physical record

n. a record in a tangible form, especially a record on paper


Archivists have used this term in various ways over the last century. Originally, archivists would call something a physical record to distinguish it from nonrecords, especially when those nonrecords also had documentary value. Later, archivists used the term to segregate paper records from micrographic records or unrecorded narratives. In current use, the term distinguishes hardcopy records of any kind as distinguished from audiovisual and digital records.