ephemeral value

n. the usefulness or significance of that accrues to a record for only for a limited period of time


Records with ephemeral value have only short-term value to their creators and must be retained until they have met the operational or administrative needs of an individual or organization. Archivists must carefully distinguish between the concepts of ephemeral value and ephemera. Although ephemera are so named because of the usually short period of time between their initial use and their disposal, ephemera may have permanent value as records of cultural and political activity. From another point of view, records of ephemeral value rarely meet the definition of “ephemera.”