n.a record necessary to begin recovery of business after a disaster, as well as a record necessary to protect the assets, obligations, and resources of an organizationTopham 1954, 121We consider our program for the emergency protection of vital records a form of insurance.Munden 1959, 32We suggest that the first priority in protecting vital records be given to the near-current records, which we regard as essential to emergency operations of government.Papenfuse, Levine, and Lee 1977, 327The county clerk or recorder has in his/her custody irreplaceable vital records which, if lost, could mean a breakdown in the functioning of county government.NASARA 1982, 455A vital records program should be developed to ensure the survival of records and information necessary to resume and continue government operations after a serious fire or other catastrophe.King 1994, 30Offices on the first floor were in danger of losing everything. My records manual, with its section on how to prepare for a disaster, looked wonderful in print. When it came to facing a possible loss of records, however, every record became a vital record to the department head. It is extremely difficult to rationally discuss the varying values of records with someone when disaster is only hours away.Wagner 1999, 98He identified several problems: duplication of records, uneven decision making with respect to records disposition, storage of unnecessary records, purchase of filing equipment in lieu of adopting a well-planned disposition schedule, lack of security copies of vital records, and an inadequate sense of which historical records should be retained or how they should be maintained.Sampson 2002, 21Vital records identify the rights and obligations of the company, employees and their dependents, shareholders and their heirs, customers, creditors, suppliers, bondholders, the government, and the general public.Harris and Stine 2011, 641Ultimately, collection files, whether they be physical, electronic, in a database, or any combination thereof, are the vital records of any repository in that they document legal transfers of ownership and rights, the core functions and activities of the repository, and, most critically for institutional memory, its decision-making processes.Smallwood 2013, 135More specifically, vital records are mission‐critical records that are necessary for an organization to continue to operate in the event of disruption or disaster (e.g., fire, flood, hacker attack) and cannot be re‐created from any other source.Smallwood 2013, 136Vital records include records that maintain and protect the rights of stakeholders and are needed to continue or restart operations in the event of a disaster or other business interruption.a record that documents significant life events, including births, deaths, marriages, and divorcesGildemeister 1989, 116First issued in 1966, this fifty-page pamphlet provides an excellent, concise introduction to vital records and genealogical sources held by the National Archives of Canada. Census, land, cemetery, military, estate, and immigration records are described, as well as the birth, death, and marriage records held in the various provincial archives.Yakel and Torres 2007, 98In the wake of increased restrictions on vital records, genealogists have actively lobbied to keep them open in several states.Evans 2007, 398Not so hard to imagine; just think of the army of genealogists building family trees over the Internet through name indexing and vital records data collection projects.
Both senses are usually used in the plural form. Vital records1 typically document delegation of authority and lines of succession and include legal documents and contracts, financial records, and other documents that establish the rights and obligations of the organization, its employees and customers, stockholders, and citizens.