Provenance

Provenance, from the French provenir, "to come from", refers to the chronology of the ownership or location of a historical object. The term was originally mostly used in relation to works of art, but is now used in similar senses in a wide range of fields, including archaeology, paleontology, archives, manuscripts, printed books, and science and computing. The primary purpose of tracing the provenance of an object or entity is normally to provide contextual and circumstantial evidence for its original production or discovery, by establishing, as far as practicable, its later history, especially the sequences of its formal ownership, custody, and places of storage. The practice has a particular value in helping authenticate objects. Comparative techniques, expert opinions, and the results of scientific tests may also be used to these ends, but establishing provenance is essentially a matter of documentation.

In archaeology (particularly North American archaeology and anthropological archaeology throughout the world), the term provenience is used in related but a subtly different sense to provenance. Archaeological researchers use provenience to refer to the three-dimensional location of an artifact or feature within an archaeological site, whereas provenance covers an object's complete documented history. Provenience can be used more broadly (e.g. the name of valley or estate), especially when an artifact was found by a private party and its specific position not recorded. Any given antiquity may therefore have both a provenience (where it was found) and a provenance (where it has been since it was found). In rare cases, e.g. known artisanship or original ownership, an antiquity's provenance may include facts that predate its entry into the archaeological record, as well as those relating to its history after rediscovery.

Read more about Provenance:  Works of Art and Antiques, Wines, Archives, Books, Computers and Law

Other articles related to "provenance":

Provenance - Computers and Law
... The term provenance is used when ascertaining the source of goods such as computer hardware to assess if they are genuine or counterfeit ... Software provenance relates to establishing the origins of software and identifying what licensing terms the individual components of that software fall under ... enterprise application it may wish to establish provenance on it to ensure the it does not contain source code under a viral licensing agreement which may in turn force it to release ...
Provenance in Archival Science - Emergence of Provenance
... Provenance received its most pointed expression in the "Manual for the Arrangement and Description of Archives", a Dutch text published in 1898 and written by three Dutch archivists, Samuel Muller ... This text provided the first description of the principle of provenance and argued that "original order" is an essential trait of archival arrangement and description ... Dutch archivists and supporting the concept of provenance were the historians of the era ...
Serpent Column - History - Provenance
... longest literary histories of any object surviving from Greek and Roman antiquity — its provenance is not in doubt and it is at least 2,490 years old ...
Spanish Inquisition Necklace - Provenance
... In 1947, Yashvantrao sold the necklace to Harry Winston ... Winston loaned the necklace out that year to actress Katharine Hepburn, who wore it to the 19th Academy Awards ceremony ...