n.records created and originally kept by an individual or a familyNuermberger 1941, 252Early in 1932, however, two collections were received which required different treatment. They were the papers of William Mahone, estimated at 100,000 pieces and the papers of Benjamin Newton Duke, estimated at 40,000 pieces.Deutrich 1961, 392Many church records and papers of religious leaders have been preserved by State historical societies, libraries, and similar cultural institutions.Hackbart-Dean 1995, 66Although junior members of Congress have their allotment of ethical and legal dilemmas, it is the senior members, with the power and contacts of a committee chairman or a leadership position, and other highly placed government officials that attract the headlines. And it is the papers of senior members that repositories most vigorously endeavor to collect, because over a lengthy career in Congress or in a high level appointment, the official’s papers include materials that document major issues of regional, national, and even international importance—papers that researchers are eager to use.Cook 2005, 186The focus shifted from a semi-antiquarian enthusiasm for collecting the personal papers of heroic figures of a distant or pioneering past to a more scholarly, systematic, and professional approach for acquiring the records of contemporary society and especially managing effectively those of their burgeoning governments.(usually capitalized) used in the title of a set of archival materials to identify these as one created by an individual or a familyBrown 1984, 11The Farnham Family Papers consist of 250 linear feet of material arranged in 400 nonarchival containers.Peters 2006, 30After noticing a fair amount of duplicate files we had to make an appraisal decision: were we going to keep every file accessioned with the Michael Joyce Papers, or could some of the copies be discarded?Schmidt and Law 2009, 53Though the McMillan Papers generate problems in terms of size, arrangement, and description, the first step in their reappraisal will correct the most fundamental problem: an unsound arrangement that has made the finding aid cumbersome and access difficult.Dickson 2010, 626–627In September 2007, the Southern Historical Collection and the Carolina Digital Library and Archives of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill began a two-year, privately funded grant project to digitize and make available online the entirety of the Thomas E. Watson Papers, a manuscript collection housed in the Southern Historical Collection.Cox, Alcalá, and Bowler 2012, 385The Thornburgh Papers is a rich collection, documenting all aspects of the governor’s life and career, ranging from a childhood diary to corruption and gambling cases prosecuted when Thornburgh was U.S. attorney general.records on paper considered as physical objects rather than an aggregation of informationHolmes 1938, 172Selection is not only desirable, it is inescapable; and, it should not be too long delayed. It should be made before the unity of a collection is broken and before its natural arrangement is tampered with, which usually means as soon as papers become inactive.Van Schreeven 1942, 170Many institutions already have well defined subject groups formulated out of various fonds of archival material. Thus many of the earlier states may have a collection of Revolutionary War records. In this collection may be papers from various executive departments, the legislature, and even some private papers. Often this collection has been indexed. It would be impossible to return all the papers to the proper file.Fox 1985, 27For example, if stored with less acidic materials, acid from the computer paper will migrate and acidify other items. Highly acidic materials may be filed in a separate box, or at least a separate folder, from more stable papers.Gelting 1990, 150With the constant increase in size and number of public administrative services came an increasing pressure on the archives to relieve the offices of their older papers, as well as the increasing risk of uncontrolled disposal of government papers.
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.