Ngā whakamāramatanga o ngā kupu pūranga kōrero
Definitions of archival terms
Record listings in Collections search can be confusing if you're not familiar with the language we use. Learn the meanings of some common archival terms.
The title that is physically on the record. Sometimes extra description is given in brackets to make it easier to find the record.
The years the contents of the record were started and finished. If this information is not known, the record is undated.
Also known as the ‘R’ number. You can use this number to search for a record without needing the full archives reference.
The government agency that transferred the records to us. Each government agency has a four-letter code.
A group of records that are related to each other, like probated wills, coroners' inquests, or military service records. The series has a short numerical code.
A group of records that were transferred to us at the same time. Each accession has a numbered code beginning with the letters W, A, D, or CH, depending on which of our archives the record is held in.
The number given to a record by the government agency that transferred it to us. Often, records are numbered according to a classification scheme, where the numbers represent a subject or function. For example, in the record number 3/2/1 an agency may have used the number 3 to represent ‘human resources’ and the number 2 to represent ‘recruitment’.
The physical format of the record. This may be text document, art work, photograph or others.
Help understanding records
We can help if you're not sure how to read a record listing. Use our Ask an archivist form to send us a question.