This word list provides informal definitions of technical terms commonly found on this web site.

Administrative History

An outline of the history of a business, organization, or government agency. It would usually describe what the organization did, how it changed over time, and perhaps list its chief officers. Intended to give some idea of who created a given body of records and how those records may have originally been used.

City Documents

These items consist mainly of published and unpublished reports by or pertaining to the City of Victoria. Many of them will also be found within various groups of City records, especially within the records of City officials who created the reports or received them as part of their work. City documents consist of extra copies of these reports that have been brought together for convenience.

City Record(s) Series

Groups of related records created by City of Victoria departments or divisions.


Unlike a fonds, material that has been collected by a person or organization rather than created. While one person may donate his collection of postcards, another person may donate a fonds that includes an assortment of postcards received from friends and acquaintances over the years.


All the records created by a person or organization during the course of their existence. We rarely have a whole fonds in our custody, but (by convention) we describe the records as if we did. Other archives may describe the same thing as a "collection". Pronounced in the French manner with a silent "d" and "s".

Private Documents

Generally, small accumulations of miscellaneous material such as business cards, pamphlets, and postcards received from persons or organizations.

Private Records

Fonds or collections of private persons or organizations, as distinguished from City of Victoria government records.