Archive Guide Glossary

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There are currently 5 names in this directory beginning with the letter F.

A computer file system developed by Microsoft that can be read and written to by Mac and Windows devices. Many USB flash drives come formatted as FAT32. The maximum file size on a FAT32-formatted volume is 4GB, which may not meet the needs of large video files.

File Format

The specification by which a digital file is encoded. Some file formats are designed to store particular kinds of data while others are more like containers that can hold many kinds of data. Common video file formats like Quicktime (.mov), AVI, and mp4 are container formats that contain video and audio streams, metadata, subtitle tracks, etc.

Finding Aid

A document that contains information about a specific collection within an archive. It is a simple way for users to determine if the content in a collection is relevant to their research. The structure of finding aids differ depending on the material being described; they can contain detailed content lists, a description of the scope of the collection, biographical and historical information, and even restrictions on use or access to the content.


An interface standard for transferring data between digital devices, especially audio and video equipment. Developed by Apple in the 1990s, FireWire is becoming obsolete.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

A network protocol for transferring files between two points over the Internet. Users use FTP client applications (e.g. FileZilla) to communicate with an FTP server.

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