices) may function as separate agencies. In a more general sense, any person (agent) or organization that has the authority to perform a specific function, for example, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). See also: government agency.

agency-assigned data element
In library cataloging, a data element in the MARC record whose content is determined by a designated agency and is the responsibility of that agency, for example, field 222 (Key Title) which is the responsibility of an ISSN Center. Although this type of data element is usually input by the designated agency, it may be transcribed by another organization. (MARC 21 Concise Formats)

agenda
A list of topics or issues to be discussed at a meeting, sometimes solicited from prospective attendees in advance by the person who calls or chairs the meeting. It is customary to distribute the agenda before the meeting begins, to allow attendees time to prepare. A hidden agenda is a goal or intention consciously or unconsciously concealed, usually to gain the advantage of surprise, a tactic that often backfires when unsuspecting persons discover that they have been manipulated.

agent
An individual or company that acts as middleman between a library or library system and a publisher in the purchase of materials, for example, a subscription service such as EBSCO that manages periodical subscriptions for client libraries. See also: literary agent.

aggregator
A bibliographic service that provides online access to the digital full-text of periodicals published by different publishers. Because aggregator databases can be very large, tracking their coverage is not an easy task for serials librarians. A task group of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) is working on standards for analytic catalog records for serials titles available electronically from aggregator services. Currently, the top two journal aggregators in the United States are EBSCO and ProQuest. Recently, EBSCO has been building market share by offering higher up-front payments to secure exclusivity from the publishers of certain journals. The effects of this competitive practice on libraries and the end-user are as yet unclear.

aggregator-neutral record
A bibliographic record describing the online version of a serial publication, containing information applicable to all versions distributed by all providers, regardless of whether the serial has a print counterpart or was born digital. In July 2003, CONSER abandoned its earlier policy of creating a separate record for each aggregation, focusing instead on providing a single bibliographic description for an electronic serial issued in multiple aggregations. Although nothing in the record specifically indicates that it is aggregator-neutral, multiple URLs may be included in the record for packages containing the complete serial. OCLC is engaged in converting existing bibliographic records for electronic serials to the new practice. Click here to learn more about CONSER policy on aggregator-neutral records.

AIMRAD
An acronym for abstract, introduction, materials and methods, results, and discussion, the standard structure used in writing research articles for publication in scientific and medical journals. Some have argued that a "C" should be added to the end for "conclusions." Synonymous with IMRAD.

air
Publisher's slang for the amount of white space on a printed page. Compare with blank.

airbrush work
A painting or graphic work created with a tool that uses compressed air to atomize paint, ink, or dye into tiny droplets, allowing the artist to achieve a smooth blending of colors on paper or canvas (see this example). Most airbrushes are operated by means of a trigger or lever that controls the flow of paint through a small nozzle (example). Demos can be seen in YouTube.

air drying
The drying of wet books and paper records by exposing them to circulating air, a method appropriate for items that are only damp or partially wet (for example, along the edges). To discourage the growth of mold, the Northeast Document Conservation Center recommends that the drying room be kept below 70 degrees F., with relative humidity below 50 percent. If the edges are only slightly wet, a book may be stood on end and fanned open in the direction of a circulating air current (electric fans are often used). In an air-conditioned room maintained at constant relative humidity of 25-35 percent and temperature in the range of 50-65 degrees F., books with wet edges will dry in about two weeks. To minimize distortion of the edges, the volume should be placed flat under pressure just before drying is completed.

For wetter books, the NEDCC recommends repeated interleaving with paper towels or clean, unprinted newsprint every few pages and placing clean blotter paper inside the front and back covers. The book should then be closed gently and stood on several sheets of absorbent paper. Each time the interleaving is changed, the volume should be turned from head to tail or vice versa. Books must be completely dry before reshelving to prevent the spread of mold. Completely soaked books should be frozen and vacuum dried to minimize cockling of leaves and distortion of text block and binding. Vacuum freeze drying is also recommended for books printed on coated paper because the leaves adhere when wet, producing a condition known as blocking as the text block dries.

airplay
Broadcast of a commercially available audiorecording or audiovisual recording over radio or television. Amount of radio airplay is measured and reported on charts, to rank the popularity of new releases.

air pollution
Particulate and gaseous air contaminants (sulfur dioxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and chlorides) are ubiquitous, especially in urban areas where industry and transportation are heaviest. Difficult and expensive to control, airborne pollutants affect the condition of books by interacting with impurities in paper and with unfavorable climatic conditions to further degrade a book's components. One obvious symptom is discoloration around the edges of the leaves. Some materials (cellulose acetate, cellulose nitrate, polyurethane magnetic tapes, natural rubbers, silver, certain dyes, etc.) are especially sensitive to air pollutants and require special conservation measures.

According to former Yale University conservator Jane Greenfield, levels inside a building are roughly half those found outside (The Care of Fine Books, Nick Lyons Books, 1988). Complete removal requires a ducted air-conditioning system. Room air cleaners with synthetic and fiberglass filters remove particulates; activated carbon filters eliminate gaseous pollutants. Electrostatic precipitators are not recommended because they release damaging ozone and facilitate the conversion of sulfur dioxide to sulfuric acid. Storing rare and valuable items in boxes or other protective covering can help minimize the effects of air pollution. Smoking should not be allowed near books because it introduces pollutants into the air. For more information, see Airborne Pollutants in Museums, Galleries, and Archives: Risk Assessment, Control Strategies, and Preservation Management (2004) by Jean Tétreault, published by the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI). Synonymous with atmospheric pollution.

airport fiction
Fictional works that sell particularly well at airport newsstands and roadside convenience stores because they do not make intellectual demands on the reader and are therefore enjoyable to read while travelling or on holiday. Published in paperback, often with the title boldly embossed on the front cover, airport novels are usually fairly long, but fast-paced and easy to read (see these examples). They provide distraction from the boredom and inconvenience of travel. See also: potboiler.

aisle
The space left unoccupied between two parallel bookcases or shelf ranges, or at right angles to a bank of ranges, to allow library patrons and staff to access the stacks. Minimum aisle width is 36 inches for fixed shelving in libraries open to the public in the United States. Some types of compact shelving allow staff or users to shift movable ranges, usually along tracks in the floor, opening aisles as needed. See also: cross aisle and range aisle.

a.k.a.
An abbreviation of also known as. See: allonym, eponym, pen name, and pseudonym.

ALA Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA)
A separate adjunct organization operating under bylaws approved by the governing Council of the American Library Association at the 2002 Midwinter Meeting, which allows the ALA to conduct activities prohibited under its current 501(c)(3) tax status. In the planning stages since 1996, the ALA-APA is a 501(c)(6) entity focused on postgraduate specialty certification, pay equity, and other activities aimed at improving the status of librarians and other library employees. Click here to connect to the ALA-APA homepage.

ALA character set
An informal name for the set of characters specified in MARC documentation for use in the MARC record, including the Latin alphabet, special characters, diacritics, 14 superscript characters, 14 subscript characters, and three Greek letters. Synonymous with USMARC character set. See also: ANSEL.

ALA Editions
Established in 1886, the Publishing Section of the American Library Association first evolved into ALA Books and Pamphlets, then into ALA Editions in 1993. Its roster of first editions includes Reference Books for Libraries (1902), Books for College Libraries (1967), Anglo-American Cataloging Rules (1967), and the Intellectual Freedom Manual (1974). Income from annual sales of over 100,000 copies of titles published by ALA Editions supports ALA's other programs. Publications currently available from ALA Editions are listed in its trade catalog. Click here to connect to the homepage of ALA Editions.

ALA Filing Rules
A set of guidelines for determining the order in which entries are to be filed in a library catalog, originally published by the American Library Association in 1942 under the title A.L.A. Rules for Filing Catalog Cards. Revised in 1967 to correspond with Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, the filing rules were expanded and published under the current title in 1980 to cover any form of bibliographic display (print, microform, digital, etc.) and any catalog code.

ALA Graphics
A marketing section of the American Library Association that sells posters, bookplates, bookmarks, T-shirts, and other graphic materials designed to promote libraries, literacy, and reading. ALA graphics can be ordered from a printed catalog or electronically from the ALA Online Store.

Alan Smithee credit
An official pseudonym, coined in 1968 for use in film credits by members of the Directors Guild of America (DGA), who wished to dissociate themselves from the official release of a film. A director dissatisfied with the final cut was entitled to use the pseudonym only after convincing members of a Guild panel that he or she had been denied creative control over the film. Use of the pseudonym was discontinued in 2000. See Wikipedi for a list of films with Smithee credits. Also spelled Allen Smithee and Alan Smythee.

a la poupée print
A color print made by inking separate areas of the same plate or block by hand with different colors, using cotton daubs known as a "dollies" (poupées in French), thereby avoiding the problem of register which bedevils multiple plate color printing. Click here to see an example by William Blake, courtesy of the University of Rochester. When ink is applied a la poupée over previously inked and wiped areas of the plate, a common hue is imparted to the resulting colors; so to keep colors clear and bright, the printmaker must start from a clean plate, inking each part in its own color.

album
A bound or loose-leaf book containing blank pages for mounting stamps, photographs, poems, quotations, newspaper clippings, or other memorabilia or for collecting autographs. Also, a book containing a collection of pictures, with or without accompanying text. Click here to view a leaf from a 17th-century Ottoman album containing drawings done in ink on paper, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. See also: album amicorum and record album.

album amicorum
Latin for "book of friends." A personal album containing memorabilia contributed by the owner's family and close friends (inscriptions, original poems and songs, allegorical emblems, heraldic devices, sketches of contemporary scenes, etc.). Precursor of the modern autograph book, this type of volume originated in Germany in the 16th century and was fashionable among university students and scholars who traveled from place to place in the course of their careers. Some contain illustrations contributed by the signatories and occasionally more professional artwork commissioned in a manner similar to the illumination of preceding centuries. Click here to view a page of illustration from a late 16th-century Dutch example, courtesy of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. The 195 contributions in the album amicorum of Egbert Philip van Visvliet (1736-1799) make it one of the most extensive 18th-century examples (Koninklijke Bibliotheek). To see other examples, try a keywords search on the term in Google Images. Synonymous with liber amicorum.

album cover
A container for a sound recording. Covers for phonograph records usually consist of two layers of pasteboard, with graphic designs printed on the front and information about the recording on the back (see this example). Synonymous with record jacket.

albumen print
An early photographic process in which a paper support was floated on an emulsion of egg white (albumen) and salt, then coated with a light-sensitive solution of silver nitrate, dried in the dark, and exposed in the camera or under a collodion negative. Although the process was capable of producing a high definition image, print quality often depended on the particular egg-white recipe used by the photographer and fading was a common problem. Invented in 1850 by Louis-Désiré Blanquart-Evrard, the albumen print replaced the earlier salted paper print and was the dominant photographic medium of the 19th century, especially for cartes-de-visite and early cabinet cards, superseded in about 1890 by faster and more standardized gelatin silver papers. Click here to see examples (Getty Museum). To learn more about albumen prints try The Albumen Site, courtesy of Conservtion OnLine (CoOL), Stanford University.

album sampler
A recording containing a collection of tunes (tracks) from a number of different releases, often intended to showcase a selection of artists signed to the recording label. The format became popular in the 1960s as a means of promoting artists whose work was released primarily in albums, rather than singles. The first example was A Folk Music Sampler, initially released in 1954 by Elektra Records for radio stations, then reissued for retail sales.

alcove
A semiprivate recessed area within a library formed when two free-standing shelving units are placed at right angles to one or more units of wall shelving, usually large enough to provide access to materials on the shelves and to accommodate a small number of readers, seated at desks or around a study table (click here to see an example at the Library of Congress). The architect Sir Christopher Wren is credited with originating this style of seating in his design of the library at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1676. Synonymous with cell. See also: carrel.

Alcuin of York (c. 735-804)
Educator, scholar, and liturgist, Alcuin was born of noble parentage in Northumbria in about A.D. 735. At the cathedral school in York, his abilities attracted the attention of its master Aelbert and of the Archbishop. He made several trips to the continent with his master, whom he succeeded in 767 when Aelbert became Archbishop. For the next 15 years, his efforts were devoted to instruction and enhancing the library at York. In 781, on a return trip from Rome, he met Charlemagne and was persuaded to head the Palace School at Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle), where he instructed royalty and members of the Frankish nobility and was responsible for organizing an educational system to revive and diffuse learning throughout the new realm. He also undertook a complete revision of the Latin Vulgate to return the Bible as closely as possible to the 4th-century text of St. Jerome.

To achieve Charlemagne's goal of replacing the Gallican with the Roman rite, Alcuin compiled liturgical works, most notably a missal that was widely adopted, establishing uniformity in the liturgy of the Mass throughout the Western Church. In 796, he was appointed Abbot of St. Martin at Tours, where he focused on building a model monastic school and library, while supervising the production of a series of bibles for circulation among European monastic establishments. To facilitate copying, a new script known today as Carolingian minuscule was adopted, eventually becoming the basis of modern roman type. Practical reforms, such as beginning a written sentence with a capital letter and ending it with a period, were also introduced. Whether Alcuin was a monk or a member of the secular clergy remains uncertain, but in any case, he died in 804 at the end of a long and fruitful career. For more information about his life, see The Catholic Encyclopedia.

Alex Awards
Established in 1998 under the sponsorship of the Margaret A. Edwards Trust, the Alex Awards are given annually to ten books written for adults, which have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18. The titles are selected by the YALSA Adult Books for Young Adults Task Force from the previous year's new publications. Click here to learn more about the Alex Awards. See also: Margaret A. Edwards Award and Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature.

Alexandrian Library
Founded by Ptolemy I in about 300 B.C., the great library at Alexandria in Egypt became the most important center of Hellenistic culture in Antiquity. At its peak, it contained over 500,000 manuscripts, mostly papyrus scrolls, some of which were translated into Greek from other languages. The collection was cataloged in the "Pinakes" of Callimachus, which included the author's name and a summary of the content of each item. The main library was part of a museum that functioned as an academy, attracting scholars from all parts of the Mediterranean world. A smaller library was established in the Temple of Serapis by Ptolemy III in about 235 B.C.

Although the main library was damaged in 47 B.C. during the siege by Julius Caesar, both libraries flourished under the Romans until the civil war that occurred in the late 3rd century A.D. under Emperor Aurelian. The smaller library was destroyed in A.D. 391 by edict of Byzantine Emperor Theodosius. In 1987, UNESCO embarked on a project in cooperation with the government of Egypt to revive the Library at Alexandria as a center of culture, science, and academic research. Click here to connect to the homepage of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. See also: Pergamum.

algorithm
A finite sequence of unambiguous steps or instructions designed to solve a complex problem or accomplish a specific task in a way that produces at least one output, for example, a formula used to encrypt data. Algorithms can be expressed in natural language (for example, a culinary recipe or the instructions for assembling an item shipped in pieces), in a symbolic language such as that used in mathematical logic, or in a computer programming language. One measure of proficiency in programming is the ability to create elegant algorithms that achieve the desired result in a minimum number of ingenious steps. See also: automatic indexing.

alias
A shortened form of an e-mail address that allows a computer user to type a brief identifier (example: susan) to send a message to a person whose full e-mail address is much longer (susanmiller@library.myuniversity.edu). Compare with macro.

Also, an assumed name, especially one adopted by a person engaged in illegal activity to avoid detection and possible prosecution. Compare with pseudonym.

Alibris
A commercial company that specializes in supplying rare, out of print, and hard-to-find books to bookstores, libraries, and retail customers through a worldwide network of booksellers and distribution capabilities. Click here to connect to the Alibris homepage. See also: Abebooks.

alignment
In typography, the arrangement of characters in a line of type in such a way that the tops and bottoms form a straight line across the page, parallel with other lines. Also, the setting of type in lines that are even at both right and left margins. Compare in this sense with justification.

In a more general sense, the lining up of type or graphic matter in relation to any common horizontal or vertical line for printing on a page or display on a computer screen.

alkaline
Substances with a pH exceeding 7.0 (neutral), for example, calcium carbonate or magnesium carbonate added to paper in manufacture as a reserve or buffer to neutralize any acids that might develop with age. Alkaline substances are also used in the deacidification of materials made from acid paper or board. The opposite of acidic. See also: alkaline reserve.

alkaline reserve
A compound such as calcium carbonate added to pulped fiber in the manufacture of paper (a process called buffering) to neutralize any acid that might be generated by natural aging or introduced through acid migration or exposure to atmospheric pollution. Alkaline reserve is usually expressed as a percentage of paper weight. The ANSI/NISO Z39.48 standard for Permanence of Paper for Publications and Documents in Libraries and Archives calls for a minimum alkaline reserve equivalent to 2% calcium carbonate based on the oven dry weight of coated or uncoated paper. Synonymous with alkali reserve.

all along
A sewing method used in hand-binding in which each section of the text block is sewn separately to cords or tapes, from kettle stitch to kettle stitch inside the fold. For the sake of economy or to reduce swell, sections may be hand sewn two on. Synonymous with all across and all on.

alla rustica
Binding a book in a plain but sturdy paper case, a technique used from the 17th to the 19th century in Italy and Spain on remaindered books. According to former Yale University conservator Jane Greenfield, the sections were sewn on supports laced into paper covers with wide turn-ins (ABC of Bookbinding, Oak Knoll/Lyons Press, 1998). In modern conservation binding, vellum or paper cases are sometimes used without adhesive.

allegory
A narrative that can be interpreted literally but which also has at least one symbolic meaning, usually expressing or elucidating an abstract idea or moral principle (example: Pilgrim's Progress [1678] by John Bunyan). Also, a form of extended metaphor used primarily in works of fiction and poetry, in which an event, idea, thing, or person stands for itself and simultaneously for something else. A dream allegory is a medieval poem or story of a dream that has symbolic significance, for example, King René's Book of Love (Le Cueur d'Amours Espris). Click here to learn more about allegory in the Middle Ages, courtesy of Wikipedia. See also: beast epic, dance of death, fable, morality play, and parable.

Also refers to graphic works in which truths or generalizations about human existence are represented by means of symbolic images, often of classical origin (see this example by Sandro Botticelli). Allegory is a common theme in medieval manuscript illumination, as in this image of Fortuna turning a symbolic wheel from a 15th-century French version of Boccaccio's Fall of Princes (Special Collections, Glasgow University Library, MS Hunter 371).

all firsts
An expression used in the antiquarian book trade and in library cataloging to indicate that all the items in a group of publications are known to be first editions.

alligator
Leather made from the skin of a reptile, not as widely used in bookbinding as it once was for shoes and fashion accessories. In England, the material is known in the binding trade as crocodile. Click here to see a 20th-century alligator binding, courtesy of the Otto G. Richter Library, University of Miami, Florida.

allocation
A quantity of time, money, materials, or other resources reserved by an organization for a specific purpose, usually to meet a need essential to realizing its goals and objectives. In most libraries and library systems, funds are allocated in accordance with an annual or biennial budget determined by the availability of funds.

allonym
The name of a person known to have existed, assumed as a pen name by another writer, as opposed to a fictional pseudonym, for example, the name "Publius" for the Roman tribune Publius Clodius Pulcher, used by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison in writing The Federalist.

all over
A style of binding in which the entire surface of both covers is decorated, as opposed to design appearing on the front or back cover only, in the centers and/or corners, or around the edges. Click here to see a 17th-century gold-tooled example (Special Collections, Glasgow University Library, BD14-i.23) and here to see the style used on an early 20th-century deluxe edition of Paradise Lost (Metropolitan Museum of Art). To see other examples, try a keywords search on the phrase "all over" in the British Library's Database of Bookbindings.

all published
A note in the bibliographic record describing a publication originally proposed in more than one part or volume but never completed, usually because it was discontinued by the publisher. Similarly, a note describing all the issues of a periodical for which publication has ceased. In bookselling, a serially published work for which all issued parts are present.

all rights reserved
A phrase printed in or on a published work, usually on the verso of the title page of a book, giving formal notice that all rights granted under existing copyright law are retained by the copyright holder and that legal action may be taken against infringement.

allusion
A brief figurative or symbolic reference in a literary text usually made indirectly to a familiar person, place, thing, or event outside the text or to another literary work or passage in it. Allusions are sometimes indexed and published in collections (example: Allusions--Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary by Laurence Urdang and Frederick Ruffner). In a more general sense, any implied indication, indirect reference, or casual mention, as opposed to an explicit reference.

almanac
Originally, a book introduced by the Moors to Spain, listing the days, weeks, and months of the year and providing information about festivals, holidays, astronomical phenomena, etc. In modern usage, an annual compendium of practical dates, facts, and statistics, current and/or retrospective, often arranged in tables to facilitate comparison. Almanacs can be general (example: World Almanac and Book of Facts) or related to a specific subject or academic discipline (Almanac of American Politics). Information Please is an example of a modern online almanac. Also spelled almanack.

Almanacs have an important place in early Americana (see the 1795 edition of Bannaker's Almanac, courtesy of the Library of Congress). They have also served as a vehicle for illustrators (see Kate Greenaway Almanack, courtesy of Special Collections, Univ. of S. Mississippi Library).

alphabet
The complete set of characters used to write or indicate the speech sounds of a language, usually arranged in traditional order. The roman alphabet used in writing the English language contains 26 letters (5 vowels and 21 consonants), each with an uppercase and lowercase form. The roman alphabets used for other languages may contain fewer or additional letters, with diacritical marks used to indicate specific sounds. Click here to find out more about the Evolution of Alphabets, courtesy of Professor Robert Fradkin at University of Maryland, or try Omniglot: A Guide to Writing Systems. Compare with syllabary. See also: alphabetical, alphabetization, and exotics.

alphabet book
A picture book for preschool children with illustrations designed to teach the letters and sequence of the alphabet by showing on each page, or double spread, one or more objects, animals, etc., belonging to a class whose name begins with the letter displayed (a for apple, etc.). Click here to see an early letterpress example, with woodcuts of animals; here to see some 19th-century American examples (University of South Carolina); and here to see a page from a 19th-century alphabet illustrated by Walter Crane. To see other examples, try a keywords search on the term in Google Images. Compare with counting book. See also: abecedary and horn book.

alphabetical
In the customary order of the letters of the alphabet of a given language. Alphabetization can be letter-by-letter, ignoring punctuation and divisions between words, or word-by-word, with entries beginning with the same word alphabetized by the next word, and so on. The terms in this dictionary are listed alphabetically letter-by-letter.

alphabetization
Arranging items or entries in the conventional order of the letters of the alphabet of a language, usually by author, title, subject, or other heading. The most frequently used methods are letter-by-letter or word-by-word, as illustrated in the following examples:

Letter-by-Letter Word-by-Word
New New
Newel New Haven
Newfoundland New moon
New Haven New York
New moon Newel
Newport Newfoundland
Newt Newport
New York Newt

For a brief discussion of the history of alphabetization, please see the entry on "Alphabetization Rules" by Geoffrey Martin in the International Encyclopedia of Information and Library Science (Routledge, 2003).

alphanumeric
A contraction of alphabetic-numeric, referring to a character set containing letters of the alphabet, numerals, and/or special characters. The access codes used in computer systems are often alphanumeric (example: the username smith003). Also spelled alpha-numeric. Synonymous with alphameric.

Alpha-Numeric System for Classification of Recordings (ANSCR)
A scheme for classifying sound recordings of all types, based on a set of 23 major subject categories represented by letters of the Latin alphabet (example: M for popular music), with some categories subdivided and represented by double letters (MJ for jazz). To the alphabetic category is added a three- or four-letter code representing type of subarrangement (by title of work; name of composer, performer, or author; name of skill, language, or sound; etc.). The third part of the classification number is composed of the first letter of each of the first three keywords in the title of the work or album, or a number if the work is known by form and numbered. The fourth part is composed of a letter representing the name of an individual closely associated with the performance on the recording, followed by the last two digits of the commercial recording number:

ES
BEET
5
O 98

In the preceding example, ES indicates that the recorded work is orchestral and of symphonic form, BEET that it was composed by Ludwig Van Beethoven, 5 that it is his fifth symphony, and O 98 that the performance was conducted by Eugene Ormandy and that the last two digits of the Columbia record number are 98.

ANSCR is used mainly by libraries holding large numbers of sound recordings. Libraries with smaller collections generally use accession number or some other "home-grown" classification system to organize sound recordings. Pronounced "answer."

alpha test
The first full-scale test of a newly designed computer software system or hardware device, or of existing software or hardware that has undergone a major upgrade, usually conducted by the designer in a laboratory environment. Compare with beta test.

alternate delivery
Shipment by a publisher or vendor of materials ordered by a library via a commercial delivery service rather than the U.S. Postal Service.

alternate selection
A book offered by a mail order book club to its members as the second choice. Compare with main selection.

alternate title
A title found in or on a bibliographic item, that varies from the one given in or on the chief source of information, for example, a title appearing on the label or container of a videocassette that differs from the one given in the videorecording itself. In library cataloging, any alternate titles are entered in the note area of the bibliographic record. Compare with alternative title.

alternative history (AH)
Combining elements of literary fiction, science fiction, and historical fiction, alternative history is a fiction genre set in a world which diverged at some point in history from the actual sequence of events known, from factual evidence, to have occurred in the past (example: Men Like God by H.G. Wells). For other examples, see Uchronia: The Alternate History List. Synonymous with allohistory, alternate history, and uchronie.

alternative press
A small, politically progressive publisher not controlled by the handful of giant multinational corporations that dominate the publishing industry worldwide. Alternative press publications often address important social issues and publish innovative and experimental works largely ignored or covered superficially in the mainstream press. For the past 30 years, the Alternative Press Center (APC), an affiliate of the Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) of the American Library Association, has provided access to such publications through the Alternative Press Index, available in the reference section of large academic and public libraries.

alternative title
The second part of a title proper consisting of two parts, each a title in itself, connected by the word "or" or its equivalent in another language (example: The Female Quixote, or, The Adventures of Arabella), not to be confused with alternate title. Compare with subtitle.

alt tag
When a computer user manipulates the mouse to pass the cursor over an image in a Web page, holding it on the image for several seconds, a text message is often displayed, serving as a replacement for the information content of the image, a feature intended for visually impaired Internet users who would otherwise perceive only a hole or gap at the location of the image. Coded as an attribute of the IMG tag in HTML, the alt tag provides an "alternate text" message for viewers who cannot see graphics, an important component in the design of Web sites for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, especially sites using graphic menu systems for navigation. Click here to learn more about the use of alt text in HTML documents, courtesy of A.J. Flavell and the Web Design Group.

alum
An acidic substance used in papermaking to adjust the pH level of water in pulp and to fix rosin (a sizing agent first used in the 18th century) to cellulose fibers, giving paper a less permeable surface to prevent bleeding. In medieval book production, alum salts were also used to prepare animal skins for use in binding. Creamy white in color, alum-tawed skins are supple and more permanent than leather produced by tanning.

alumni access
Provision of remote access to proprietary research databases to the graduates of an academic institution. A survey of 102 U.S. college and university libraries conducted in 2006 by Catherine Wells of Case Western University (C&RL News, July/August 2006) revealed that only 18 institutions offered database access to alumni. Dartmouth College began its service in 2002, making it one of the longest established programs. Some academic libraries provide alumni access as part of a suite of services offered via a specially-designed alumni portal. Of the major database vendors, only EBSCO and ProQuest currently offer alumni access to at least some of their databases for an additional fee.

alum rosin
An acidic size, consisting of rosin precipitated by alum (aluminium sulfate or potassium sulfate), used in the manufacture of paper in the 18th and 19th century to produce a less absorbent writing surface. In his article The Need for a Re-evaluation of the Use of Alum in Book Conservation and the Book Arts published in the 1989 issue of The Book and Paper Group Annual, Tom Conroy questions the conclusion that use of alum in small amounts in binding and papermaking is detrimental to book conservation.

amateur
A term used in cataloging moving images to indicate the form of a work created for private rather than commercial viewing, for example, a "home movie" made by someone not professionally associated with the film/video industry, intended to be shown within a circle of family and/or friends rather than exhibited publicly. In a more general sense, any work created by a person who is not a full-time or professional practitioner in the medium or genre, often made for pleasure rather than financial reward, without reference to quality.

Amazon.com
Founded by Jeff Bezos as the online bookstore Calabra.com in 1994, Amazon.com was one of the first commercial companies to exploit the potential of the Internet as a sales medium. Serving as a model for subsequent e-commerce, the company has expanded to become a popular online retailer of new books, DVDs, videocassettes, music CDs, computer software, and other merchandise, usually at a discount. Renamed in 1995 after the Amazon River, the company also hosts a wide network of used booksellers offering copies of previously owned books, DVDs, videos, and CDs via mail order. Libraries sometimes use Amazon.com to obtain out of print titles and discounts. Click here to learn more about the history of Amazon.com, courtesy of Wikipedia.

ambient conditions
The prevailing characteristics of the environment within the room or building in which library or archival materials are stored or used, including temperature, humidity, natural and artificial light, air pollution, dust, etc., important considerations for long-term preservation. See also: microclimate.

ambient light
The level of illumination in an enclosed space, from both natural and artificial sources, an important consideration in the preservation of materials that deteriorate when exposed to light, especially the ultraviolet radiation (UV) in direct sunlight. Former Yale University conservator Jane Greenfield recommends that in libraries and archives visible radiation be kept below 200 lux, and UV radiation below 75 lux because the damage it causes continues to a lesser extent even after the light source is removed (The Care of Fine Books, Nick Lyons Books, 1988). Incandescent light is the least damaging, but it emits more heat and is more costly than fluorescent light, which is higher in UV radiation. UV filters are available for fluorescent fixtures. As a general rule, the lights in a library should be turned off when not needed. See also: blue scale.

ambigram
A term coined by Douglas Hofstadter (see Metamagical Themas [Basic Books, 1985]) and friends for a graphic figure that spells a word or group of words that can be read in at least two different ways, usually symmetric when rotated 180 degrees (upside down) or when reflected along the vertical axis, as in a mirror. Click here to see the inversions of Scott Kim. Other examples can be seen in John Langdon's Ambigram Gallery. Compare with palindrome.

ambrotype
A photographic process in widespread use for about a decade beginning in 1852, in which an under-exposed wet-collodion glass negative is made to appear positive when placed against a dark background (usually black fabric or paper) or by coating the back with black lacquer or varnish, causing the clear areas of the negative to appear dark and the opaque silver areas bright in reflected ambient light. Although the ambrotype lacked the tonal range of the daguerreotype, the process required less exposure time and production was faster and less expensive. The image is not laterally reversed, as in a daguerreotype, and can be viewed from any angle. Ambrotypes were usually preserved in a lined leather case under a stamped metal mat to conceal the uneven edges of the negative, and some were hand-colored (click here to see an example). Due to the fragility of glass, the process was largely replaced by the tintype and paper prints by the mid-1860s. Click here to see more examples (Getty Museum) and here to learn more about the process. Synonymous with collodion positive.

AMC format
An abbreviation of Archival and Manuscripts Control format. See: MARC Format for Archival and Manuscripts Control.

Amelia Bloomer Project
An annual book list published since 2002 by the Feminist Task Force (FTF) of the American Library Association's Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT), to honor children's books with feminist themes published during the award year. Click here to read past lists.

Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award
A literary award established in 1971, presented annually for the best illustrated children's book published in Canada during the preceding year. The illustrator must be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, and the text must be worthy of the illustrations. The award is sponsored by the National Book Service and administered by the Canadian Association of Children's Librarians (CACL). Click here to see a list of past award winners. Compare with CLA Book of the Year for Children. See also: Caldecott Medal and Greenaway Medal.

amendment
A change made in a document by addition, deletion, or revision, usually to correct errors or make improvements. Also, a change proposed or made in a bill or law, for example, the first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States, known as the Bill of Rights. See also: First Amendment.

Americana
A term used in the book trade and by collectors to refer to books and other materials written about the Americas (North, South, and Central America), not necessarily published in the Americas or written by authors from the Americas. Libraries that own extensive or valuable collections of Americana often store them in special collections. Click here to view an online exhibition of Americana, courtesy of Special Collections, Glasgow University Library. See also the American Memory project of the Library of Congress. See also: American Antiquarian Society.

American Antiquarian Society (AAS)
An independent national research library founded in 1812 in Worcester, Massachusetts, to document the history of the American people from the colonial period through the Civil War and Reconstruction. The collections of the AAS include books, pamphlets, newspapers, periodicals, manuscripts, broadsides, juvenile literature, music, graphic arts, genealogy, and local history. The AAS publishes the semiannual Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society and is currently is in the midst of producing the five-volume work of collaborative scholarship, A History of the Book in America, jointly with Cambridge University Press. Click here to connect to the AAS homepage.

American Association of Law Libraries (AALL)
Founded in 1906, AALL has a membership of librarians and related information professionals who serve the legal profession in bar associations, courts, law schools, law societies, private law firms, businesses, and government. AALL seeks to promote and enhance the value of law libraries to the legal community and general public, fosters the profession of law librarianship, and provides leadership in the field of legal information. An affiliate of the American Library Association, AALL has published the quarterly Law Library Journal since 1908. Click here to connect to the AALLNET Web page.

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)
Founded in 1951, AASL is a division of the American Library Association with a membership of elementary and secondary school library media specialists and others interested in the improvement and extension of services for children and young adults. AASL publishes the quarterly journal School Library Media Research and its bimonthly online companion Knowledge Quest (KQ). Click here to connect to the AASL homepage.

American Association of University Professors (AAUP)
A professional association founded in 1915 to represent college and university faculty, the AAUP is also open to administrators, graduate students, and the general public. The organization is dedicated to defending academic freedom and tenure, advocating collegial governance, developing policies to ensure due process in the workplace, lobbying government in the interests of higher education, and providing statistics and analysis of trends in academic employment. Library faculty members at colleges and universities in the United States who are members of the AAUP may be covered by a collective bargaining agreement negotiated by their chapter. Click here to connect to the AAUP homepage.

American Book Prices Current (ABPC)
An annual compilation of auction records for books, manuscripts, autographs, maps, and broadsides sold mainly in North America and the United Kingdom (UK), the standard tool used by dealers, appraisers, auction houses, scholars, and tax authorities. Volume 110, covering September 2003 to August 2004, is the last volume issued in print. ABPC continues to be issued on CD-ROM and online by subscription. Click here to connect to the ABPC homepage.

American Booksellers Association (ABA)
Founded in 1900, the ABA is the oldest trade association of independent bookstores with store front locations in the United States. Its mission is to meet the needs of its members through advocacy, education, research, and the dissemination of information. The ABA actively supports fee speech, literacy, and programs that encourage children to read. The organization also publishes an annual handbook for book buyers and maintains the BookWeb.org Web site.

American Book Trade Directory (ABTD)
Published annually by Information Today, Inc., ABTD provides basic directory information on booksellers, jobbers, dealers, and antiquarians in the United States and Canada, listed geographically by state/province and indexed by name and type of store, as well as information about auctioneers of literary property, appraisers of library collections, book exporters and importers, and national and regional associations involved in the book trade.

American Film Institute (AFI)
Established in 1967 at the recommendation of a Stanford Research Institute report funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and with initial funding from the NEA, the Motion Picture Association of America, and the Ford Foundation, AFI is a nonprofit organization devoted to (1) training the next generation of filmmakers, (2) presenting the moving image in its many forms to a national and international public, (3) preserving the motion picture heritage of the United States, and (4) redefining the moving image in the digital era. AFI maintains a Conservatory in Los Angeles, coordinates film preservation through the AFI Film Collection held at the Library of Congress and in other archives, and publishes the American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States: Feature Films and the AFI Silent Film Database. AFI sponsors an extensive nonprofit exhibition program of over 3,000 film events throughout the year and gives an annual Life Achievement Award to an outstanding performer or director. Click here to connect to the AFI homepage. See also: British Film Institute.

American Folklife Center
Created by Congress in 1976, the American Folklife Center is an agency within the Library of Congress dedicated to preserving and presenting the American folk tradition. It incorporates the Archive of Folk Culture, established in 1928 as a repository of American folk music. Click here to connect to the homepage of the American Folklife Center.

American Indian Library Association (AILA)
Founded in 1979, AILA is an affiliate of the American Library Association with a membership of individuals and institutions committed to promoting the development, maintenance, and improvement of library services and collections for Native Americans, particularly cultural and information resources needed on reservations and in communities of Native Americans and Native Alaskans. AILA publishes the quarterly AILA Newsletter. Click here to connect to the AILA homepage. See also: tribal library.

American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC)
Formerly the American Group within the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (IIC), AIC is a national membership organization of conservation professionals dedicated to preserving for future generations the art and historic artifacts that constitute the cultural heritage of the United States. Founded in 1972, AIC provides a forum for the exchange of ideas on conservation, seeks to advance the practice of conservation, and promotes the importance of preserving cultural property by facilitating the exchange of knowledge, research, and publications. Its membership includes practicing conservators, conservation scientists, educators, administrators, collections care professionals, technicians, and students; archivists, curators, and other museum and library professionals; and architects and art historians. AIC publishes the Journal of the American Institute of Conservation and the bimonthly newsletter AIC News. Click here to connect to the AIC homepage.

American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA)
Founded in 1914 in New York, AIGA is a nonprofit organization that fosters excellence in graphic design as an academic discipline, communication medium, business tool, and cultural force by providing a forum for graphic designers, art directors, illustrators, and craftsmen involved in printing and allied graphic arts to exchange ideas and information, participate in research and critical analysis, and enhance education and ethical practice. AIGA publishes Trace: AIGA Journal of Design thrice yearly. Click here to connect to the AIGA homepage.

americanize
To convert to American English the style and spelling of a work written in (or translated into) British English. Compare with briticize.

American Libraries (AL)
A professional magazine for librarians published since 1907 by the American Library Association, AL provides news and announcements, analysis of trends, feature articles, job postings, and advertising by library-related businesses in 11 issues per year. ISSN: 0002-9769. Click here to connect to the online version of AL. For reviews of books and other categories of materials collected by libraries, see Booklist, also published by the ALA.

American Library Association (ALA)
The leading professional association of public and academic libraries and librarians in the United States, the ALA was founded in Philadelphia in October 1876 by a group of library leaders (90 men and 13 women) that included Melvil Dewey. An "association of associations," the ALA is organized in divisions, each with its own officers, budget, and programs, and is closely tied to over 50 state and regional chapters. The Association also sponsors round tables on specific issues and topics and is affiliated with other independent library-related organizations. Its imprint is ALA Editions. The most widely read periodicals published by the ALA are the professional journal American Libraries and the review publication Booklist. The ALA is a member of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). Click here to see a complete list of periodicals published by the various branches of the ALA. Click here to connect to the ALA homepage. See also: ALA Allied Professional Association, Association des Bibliothécaires Français, Australian Library and Information Association, Canadian Library Association, Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, and Deutscher Bibliogtheksverband e.V.

ALA divisions:

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)
Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS)
Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)
Association for Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF)
Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)
Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA)
Library and Information Technology Association (LITA)
Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA)
Public Library Association (PLA)
Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)
Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)

American Library Directory (ALD)
Published annually by Information Today, Inc., ALD is available in the reference section of most libraries in North America, providing directory information (name, location, phone and fax number[s], department heads, budget, collection size, special collections, electronic resources, network participation, etc.) for over 30,000 academic, public, research, county, provincial, regional, medical, law, and other special libraries in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. ALD also includes separate sections listing library networks and consortia, library systems, libraries for persons with special needs, and state and federal library agencies. It also contains an alphabetically arranged Personnel Index of all the individuals named in the entries for libraries, library systems, and library consortia, with contact information. ISSN: 0065-910X.

American Literary Translators Association (ALTA)
Founded in 1978, ALTA provides essential services to literary translators from all languages and serves as a professional forum for the exchange of ideas on the art and craft of literary translation. From its headquarters at the Center for Translation Studies at the University of Texas, Dallas, ALTA also seeks to enhance the quality and status of literary translation and to improve the market for its publication. The organization is currently supported by members, occasional grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the University of Texas, Dallas. ALTA sponsors an annual conference and publishes the semiannual journal Translation Review. Click here to connect to the ALTA homepage. See also: American Translators Association.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
A nonprofit national clearinghouse founded in 1918 to facilitate standardization by voluntary consensus in the United States in both the public and private sectors and to coordinate and administer standards of all types. ANSI membership includes over 1,400 companies, organizations, government agencies, and other institutions. The United States is represented by ANSI in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Standards for library and information science are developed by the National Information Standards Organization (NISO), a nonprofit association accredited by ANSI. The Institute publishes the quarterly newsmagazine ANSI Reporter and the biweekly e-newsletter What's New? Click here to connect to the ANSI homepage.

American Printing History Association (APHA)
Founded in 1974, APHA encourages study and research in printing history and related arts and skills, including calligraphy, type founding, papermaking, bookbinding, illustration, and publishing. From its headquarters in New York City, APHA publishes the APHA Newsletter and the semiannual journal Printing History. Click here to connect to the APHA homepage.

American Reference Books Annual (ARBA)
A reference serial published annually by Libraries Unlimited since 1970, ARBA provides comprehensive coverage of English-language reference books and electronic reference works published in the United States and Canada during the previous year, listing reviews in a classified arrangement, indexed by author/title and subject. The reviews are usually 100 to 300 words long, written by scholars, librarians, and library educators who are asked to examine new works as they are published and provide well-documented critical comments, both positive and negative. All reviews are signed. ARBA is usually shelved in the reference section of large academic and public libraries. In ARBAonline, reviews are provided in a searchable database that is available on subscription. ISSN: 0065-9959.

Americans for Libraries Council (ALC)
A newly established nonprofit organization that advocates for libraries at the national level and develops and promotes programs aimed at realizing the potential of libraries in the 21st century. Comprised of business, civic, educational, philanthropic, and library leaders, ALC is committed to developing a national agenda to: 1) focus attention on libraries as national assets essential for a healthy economy and vital democracy, 2) provide effective models for library services and library support, 3) establish a new base of financial support for library preservation and innovation, and 4) increase advocacy for libraries in the corporate, philanthropic, and civic sectors. Click here to connect to the ALC homepage.

American Sign Language (ASL)
A nonverbal system of communication used by people with impaired hearing, which relies on gestures and motions of the hands, arms, head, and facial muscles to convey meaning. ASL is a completely different language from British Sign Language (BSL), and the two are not mutually intelligible.

American Society for Indexing (ASI)
Founded in 1968, ASI is an affiliate of the American Library Association that seeks to promote indexing, abstracting, and database construction. Its members are professional indexers, librarians, editors, publishers, and organizations that employ indexers. ASI publishes the semiannual journal The Indexer and the bimonthly bulletin Key Words. Click here to connect to the ASI homepage.

American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T)
An affiliate of the American Library Association, ASIS&T is a nonprofit association established in 1937 to provide opportunities for professionals in the information science field to communicate across the disciplines of library science, computer science, linguistics, mathematics, and the physical sciences. Formerly the American Society for Information Science (ASIS). Click here to connect to the ASIS&T homepage.

ASIS&T publications:

ARIST: Annual Review of Information Science and Technology
Bulletin of the American Society of Information Science and Technology
Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology

American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)
Established in 1914, ASCAP is a membership association of over 160,000 American composers, songwriters, lyricists, and music publishers of every kind of music, dedicated to protecting the rights of its members by licensing and distributing royalties for nondramatic public performances of their copyrighted works. Through agreements with international affiliates, ASCAP also represents hundreds of thousands of music creators worldwide. Click here to connect to the ASCAP homepage. The Canadian counterpart of ASCAP is SOCAN.

American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA)
Founded in 1948, ASJA is a professional association of independent nonfiction writers, devoted to helping freelance writers advance their careers. Members share candid data on writing rates, publishing contracts, editors, agents, and more; non-members benefit from the ASJA's annual writers conference and mentoring. ASJA also represents the professional interests of freelancers, including their legal right to control and profit from uses of their work in all media. Click here to connect to the ASJA homepage.

American Society of Picture Professionals (ASPP)
Founded in 1966, ASPP is a national organization of persons who produce, sell, edit, catalog, and use photographic imagery. Open to professionals with at least four years experience in the picture field, ASPP provides a forum for the open exchange of information on industry ethics and standards, business practices, and new technology. The organization also provides opportunities for professional networking; seeks to inform and educate those interested in photography and visual communications; promotes a Code of Fair Practice for picture research, usage, and handling; and offers knowledge and support to persons interested in choosing a career as a picture professional. ASPP sponsors a conference and publishes the quarterly magazine The Picture Professional. Click here to connect to the ASPP homepage.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Legislation passed by Congress in 1990 guaranteeing right of access to public facilities and resources to persons with physical disabilities and prohibiting discrimination against them in employment. The ADA has had a profound effect on the delivery of library services in the United States, from architectural planning (ramps, elevators, automatic door-openers, signage in Braille, etc.) to the design and placement of furniture, equipment, and shelving and even the design of computer interfaces. Click here to learn more or see the print publication How Libraries Must Comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by Donald Foos and Nancy Pack (Oryx, 1992). See also: adaptive technology.

American Theological Library Association (ATLA)
Founded in 1947, ATLA is an affiliate of the American Library Association with an ecumenical membership that includes theological librarians, persons interested in theological librarianship, and theological institutions dedicated to providing programs, products, and services in support of theological and religious studies libraries and librarians. ATLA publishes the quarterly ATLA Newsletter. Click here to connect to the ATLA homepage.

American Translators Association (ATA)
Founded in 1959, ATA is the largest professional association of translators and interpreters in the United States, with over 8,500 members from over 60 countries. The primary goals of ATA are to foster and support the professional development of translators and interpreters and to promote the translation and interpreting professions. ATA sponsors an annual conference and publishes the monthly professional journal ATA Chronicle. Click here to connect to the ATA homepage. See also: American Literary Translators Association.

amicus curiae
A Latin term meaning "friend of the court." An individual, group, or organization seeking to advise the court on a point of law or fact in a legal case to which the amicus is neither party nor counsel but that may set a legal precedent affecting its interests. Although it is not required, the amicus is usually an attorney. Permission must be obtained from the court but is usually given if the parties consent. Such appearances occur most frequently at the appellate level in cases involving civil rights and issues of public interest, by formal brief or, in rare cases, oral argument. The American Library Association sometimes files an amicus curiae brief, as in the case of New York Times Co. v. Tasini. Plural: amici curiae.

ampersand
The symbol & derived from a fusion of the letters of the Latin word et, meaning "and." Under AACR2, when the title proper contains an ampersand (example: Notes & Queries), it is transcribed in the title and statement of responsibility area of the bibliographic description exactly as it appears on the chief source of information, and an added entry is made under the title with "and" spelled out.

-ana, -iana
A suffix added to the name of a person, place, or institution to signify the body of related literature, information, memorabilia, etc., that has accumulated over time (examples: Conradiana, Americana, librariana). In libraries such materials are usually housed in special collections. Click here to see examples of "Holmesiana" (materials related to the fictional character Sherlock Holmes), courtesy of the Lilly Library, Indiana University. See also: local collection and regional book.

anacronym
A portmanteau word made by combining anachronistic with acronym. An acronym so old that few people recall what its letters stand for (examples: radar for "radio detection and ranging" and laser for "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation").

anaglyph
A composite stereographic image produced by printing the same image twice, in complementary colors slightly displaced laterally, rather than superimposed exactly. In cartography, red is normally used for the right component and green or blue for the left. Although the image appears to be out of register when seen with the naked eye, a three-dimensional effect is produced by viewing it through a pair of eyeglasses equipped with filters of corresponding colors. Click here to see a cartographic example (courtesy of Carleton College). To see other examples, try a keyword search on the term in Google Images.

anagram
A word, phrase, sentence, name, or title made from another by the rearrangement of its letters. The basic rule of anagramming is that all the letters must be used once and only once, as in "cone" made from the letters of the word "once." The best anagrams are meaningful and related in some way to the original subject. Anagrams are often humorous (example: Adolf Hitler = Heil, old fart). Click here to see an anagram in the dedication of a 17th-century volume to Frederik III of Denmark (Royal Library of Denmark). and here to learn more about anagrams.

analects
From the Greek analekta, meaning "things gathered up." A collection or "gleaning" of miscellaneous literary excerpts or fragments (example: the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius).

analog
A representation of an object, physical condition, or process that closely replicates the original, reflecting any variations in its state. In technology, analog devices are designed to monitor conditions such as sound, movement, or temperature and convert the resulting measurements into electrical signals or mechanical patterns representing the fluctuations of the actual phenomenon, for example, sounds recorded on a phonograph record. Analog data is encoded in signals that are continuous over a range or interval of values, for example, data transmitted over a telephone line that must be converted by a modem into the discrete values of digital code in order to be processed by a digital computer.

analytical bibliography
The comparative and historical study of books as physical objects, including the methods and techniques of book production and their influence on texts. Synonymous with critical bibliography. Analytical bibliography has three main branches:

Historical bibliography - the history of books and their methods of production
Textual bibliography - the relationship between the text as conceived by the author and the text in published form
Descriptive bibliography - detailed account of the physical characteristics of books

analytical entry
An entry in a library catalog for a part of a work (chapter in a book) or an entire work (story, play, essay, or poem) contained in an item, such as an anthology or collection, for which a comprehensive entry is also made. Analytical entries are made under the author, title, and subject of the part and include a reference to the title of the work containing the part. Because preparation of analytical entries is time-consuming, the level of bibliographic description provided in a catalog depends on the administrative policy of the library and its assessment of local needs. Synonymous with analytics. See also: analytical note.

analytical note
The statement in an analytical entry indicating the relationship of the work, or part of a work, to the more comprehensive work of which it is a part, for example, giving the title of an anthology containing a short story, play, essay, or poem.

anamorphic
A special camera lens designed to squeeze the right and left sides of a widescreen image into the frame space of standard 35mm motion picture film stock during shooting without significantly reducing the total area of the recorded image. The aspect ratio (width to height) is reduced to 1.33:1 by differential magnification along the horizontal axis of the image (click here to see an example). In projection, a complementary anamorphic lens expands the image back to its original proportions. Developed during World War I, the technique was introduced in theatrical film production as CinemaScope by Twentieth Century-Fox in The Robe, released in 1953. Other studios followed suit, using different names, usually ending in scope. Panavision is a 35mm anamorphic lens system developed as an improvement on earlier versions. An anamorphic print is a copy of a motion picture in which each 35mm frame contains a widescreen image compressed to fit the smaller space. In AACR2, the fact that a print is anamorphic is indicated as a special projection characteristic in the physical description area of the bibliographic record.

anamorphic image
An image produced by an optical system or other method that distorts it, sometimes beyond recognition, unless viewed unconventionally, usually by means of a restoring device (see this example). According to the Thesaurus for Graphic Materials II, anamorphosis was popular in prints and drawings of the 17th and 18th centuries and in photographs of the 19th century. Click here to learn more about anamorphosis.

ancillary map
A small secondary map inset in or placed outside the neat line of a larger map, often providing information that augments or supplements the main map. Click here to see an ancillary map showing detail of the Frijoles Canyon area of Bandelier National Monument and here to see three examples on a map of Acadia National Park, Maine, both courtesy of the Library of Congress. In library cataloging, any map appearing on a cartographic item that is not selected for description in the title statement, statement of responsibility, physical description area, etc., of the bibliographic record. Synonymous with marginal map. Compare with map continuation. See also: location map.

anecdotal
Information based on secondhand accounts or casual observation rather than on first-hand knowledge or scientific analysis.

Anglo-American Cataloguing Committee for Cartographic Materials
The group responsible for developing and maintaining the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules pertaining to cartographic materials. Composed of institutions and associations that deal with the collection and description of cartographic materials by libraries, its members include the British Library, the Library of Congress, the Library and Archives Canada, the National Library of Australia, the National Library of New Zealand, and cartographic associations from the five countries. Representatives of the member institutions and associations are recognized experts on the bibliographic control of cartographic materials. The Committee prepared Cartographic Materials: A Manual of Interpretation for AACR2, 2002 Revision. Second Edition, published in 2003 by ALA Editions.

Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR)
A detailed set of standardized rules for cataloging various types of library materials that had its origin in Catalog Rules: Author and Title Entries, published in 1908 under the auspices of the American Library Association and the Library Association (UK), and the A.L.A. Cataloging Rules for Author and Title Entries (1949), with its companion volume Rules for Descriptive Cataloging in the Library of Congress. Cooperation between the ALA, the Library Association, and the Canadian Library Association resumed with the joint publication in 1967 of Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, which is divided into two parts: rules for creating the bibliographic description of an item of any type and rules governing the choice and form of entry of headings (access points) in the catalog.

A second edition (AACR2) was published in 1978 and revised in 1988 (AACR2R) to reflect changes in information formats. The 1998 revision includes changes and corrections authorized since 1988 by the Joint Steering Committee for Revision of AACR (JSC), including amendments authorized through 1997. Additional amendments were issued in 1999 and 2001. The current version, Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, Second edition, 2002 Revision (AACR2 2002), includes extensive revisions to chapter 12 on continuing resources (formerly known as serials). AACR2-e is a hypertext version published by ALA Editions that includes all amendments through 2001. In the summer of 2010, the JSC released a controversial new code, Resource Description and Access (RDA), which was tested by the Library of Congress, the National Agricultural Library, and the National Library of Medicine and found to be in need of modification. Click here to read a brief history of AACR, courtesy of the JSC. See also: catalog code and Paris Principles.

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 (Schøyen 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 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.

Example:

Bradbury, Malcolm, ed. The Atlas of Literature. London: De Agostini Editions, 1997.
A heavily-illustrated international thematic history of the relationship between geography and literature, from the Middle Ages and Renaissance to the post-Cold War era. Includes references for further reading and a list of places to visit by country.

In a more general sense, any brief explanatory or descriptive comment added to a document, text, catalog entry, etc. (click here to see a heavily annotated copy of a 16th-century edition of Terence�s comedies). In a critical annotation, the commentary is evaluative. Also refers to the process of annotating a document or entry in a bibliography or catalog. Compare with abstract.

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.

In modern usage, a serial publication in any format, issued once a year (example: Annual of Urdu Studies). The title of the publication may not contain the word "annual" (example: Shakespeare Survey). Compare with yearbook. See also: biennial, triennial, quadrennial, quinquennial, sexennial, septennial, and decennial.

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.

In the workplace, an inspection or personnel evaluation conducted once a year.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Also refers to a formal request to be considered for employment, usually made by filling out a form or by submitting a resume or curriculum vitae with cover letter in response to a job posting. Each library develops its own application procedure, unless it is part of a larger organization that uses a uniform procedure.

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 champlevé enamel, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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.

Also refers to the process of evaluating records to determine whether they are to be archived indefinitely, retained for a shorter period, or disposed of in some other way (sold, donated, destroyed, etc.).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The notation used in Dewey Decimal Classification is composed of arabic numerals. They are also used in Library of Congress Classification notation to indicate subclasses, following letters of the alphabet used to represent main classes and divisions. In printing, pagination is in arabic numerals, except for the front matter in books, usually paginated in roman numerals. Arabic numerals are also used to indicate the sequence of footnotes and endnotes. Under ALA Filing Rules, headings and titles that begin with arabic numerals (including dates) precede those beginning with letters of the alphabet and are arranged from lowest to highest value.

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 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:

  • Administrative value - utility in the conduct of current or future administrative affairs
  • Evidential value - capacity to furnish proof of facts concerning their creator or the events/activities to which they pertain
  • Fiscal value - utility in the conduct of financial business or fiscal accounting
  • Historical value - capacity to document past events, providing information about the lives and activities of persons involved in them
  • Informational value - usefulness for reference and research
  • Intrinsic value - inherent worth based on content, cultural significance, antiquity, past uses, association, etc.
  • Legal value - utility in the conduct of future legal proceedings or as evidence of past legal decisions
  • Monetary value - worth in the market place, based on appraisal by a person experienced in making such judgments

Compare with artifactual value. See also: continuing value, primary values, and secondary values.

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 can be classified in three broad categories: government archives (example: National Archives and Records Administration), in-house archives maintained by a parent institution, and collecting archives (manuscript libraries, film archives, genealogical archives, sound archives, personal archives, etc.). ProQuest provides the subscription database Archive Finder. Compare with archive. See also: archival copy, archival database, archival jurisdiction, archival paper, archival quality, archival value, artificial collection, digital archives, International Council on Archives, and Society of American Archivists.

The term is also used in academia to refer to a repository of electronic preprints, working papers, and similar documents, commonly called e-print archives. Used in this sense, there is no implication of archival management, which has caused some confusion, for example, around the purpose of the Open Archives Initiative (OAI).

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.

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.

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:

Title and statement of responsibility (MARC field 245)
Edition (MARC field 250)
Material specific details (MARC field 254 for music, 255 for cartographic materials, and 362 for serials)
Publication, distribution, etc. (MARC field 260)
Physical description (MARC field 300)
Series (MARC fields 4XX)
Note (MARC fields 5XX)
Standard number and terms of availability (MARC field 020 or 022)

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.

à repetition
A style of French bookbinding in which a single design element is repeated uniformly over the entire surface of the cover. Click here to see an 17th-century example using the fleur de lis (British Library) and here to see a late 19th-century example (Princeton University Library). See also: semé.

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.

aristonym
A surname used as, or derived from, a formal title of nobility (example: Louis Aimé 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.

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.

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.

In archives, the process of putting records into order, following accepted archival principles, with special attention to their provenance and original order. If, upon careful scrutiny, the original order is found to be completely random, the archivist may, after carefully documenting the original sequence, substitute an impartial arrangement that is more convenient to use.

In indexing, the process of putting in systematic and consistent order the headings under which entries are listed. The sequence can be alphabetical, numerical, or classified in some manner.

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.

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.

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 (£2001 in the year 2001, £2002 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.

Also refers to the words a, an, or the, or their equivalent in another language, used as adjectives preceding a noun, the being the definite article, and a and an indefinite articles. In library filing, an initial article is ignored at the beginning of a heading. An initial article is also ignored in a title search of an online catalog or bibliographic database.

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.

artistic map
A map created by an artist rather than a cartographer (see this example).

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

Designed to facilitate information exchange between nonstandard data processing and communications equipment, ASCII is recognized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Also refers to text that has been converted to ASCII code. Unlike text containing special formatting, ASCII can be imported and exported by most application programs without conversion and requires no special software for display and printing. ASCII text is also known as vanilla text. Click here to learn more about ASCII, courtesy of Wikipedia.

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.

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.

ASIS
An acronym for American Society for Information Science. See: American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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.

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.

Also refers to the overall visual impact and appearance of a calligraphic script, as opposed to its ductus (the manner in which it is written). Compare the clarity and grace of 12th-century Carolingian minuscule (Schøyen Collection, MS 020) with 15th-century gothic textura (Cary Collection, Rochester Institute of Technology).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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 Bibliothécaires 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 BIBLIOthèque(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.

Aslib publications:

Journal of Documentation (bimonthly)
Managing Information (10 issues per year)
Online and CD Notes (10 issues per year)
Performance Measurement and Metrics (3 issues per year)
Program: Electronic Library and Information Systems (quarterly)
Records Management Journal (3 issues per year)

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 Cartothèques 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 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 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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 (Bibliothèque 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.

The term was also used in the wider sense of a collection of maps with illustrations of topographical features, portraits, and pictures of plants and animals, mythological scenes, historical events, etc. Click here to see an example containing a print of the 1689 coronation of Stadholder William III and his wife Mary Stuart as King and Queen of England, courtesy of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek.

In most modern atlases, the maps are printed in uniform style and format, on a fairly consistent scale. An atlas may be issued as an independent publication or as accompanying material, with or without descriptive text, plates, charts, tables, etc. Some have a special focus (example: The Times Atlas of World Exploration); others are intended for a specific use (road atlases). In a library, large atlases are often stored in a specially designed atlas case. For an online atlas, see the National Atlas of the United States or The Atlas of Canada. See also: atlas factice, celestial atlas, facsimile atlas, historical atlas, national atlas, nautical atlas, pocket atlas, thematic atlas, and world atlas.

The term is also used for a type of medical book containing detailed illustrations of human anatomy (click here and here to see examples).

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.).

For example, the logical attributes of a creative work include its title, form, date of creation, intended audience, etc. As a general rule, a given instance of an entity exhibits a single value for each attribute, but multiple values are possible (a work may be published under more than one title or in more than one form), or a value may change over time (date of publication for serials). Nor is it necessary for every instance of an entity to exhibit all its attributes--some may be appropriate to a specific subtype of the entity, for example, the attribute "coordinates" applicable only to cartographic materials.

In markup languages such as SGML and XML, a named value used to further specify the meaning of an element. For example, in the string <title type="proper">The Omen</title> the attribute type has the value proper, which further specifies the meaning of the element title.

In geographic information systems (GIS), information about the characteristics of a given feature, usually stored in tabular format and linked to the feature by a unique identifier. For example, the attributes of a lake might include its name, geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude), surface elevation, total area, and maximum and/or average depth.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

In computing, an activity log of who has accessed, or attempted to access, a computer system and what operations were performed during a given period of time, useful for recovering lost transactions, maintaining security, and detecting misuse. An audit trail component is included in most accounting systems and database management systems.

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.

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.

In archives, the process of verifying, usually through careful investigation and research, whether a document or its reproduction is what it appears or claims to be. The final judgment is based on internal and external evidence, including the item's physical characteristics, structure, content, and context. Compare with certification.

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.

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.

Under U.S. copyright law (Title 17 § 201), the original owner (or owners) of copyright in a work. In the case of works for hire, the employer or other person for whom the work was prepared is considered the author and copyright owner, unless other arrangements are made by the parties in a signed written agreement.

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.

authoring
Creation of a multimedia work by combining text, sound, video, and images, usually with the aid of a script or special authoring software.

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.

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.

Example:
Shaw Bernard, with references from Shaw G.B. and Shaw George Bernard.

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.

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.

In medieval manuscripts, the authors of the Gospels were sometimes depicted in a drawing or miniature preceding the text of their work, probably to aid the reader in identifying the text. See this image of St. Mark shown pen-in-hand in a late 13th-century Byzantine Gospel book (Getty Museum, MS 65) and click here to page through portraits of all four evangelists in a 12th-century German Gospel book (Getty Museum, MS Ludwig II 3). In 13th-century Bibles, it was common practice to open each book with a picture of the author contained in the initial letter (David for Psalms, Solomon for Proverbs, St. Paul for Epistles, etc.).

author-publisher
A writer, photographer, composer, etc., who self-publishes his or her own works. See also: privately printed.

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 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.

Also refers to an edition published with the author's consent, usually a foreign edition issued at a time when titles were often pirated (see authorized 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.

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.

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.

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 Lumière 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.

Viewed from the emulsion side as a transparency, the developed plate rendered a positive image in luminous pastels. Frosted or etched glass was used for special effects. On close inspection, the starch grains give an autochrome plate a pointillist appearance. To protect the emulsion from damage and fading, autochromes were often varnished and covered with a clear glass plate, secured with tape. A diascope or lantern projector was required for viewing. Because no negative is used in the process, each autochrome is unique. Click here to see an example, courtesy of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, and here to see autochromes of Mark Twain taken by Alvin Langdon Coburn in 1905. Click here to see a collection published by the Lumière brothers and here to learn more about the autochrome process, courtesy of Wikipedia. See also: c-type print.

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.

Also refers to a person's own signature. See also: autograph book, autographed copy, and autographed edition.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

The term is also used in the book trade and in library acquisitions to indicate that copies of an edition can be obtained by purchase from the publisher or a jobber.

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.

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.

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.

As chair of the IFLA Working Group on Content Designators, Avram contributed to the creation of UNIMARC, the international MARC record. During her long tenure at the Library of Congress, she continued to advocate standardization of records to facilitate resource sharing, served as the chair of the Network Advisory Committee from its inception in 1976, founded the National Cooperative Cataloging Project (NCCP), and helped create the Linked Systems Project (LSP) to connect the Library of Congress with RLIN, OCLC, and WLN (now part of OCLC). She received many awards, including the LC Award for Distinguished Service and the ALA Joseph W. Lippincott Award for distinguished service to the profession. She was elected an honorary fellow of IFLA in 1987 and named an honorary member of the ALA in 1997, after retiring from the Library of Congress in 1992. Click here to read her obituary in the Library of Congress information bulletin.

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 90°, an object due south 180°, and due west 270°. An object due north has an azimuth of 0°. 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.

azured
In bookbinding, an ornament decorated with a pattern of thin, closely-spaced parallel lines. To see examples, try a search on the keyword "azured" in the British Library's Database of Bookbindings.


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