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archival integrity


n. ~ The principle that a body of records resulting from the same activity must be preserved as a group, without division, separation, or addition, to protect the evidential and informational value that can be discerned from its context.


The concept, articulated by Hilary Jenkinson, derives from the principles of provenance, which prevents records from different sources from being intermingled, and of original order, which ensures that the records reflect the manner in which they were used by their creator. The disposal of duplicate records within a collection is generally not considered a violation of archival integrity. If materials are relocated for preservation, restricted access, or security, archival integrity can be preserved by placing a separation sheet in the materials' original location.

A Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology