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Archives and the Computer by Michael J. Cook (Auth.) PDF

By Michael J. Cook (Auth.)

ISBN-10: 0408107340

ISBN-13: 9780408107341

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Example text

Data held in memory by the computer can be divided into that needed instantly at hand and a backing store where long-term information can be kept until it is wanted. The instantly available memory must include at least the basic parts of the programs which are being used by the system together with the operating system and other regulatory material which governs the computer in carrying out its work; data being processed at the moment must also, of course, be held in the immediate access memory.

An example of this is the project P R O S P E C - S A , where a variablelength field is provided for the inclusion of index terms by the archivist who is completing the input form. These terms can be names of persons or places, or subject keywords. An example of machine-extracted index terms is any standard K W I C index. K W I C indexes, being entirely automatic, are often useful where the title and attendant data of a document (reference numbers, location numbers, dates) are sufficient in themselves to allow for retrieval; this would apply, for instance, in records management, where the index is being applied to a simple list of files.

But a mini-computer can be used as a means of access to a larger computer, allowing specialized uses, or a greater range of facilities for input and output. A relatively recent development in packages and systems is the Data base Management Systems ( D M S ) . Although they are at the moment not widely available and are complex, these systems must be of interest to archivists, as they are essentially concerned with the manipulation of a data base. The root concept of a single multi-purpose data base used as the core of a complex system for supplying information to an organization would seem to be appropriate.

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Archives and the Computer by Michael J. Cook (Auth.)


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