(also personal records, private papers), n. ~ 1. Documents created, acquired, or received by an individual in the course of his or her affairs and preserved in their original order (if such order exists). - 2. Nonofficial documents kept by an individual at a place of work.
†(Henry 1998, p. 315) The value of archives is cultural and humanistic, not just bureaucratic. Archival programs that collect records or personal papers, which may contain electronic media, find the new definition of record [as evidence of a business transaction] bewildering. Personal papers may never show 'evidence' of 'business transactions,' but such archival sources provide a wealth of information needed for society's memory.
†(USC, 44 USC 2201) The term personal records2 means all documentary materials, or any reasonably segregable portion thereof, of a purely private or nonpublic character which do not relate to or have an effect upon the carrying out of the constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties of the President. Such term includes - (A) diaries, journals, or other personal notes serving as the functional equivalent of a diary or journal which are not prepared or utilized for, or circulated or communicated in the course of, transacting Government business; (B) materials relating to private political associations, and having no relation to or direct effect upon the carrying out of constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties of the President; and (C) materials relating exclusively to the President's own election to the office of the Presidency; and materials directly relating to the election of a particular individual or individuals to Federal, State, or local office, which have no relation to or direct effect upon the carrying out of constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties of the President.