n. (media, pl.) The physical material that serves as the carrier for information. The materials and technique used to create a work. The liquid in which pigment is suspended.


Medium1 refers to the thing that bears the information, as distinguished from the base1. For example, in printing, the ink is the medium and the paper is the base. In videotape, the magnetic material that holds the signal is the media, and the polyester film is the base. - Medium2 is frequently used when describing artworks; for example, oil on canvas or mixed media. - An example of medium3 is linseed oil, which is used in oil paint.


Bergeron 2002, p. 59 ff The medium is the physical material, whether in the form of a disk or a tape, used to store computer data. The material, whether it is a thin layer of iron oxide sprayed on a paper, plastic, or a metal base, or whether it is a thin sheet of aluminum foil sandwiched between disks of plastic, or whether it is a paper card punched full of holes, imparts certain characteristics to the media. [Characteristics include compatibility, speed, capacity, data density, cost, volatility, durability, and stability.] InterPARES 2002, p. 6 [There is a question as to whether] medium – that is, the physical carrier on which a record is stored – is a part of the record itself or as a part of its technological context. For diplomatists examining medieval documents, the medium is an essential component of a record because the examination of the physical carrier on which the document is inscribed is one of the most obvious proofs of its authenticity. In the translation of diplomatic concepts into the modern, paper-based, recordkeeping environments, the medium has continued to be treated as a part of the record itself, mainly because the medium and the message are inextricably linked. ¶ The question was whether, in an electronic recordkeeping environment, the medium should continue to be treated as an essential part of the record itself given that 1) the medium and the message are no longer inextricably linked; 2) what is inscribed on or affixed to the medium is not a record as such (or words, or pictures), but a bitstream; and 3) the choice of a medium by those creating or maintaining the record is often arbitrary and carries no particular significance.