n. (also artefact)a physical object that is made or modified by human cultureMcKemmish et al. 1999, 4In our own field the work of the international archival descriptive standards community has essentially been concerned with the retrospective description of records as artefacts.a three-dimensional object held in an archivesCronin 2006, 137The archival photographs in this exhibition are supplemented with an artefact exhibit and textual documents, as well as teacher and student resources intended as a starting point for further dialogue surrounding the many complex subjects raised by the re-presentation of this material.Chute 2011, 312At the same time, archivists borrow artifacts from other archives and museums to add unique items to an exhibition or to enhance a case with three-dimensional artifacts when the collection only includes paper.a library or archival resource that has value as a physical object in addition to its informational valueMLA 1995, 27Everyone who cares about the past should be grateful to the library world for the way it has responded to the challenges of textual preservation. Frequently, however, discussions of these developments imply that, once reproductions exist, many of the artifacts from which they derive need no longer be consulted or saved. In this climate of opinion, the MLA believes that it is crucial for the future of humanistic study to make more widely understood the continuing value of the artifacts themselves for reading and research.Nichols and Smith 2001, 8The word “artifact” can be confusing because it masks a number of unexamined assumptions. In academic parlance, “artifact” can refer to a physical object, a primary record, or a physical object that constitutes a primary record. For the purposes of this report, an artifact will be defined as an information resource in which the information is recorded on a physical medium, such as a photograph or a book, and in which the information value of the resource adheres not only in the text or content but also in the object itself. In other words, artifacts are things that have intrinsic value as objects, independent of their informational content.Tyacke 2001, 11In the case of these originals which have been digitized, the preferred solution, if it can be afforded, is to keep both the artefact for its “record-ness” or “book-ness” and its authenticity given the instability of the digital forms at present using the digitized version for access and to protect the original from constant use. The balance will always need to be struck between the value placed upon the artefact and the text or information contained within it.an anomaly in data that results from the methodology used to capture or analyze the data, or that was introduced or produced during a procedureSpuck, Blackwell, and Soha 1976, 132Document deterioration yields many artifacts, by which is generally meant markings or discoloration not intended by the creator of the document. Mold, water, and dirt stain are typical artifacts in the deterioration of ancient archival documents. These artifacts affect both the markings and the background, or, more significantly, the relationship between the two.IASA 2009The unintended and undesirable artefacts in a recording are also part of the sound document, whether they were inherent in the manufacture of the recording or have been subsequently added to the original signal by wear, mishandling or poor storage. Both must be preserved with utmost accuracy.
Artifact1 is often used in archaeology to distinguish man-made items from natural specimens. Even though documents and other two-dimensional materials are artifacts because of their physical nature, artifact is often used in the archival community to distinguish three-dimensional materials from two-dimensional materials. Artifacts may be preserved as records, documenting a design or function. For example, throughout the nineteenth century the United States Patent Office required models of inventions as part of the patent record. In addition, many archival record groups and manuscript collections contain artifacts among other more traditional visual and textual material, such as a campaign button filed with the flyer documenting the political rally at which it was acquired.In the 1990s, concern in the academic community about the destruction of records, manuscripts, and printed materials after microfilming and digitization prompted the use of artifact3, which is essentially synonymous with the archival concept of a resource containing artifactual value or intrinsic value.Examples of artifact4 include specks in a digital image not in the original, but resulting from noise in the digitization process.