archival quality

adj.Resistant to deterioration or loss of quality, allowing for a long life expectancy when kept in controlled conditions.Not causing harm or reduced life expectancy.


ANSI/AIIM deprecates the use of 'archival' because it is a highly subjective term. Rather, they suggest using measures of 'life expectancy', which are based on empirical tests. While no materials meet the ideal definition of 'archival', many archivists use the term informally to refer to media that can preserve information, when properly stored, for more than a century. The use of 'archival' in commercial advertising to describe products suitable for materials and implying an infinite life span has made this use of the word nearly meaningless; some products so described would never be used by most archivists for such purposes.When archivists need to specify media appropriate for records of enduring value or containers for the storage of such materials, they avoid the term 'archival' and use specific requirements such as 'lignin free' or 'acid free with a three percent calcium carbonate reserve.'