Course:1: Archives and Archivists
Lesson:Lesson Two: More About Historical Records
Topic:The Uniqueness of Historical Records


The Uniqueness of Historical Records

Historical records are unique. They are generally one-of-a-kind, and this makes them special. Historical records are unpublished. The information in the records is a result of a person's or organization's activities, not a publication to be reproduced and disseminated to an audience.

This unique, unpublished information provides facts, opinions, viewpoints, and content that cannot be found in any other resource. It often offers important documentation and a unique perspective of the background, events, and ideas associated with the creator of the records.

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A good example of the unique nature of historical records is this record book of the Female Tract Society of St. John's Episcopal Church of Worthington (Ohio). The book contains minutes of the meeting held at the home of Philander Chase on November 2, 1817 at which the society was founded. Minutes from subsequent meetings over the next two decades highlight the religious and social lives of the women of Worthington.

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Meeting Minutes of the Female Tract Society.

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"Easter Monday, May 23rd, 1818. The members of the Female Tract Society of Worthington and its vicinity met at the house of E. Groswold according to appointment and the Constitution."