Archival bond

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The archival bond is a concept in archival theory referring to the relationship that each archival record has with the other records produced as part of the same transaction or activity and located within the same grouping. These bonds are a core component of each individual record and are necessary for transforming a document into a record, as a document will only acquire meaning (and become a record) through its interrelationships with other records.[1][2]


The concept of the archival bond is primarily associated with the work of Luciana Duranti, who first proposed the concept, along with Heather MacNeil, as part of research into the integrity of electronic records.[3] The concept of the archival bond emerges from the fact that electronic records are not physically arranged like traditional records. For traditional, analog records, their bond is implicit in their arrangement. But for electronic records, this bond must be made explicit due to the lack of a single sequential order of records in a digital environment.

The archival bond was one of the core concepts of the subsequent International Research on Permanent Authentic Records in Electronic Systems (InterPARES) project[4] and can be found in the InterPARES glossary.[5]

As Duranti notes, the archival bond is not to be confused with the broader term "context" as context exists independent of a record while "the archival bond is an essential part of the record, which would not exist without it."[6]


  1. ^ Duranti, Luciana (1997). "The Archival Bond". Archives and Museum Informatics. 11: 213–218.
  2. ^ Pearce-Moses, Richard (2012). A Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology, Entry for Archival Bond. Society of American Archivists. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  3. ^ Duranti, Luciana; Heather MacNeil (1996). "The Protection of the Integrity of Electronic Records". Archivaria. 42: 46–67.
  4. ^ "The International Research on Permanent Authentic Records in Electronic Systems". Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  5. ^ "The InterPARES Glossary" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  6. ^ Duranti. "The Archival Bond": 217.