Course:1: Archives and Archivists
Lesson:Lesson One: Introduction to Archives and Archivists



People and organizations create and use records as they communicate with one another and conduct business. Records are produced as a result of what we do as individuals and as groups.

Records offer evidence of our activities and relationships, providing information about associated people, organizations, events, and places. 

All records have value when they are created, but most decrease in value over time. Some don't need to be kept beyond the period of time that they are of immediate use. Others have enduring historical value. These records are called archival records (archives) or historical records. 

Examples of records include cancelled checks, invoices, letters, diaries, files, financial ledgers, notes, photographs, drawings and illustrations, minutes, calendars, dockets, memoirs, rosters, resolutions, audio-visual materials, and computer files and email. Sometimes these are records--and sometimes they are historical records. Read on to see why!

Definition icon

Records are documents in any form containing information created by an individual or organization during the course of their activities. 

 Records collage
Records offer evidence of activities and relationships.