Adapted from A Federal Records Management Glossary. National Archives and Records Administration, 1993.

N-Q

NA FORM 14028, INFORMATION SYSTEM DESCRIPTION
An electronic records inventory form that may be used to provide the necessary data for NARA's initial appraisal of Agency information systems not covered by the General Records Schedules. This or a similar form is to be attached to a Standard Form 115 when scheduling such electronic records.
NA FORM 14097, TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION FOR TRANSFER OF ELECTRONIC RECORDS TO THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES
A form that may be used to provide information to accompany the transfer of permanent electronic records to the National Archives. This or a similar form is to be attached to a Standard Form 258 when transferring such records. This information was formerly provided on the Standard Form 277, Computer Magnetic Tape File Properties, which has been discontinued.
NATIONAL ARCHIVES
See ARCHIVES.
NATIONAL AUDIOVISUAL CENTER (NAC)
A NARA-operated central clearinghouse for most current audiovisual materials produced by or for the Federal Government. These materials are made available for sale and rental to Federal agencies and the public. See also AUDIOVISUAL RECORDS.
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY (NIST)
See FEDERAL INFORMATION PROCESSING STANDARDS (FIPS), RESOLUTION TARGET.
NATIONAL SECURITY EMERGENCY
Any occurrence, including natural disaster, military attack, technological emergency, or other emergency, that seriously degrades or threatens the national security of the United States, as defined in Executive Order 12656.
NEGATIVE FILM
Film in which the dark portions of the original image appear light and the light portions dark. Used as the master copy from which positive copies can be made. See also MASTER MICROFORM, POLARITY, POSITIVE FILM.
NITRATE FILM
Transparent plastic no longer produced as a film base because it is very flammable. Also called cellulose nitrate or nitrocellulose film. See also BASE.
NONCURRENT RECORDS
Records no longer required to conduct Agency business and therefore ready for final disposition. See also CURRENT RECORDS, FINAL DISPOSITION, PERMANENT RECORDS, SEMICURRENT RECORDS.
NONOFFICIAL PAPERS
See PERSONAL PAPERS.
NONPERMANENT RECORDS
See TEMPORARY RECORDS.
NONRECORD COPY
See NONRECORD MATERIALS.
NONRECORD MATERIALS
U.S. Government-owned documentary materials excluded from the legal definition of records or not meeting the requirements of that definition. Include extra copies of documents kept only for convenience of reference, stocks of publications and of processed documents, and library or museum materials intended solely for reference or exhibition. Also called nonrecords. See also DISPOSITION AUTHORITY (2), DISPOSITION INSTRUCTIONS (2), DOCUMENT, DOCUMENTARY MATERIALS, FILES, PERSONAL PAPERS, RECORDED INFORMATION, RECORDS, TECHNICAL REFERENCE FILES, WORKING FILES.
NONRECORDS
See NONRECORD MATERIALS.
NONTEXTUAL RECORDS
A collective term usually applied to electronic, audiovisual, cartographic, remote-sensing imagery, architectural, and engineering records, in contrast to manuscript and typescript paper records. See also SPECIAL RECORDS, TEXTUAL RECORDS.
NUMERIC-ALPHABETIC FILING SYSTEM
A classification system in which numbers are assigned to main divisions and letters and numbers to succeeding subdivisions and the records are arranged accordingly. For example, "1" might stand for "agency," "1C" for the subdivision "personnel," and "1C4" for the further subdivision "retirement."
NUMERIC FILING SYSTEM
Any classification system in which numbers are assigned to main divisions and subdivisions and the records are arranged accordingly.

OFFER
A term formerly used to describe the act of requesting NARA's one-time approval of the immediate transfer of unscheduled records to the National Archives ("direct offer") or the act of initiating the transfer to the National Archives of records already scheduled as permanent ("scheduled offer"). Direct offers have been discontinued, and scheduled offers are now called scheduled transfers. See also TRANSFER, SCHEDULED TRANSFER.
OFFICE AUTOMATION (OA)
The use of automated or electronic equipment, such as computers, for office operations. See also COMPUTER, LOCAL AREA NETWORK, WORD PROCESSING.
OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET
See OMB CIRCULAR NO. A-130.
OFFICIAL FILE COPY
See COPY (1), RECORDS.
OFFICIAL FILES
See RECORDS.
OFFICIAL RECORD COPY
See COPY (1), RECORDS.
OFFICIAL RECORDS
See RECORDS.
OFF-LINE
Not under the direct control of a computer. Refers to data on a medium, such as a magnetic tape, not directly accessible for immediate processing by a computer.
OFF-SITE STORAGE
A facility other than an Agency's normal place of business where vital records are stored for protection. See also VITAL RECORDS.
OMB CIRCULAR NO. A-130, MANAGEMENT OF FEDERAL INFORMATION RESOURCES
A policy statement issued by the Office of Management and Budget regarding the management of Federal information resources, including records. See also INFORMATION RESOURCES MANAGEMENT.
ON-LINE
Under the direct control of a computer. Refers to data on a medium, usually a disk, directly accessible for immediate processing by a computer.
OPERATING SYSTEM
In electronic records, software directing a computer's operation.
OPTICAL CHARACTER RECOGNITION (OCR)
A method of entering data into a computer by using an optical scanning device to read the contents of documents. See also SCANNING.
OPTICAL DISK (OD)
A noncontact, random-access disk typically tracked by optical laser beams and used for mass storage and retrieval of generally digitized text and graphics. Sometimes called an optical digital disk or optical digital data disk. Types include WORM (write once read many), CD-ROM (compact disk--read only memory), CD-I (compact disk--interactive), and erasable optical disks. See also BIT-MAPPED GRAPHICS, COMPACT DISK (CD), COMPACT DISK--INTERACTIVE (CD-I), ELECTRONIC RECORDS, JUKEBOX, MICROIMAGING SYSTEMS, PICTURE ELEMENT, READ ONLY MEMORY (ROM), SCANNING, WRITE ONCE READ MANY (WORM).
OPTIONAL FORM (OF)
A form developed by a Federal Agency for use by two or more agencies and approved by GSA for nonmandatory use throughout the U.S. Government. See also FORM (1), STANDARD FORM.
OPTIONAL FORM 11, REFERENCE REQUEST--FEDERAL RECORDS CENTERS
A form that an Agency may use to obtain reference service involving records it has stored in a Federal records center.
OPTIONAL FORM 21, CROSS-REFERENCE
See CROSS-REFERENCE.
OPTIONAL FORM 22, CONTINUITY REFERENCE
See CONTINUITY REFERENCE FORM.
OPTIONAL FORM 23, CHARGEOUT RECORD
See CHARGEOUT.
ORAL HISTORY MATERIALS
All documents, regardless of media, relating to interviews conducted expressly for historical purposes by, or on behalf of, an Agency.
OUTPUT
In electronic records, information transmitted from internal to external units of a computer, or to an outside medium. See also INFORMATION SYSTEM, INPUT.
OUTPUT RECORDS
In electronic records, information generated by a computer and placed on an outside medium, such as paper, microform, or an electronic storage medium. See also HARD COPY, INPUT RECORDS.

PAPER
See MEDIUM.
PAPERS
See PERSONAL PAPERS, RECORDS.
PAPERWORK MANAGEMENT
See RECORDS MANAGEMENT.
PERMANENT RECORDS
Records appraised by NARA as having sufficient historical or other value to warrant continued preservation by the Federal Government beyond the time they are needed for administrative, legal, or fiscal purposes. Sometimes called archival records. See also ARCHIVES (1), BLOCK (1), EVIDENTIAL VALUE, FINAL DISPOSITION, HISTORY FILES, INFORMATIONAL VALUE, NONCURRENT RECORDS, SCHEDULED TRANSFER, STANDARD FORM 258, TEMPORARY RECORDS.
PERSONAL COMPUTER (PC)
See MICROCOMPUTER.
PERSONAL PAPERS
Documentary materials belonging to an individual that are not used to conduct Agency business. Related solely to an individual's own affairs or used exclusively for that individual's convenience. Must be clearly designated as such and kept separate from the Agency's records. Also called personal files or personal records. See also DOCUMENT, DOCUMENTARY MATERIALS, NONRECORD MATERIALS, RECORDS.
PHOTOGRAPH
An image recorded on light-sensitive material.
PHOTOGRAPHIC RECORDS
Records taking the form of pictures, or photographs, sometimes with related textual records. See also AUDIOVISUAL RECORDS.
PHYSICAL CUSTODY
See CUSTODY.
PICTURE ELEMENT
The smallest dot, or image element, that can be processed individually for display on a video screen. Often abbreviated as pixel or sometimes as PEL. See also BIT-MAPPED GRAPHICS, OPTICAL DISK (OD).
PIXEL
See PICTURE ELEMENT.
PLANETARY CAMERA
A type of microfilm camera in which the document being photographed is on a flat surface and both the document and the film remain stationary during exposure. Also called a flatbed camera. See also CAMERA.
POLARITY
The change or retention of the dark-to-light relationship of an image. For example, going from a first- generation negative to a second-generation positive reverses polarity, whereas going from a first-generation negative to a second-generation negative maintains polarity. See also NEGATIVE FILM, POSITIVE FILM.
POLYESTER FILM
A film base of transparent plastic that keeps its original size and shape, resists tearing, and is strong and relatively nonflammable. Sometimes called polyethylene terephthalate film. See also BASE.
POSITIVE FILM
Film in which the dark portions of the original image appear dark and the light portions light. See also NEGATIVE FILM, POLARITY.
POSTERS
See AUDIOVISUAL RECORDS, PRINTED RECORDS, PUBLICATIONS.
PRESERVATION
(1) The provision of adequate facilities to protect, care for, or maintain records.
(2) Specific measures, individual and collective, undertaken to maintain, repair, restore, or protect records. See also RECORDS MAINTENANCE AND USE.
PRESERVATION MASTER COPIES
See USE COPIES.
PRESIDENTIAL RECORDS
According to 44 U.S.C. 2201, the term "means documentary materials, or any reasonably segregable portion thereof, created or received by the President, his immediate staff, or a unit or individual of the Executive Office of the President whose function is to advise and assist the President, in the course of conducting activities which relate to or have an effect upon the carrying out of the constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties of the President." Excluded are Federal Agency records (called "records" in this glossary), personal papers, stocks of publications and stationery, and extra copies of documents produced only for convenience of reference and clearly identified as such. See also RECORDS.
PRINTED RECORDS
Published materials (such as books, maps, and posters) or serial issuances (such as directives and press releases) produced by or for a particular Agency, in contrast to extra copies kept in stock or distributed inside or outside that Agency. See also PUBLICATIONS, RECORDS, STOCK COPY.
PRINTER
(1) In electronic records, a computer output device that makes a paper copy of alphanumeric or graphic information.
(2) In microform records, a device used to produce a paper copy of an enlarged image. See also HARD COPY (1), READER-PRINTER.
PRINTOUT
Output produced by a computer printer, generally on continuous paper sheets. See also DUMPING.
PRIVATE PAPERS
See PERSONAL PAPERS.
PRIVILEGED INFORMATION
See ADMINISTRATIVELY CONTROLLED INFORMATION.
PROCESSED DOCUMENTS
(1) Documents other than publications produced by electrostatic, stencil, or other duplicating methods.
(2) Documents prepared for use and/or storage.
PROCESSING
(1) Handling files to prepare them for use and/or storage.
(2) See AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING.
(3) Taking a series of steps to treat exposed photographic material in order to make the latent image visible and preservable. These steps include developing, fixing, washing, and drying. See also DEVELOPING, DRYING, FIXING, WASHING.
PROCESSING FILES
In electronic records, those data files used to produce a master file. Include work files, test files, input/source files, intermediate input/output files, valid transaction files, and audit trail files. See also DOCUMENTATION (3), MASTER FILES, VALID TRANSACTION FILES, WORK FILES.
PROCESSOR
(1) Someone who prepares files for use and/or storage.
(2) A computer processor.
(3) A device for treating exposed photographic film to make the latent image visible and preservable. See also CAMERA-PROCESSOR.
PROGRAM
(1) A mission, function, or activity carried out by an organization.
(2) See COMPUTER PROGRAM.
PROGRAM AUDIT
See EVALUATION (2).
PROGRAM INSPECTION
See EVALUATION (2).
PROGRAM MANAGER
An official responsible for overseeing an Agency function, especially a unique function rather than a function common to many agencies. See also RECORDS MANAGEMENT OFFICER, INFORMATION SYSTEM MANAGER, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY MANAGER.
PROGRAM RECORDS
Those records created by each Federal Agency in performing the unique functions that stem from the distinctive mission of the Agency. The Agency's mission is defined in enabling legislation and further delineated in formal regulations. See also ADMINISTRATIVE RECORDS, RECORDS.
PROGRAM REVIEW
See EVALUATION (2).
PROJECT FILES
See CASE FILES.
PROPRIETARY INFORMATION
Information owned by a business organization. See also CONTRACTOR RECORDS.
PUBLIC RECORDS
(1) In general usage, records accumulated by Government agencies.
(2) Records open to public inspection by law or custom. See also ACCESS (1), RECORDS.
PUBLIC USE FILE
See DISCLOSURE-FREE EXTRACT.
PUBLICATIONS
Documents printed or otherwise produced for wide distribution inside or outside an Agency. Include annual reports, brochures, pamphlets, posters, books, handbooks, and maps. Also include instructional and informational materials in audiovisual form. According to 44 U.S.C. 1901, a U.S. Government publication is "informational matter which is published as an individual document at Government expense, or as required by law." See also PRINTED RECORDS, STOCK COPY.
PURGING
See SCREENING (2).