n.a collection of documents relating to a particular investigation or in support of some administrative actionKulsrud 1947, 330This program was operated locally by the Farm Security Administration’s county officials, who dealt directly with the individual clients. The local records are therefore of particular significance. They are maintained in the client’s case file folders, and consist of all documents used in the loan transactions, from initial application to termination. They are rich in human interest material, and contain information of unique value for the study of social and economic conditions that prevailed in various parts of the country in the decade preceding the war.Cook 1991a, 13A case file is not itself a record, but an aggregation of records and documents brought together because conceptually they share certain common interrelationships. Physically, the case file may be one or many file folders or other filing entities (box, envelope, drawer, etc.). Conceptually, the case file almost always relates to a specific event, person, place, project, contract, or transaction.Allen 1997, 228Because benefit recipient and applicant case files are an important part of Food Stamp Program records, project members surveyed state case files and charted the diverse content of these series in the different states. We produced guidelines for improving case file management in the final report, recommending written case file management procedures, segregation of long- and short-term materials, and cut-off and disposition procedures.Shenk 2010, 91Usually, the longest restrictions are placed on case files that contain personal information, sometimes including social security numbers.
Case files are often found in social services agencies and in congressional offices. Examples include criminal investigations, patient records, and tenure files.