form [English]

InterPARES Definition

n. ~ IP2 · Rules of representation that determine the appearance of an entity and convey its meaning.

Other Definitions

  • IP2 Dictionary (†242 s.v. form): n., Rules of representation that determine the appearance of an entity and convey its meaning. [General Dictionaries] n., The physical characteristics–size, shape, composition, etc.–of any archaeological find. Form is an essential part of attribute analysis. [Sciences] n., A document, printed or otherwise produced, with predesignated spaces for the recording of specified information. [Archives] n., All the characteristics of a record determined by the application of the rules of representation of content typical of a given environment. Form breaks down into physical form, the characteristics of the external appearance of the record; and intellectual form, the characteristics of the internal composition of the record. [Archives] n., A document intended to serve as a model. [Archives] n., The structure and design of a composition. [Arts] n., Term applied to such aspects of a work of art as internal organization and shape, often used with some degree of distinction from the subject-matter, content, function and style of works of art. [Arts] n., Used with reference to works of art and architecture to mean the arrangement of visual elements such as line, mass, shape, or color. [Arts] n., A classification term applied to the manner in which the text of a book is arranged, as a dictionary, or the literary form in which it is written, as drama, poetry, etc. [Computer and Information Sciences] n., The data structure within a computer system representing the final result to be printed or displayed. [Computer and Information Sciences] n., A page of printer media. [Computer and Information Sciences]
  • IP2 Glossary (†386 s.v. form): n., Rules of representation that determine the appearance of an entity and convey its meaning. [General Dictionaries - Preservation of the Integrity of Electronic Records , Page: 13 ]
  • SAA Glossary 2005 (†241 ): n. ~ 1. A printed document with clearly defined areas left blank that are to be completed later. – 2. The materials and structure of an item; format1. – 3. The overall appearance, configuration, or shape, independent of its intellectual content; a document type. – 4. A model1 or pattern; something that gives shape; a mold2, 3. - 5. A style or convention for expressing ideas in a literary work or document; documentary form, including extrinsic and intrinsic elements. - 6. Typography · Type, spacers, and other materials assembled in a chase for printing. ¶ Notes: Form2 is synonymous with format1, although this equivalence is a fairly recent shift in the language. Form is often used to distinguish between versions of an item in different media; for example, a document may be described as being in its original form, a microform, or a duplicate form.


  • Thibodeau 2013A (†266 ): I have only heard of two forms of digital storage which humans could possibly read and make sense of: punched cards and punched paper tape, but neither are used any more and there is near zero probability they will make a comeback. Humans are physically incapable of reading magnetic, optical or solid state media. You could go on at great length about what "meaningful to humans" means, but the nuts and bolts reality is: if you can't read it, it can't have any meaning. (†230)
  • Wikipedia (†387 s.v. form): The shape, visual appearance, constitution or configuration of an object. In a wider sense, the form is the way something is or happens. (†1245)