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adj. ~ 1. Of or pertaining to archives. - 2. Records · Having enduring value; permanent. - 3. Records media · Durable; lacking inherent vice; long-lived; see archival quality. - 4. Storage conditions · Not causing degradation. - 5. Procedures · Following accepted standards that ensure maximum longevity. - 6. Computing · Information of long-term value that, because of its low use, is stored on offline media and must be reloaded, or that is in a form that must be reconstructed before use.


The use of archival2 to denote records whose content has been appraised as having enduring value is fairly standard. Some archivists prefer the phrase 'enduring value' to 'permanent' when describing archival records, but permanence remains part of the vernacular understanding of the term.

(Puglia, Reed, and Rhodes 2004, p. 61) The term 'archival'3 indicates the materials used to manufacture the CD-R (usually the dye layer where the data is recording, a protective gold layer to prevent pollutants from attacking the dye, or a physically durable top-coat to protect the surface of the disk) are reasonably stable and have good durability, but this will not guarantee the longevity of the media itself.
(Sedona Principles 2003, p. 41) [archival6 data] Information that is not directly accessible to the user of a computer system but that the organization maintains for long-term storage and record-keeping purposes. Archival data may be written to removable media such as a CD, magneto-optical media, tape or other electronic storage device, or may be maintained on system hard drives in compressed formats.