Lexicon 1


Appropriation– A form of malleability, how an art work can be altered, that refers to the recognition of an old image (icon) in a new image (remix).

Citation– A means of giving credit to a source for the information one is presenting. Ethically, it allows one to borrow information from another source without stealing it. Citations also helps viewers look deeper into the information being cited.

Curate – This describes how an archivist chooses which archives to include, and not include, in a collection.


Finding Aid – A companion text to an archive that helps the viewer understand the data in the archive they are studying.

Hyper-literate Culture– Describes how images act as a kind of “shorthand” to deliver a complex message in contemporary forms of communication.

Identifier – A reference to help one find a specific archive in a collection.


Material Culture– Artifacts from a specific time and space that hold cultural significance.

Metadata – A set of information/data on other data. Elements of metadata include dates, times, titles, and author names. Descriptive data is one of the many types of metadata, using the elements just mentioned to identify key investigatory information, such as author and title, to contextualize an archive. Similarly, catalog data is concerned with compound archives and how they are ordered/put together.


Observational Research– A form of primary research that involves a careful and thorough documentation of the world.

Prownian Analysis– An in-depth, schematic method of research to use when studying material culture. It begins with description, followed by deduction and speculation, leading to a comprehensive final analysis.


Tagging– A practice in archiving that consists of adding tags, keywords or phrases, to an archive in order to help others easily find it and other related archives.

Thesis– A statement put forward as a premise to be maintained or proved. (Oxford Living Dictionary) A thesis is most commonly argumentative, analytical, or expository.

Thick Description– Used in Prownian Analysis when studying material culture. Entails illustrating the physical properties of an object in an especially thorough matter.

Triangulation of Data– Using several different research methods to give another piece of data more credibility by giving it validation.

Web Directories– An online research tool that provides categories and subcategories to find a broad set of websites concerning a given topic, rather than allowing users to search key words like search engines.

Visual Rhetoric– The use of visual text and design to deliver a message to an audience. This includes photographs, art work, advertisements, and even memes.

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