n. records created and originally kept by an individual or a family (usually capitalized) used in the title of a set of archival materials to identify these as one created by an individual or a family records on paper considered as physical objects rather than an aggregation of information


Although papers1 is the term commonly used to identify the private papers of individuals and families, such papers may include any manner of documentary materials, including even objects retained as part of such a collection. The use of papers2 in the title of a collection similarly identifies such collections, even though some archivists have called for the word to be replaced, arguing it has become imprecise. However, language expands to include broader meaning whenever needed, so “papers” can and often do include digital materials. These two senses of the word function as a way to distinguish papers from “records,” where the latter is employed to identify a set of documentary materials created and kept by an organization, rather than an individual. A fourth sense of this term, “records indicating an individual’s identity or status,” does not appear in the archival literature.