Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Timothy J. McKeown
Although any data that are safely stored and retrievable can be described as archived or archival , here the term applies only to the records of people or organizations that are created for their own use, whether or not they have been collected or manipulated by a researcher. Sometimes the records are numerical. Then, if the data are judged sufficiently accurate, complete, and relevant, they can be compiled and analyzed statistically. The material is more often plain text (or sometimes images) originally created to meet contemporary personal or organizational requirements. This entry discusses challenges in obtaining access to materials, some methodological questions, the impact of digitization of information, and frontiers in archival research. Because modern governments and most nongovernmental organizations usually produce a written record of their activity, the variety of archival data and the purposes for which researchers use such data are too numerous to count. Probably the most ...