Explanation:What are Federal records? As defined in 44 U.S.C. 3301:
A) includes all recorded information, regardless of form or characteristics, made or received by a Federal agency under Federal law or in connection with the transaction of public business and preserved or appropriate for preservation by that agency or its legitimate successor as evidence of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the United States Government or because of the informational value of data in them; and
(B) does not include:
(i) library and museum material made or acquired and preserved solely for reference or exhibition purposes; or
(ii) duplicate copies of records preserved only for convenience.
This legal definition contains several important terms and phrases that require further explanation:
"Recorded Information" includes all traditional forms of records, regardless of physical form or characteristics, including information created, manipulated, communicated, or stored in digital or electronic form.
"Regardless of physical form or characteristics" means that the medium may be paper, film, disk, or another physical type or form. It also means that the method of recording may be manual, mechanical, photographic, electronic, or any combination of these or other technologies.
"Made" means the act of creating and recording information by agency employees, regardless of the method or medium involved. Such recorded information is generally circulated to others or placed in files accessible to others.
"Received" means the acceptance or collection of documentary materials by agency employees:
Regardless of who originated the materials, whether employees within the agency or in other agencies or whether private citizens, public officials, contractors, Government grantees, or others.
Regardless of how the materials were transmitted, whether directly by the originator or indirectly by messenger, mail, electronic means, or some other method.
In this context the term "received" does not refer to misdirected materials. It may or may not refer to loaned or seized materials. The question of Government ownership of loaned or seized materials depends on the conditions of agency custody and use and should therefore be referred to legal counsel for advice.
"Preserved" means the filing, storing, or any other method of systematically maintaining documentary materials by the agency, even if those materials have not yet been filed or have been removed temporarily from existing filing systems.
"Appropriate for preservation" means suitable for filing, storage, or other systematic maintenance by the agency, regardless of any inadequacies in the agency's formal recordkeeping policies and practices.
In summary, the legal definition has three key points:
Records are made or received by a Federal agency either to comply with a law or to conduct public business. As a result, they belong to the Government rather than to individuals, and their legal disposition depends on the prior approval of the Archivist of the United States.
Records are, or should be, preserved because they constitute evidence or contain information of value. They document an agency's organization, functions, and activities or the persons, places, things, or matters dealt with by an agency.
Records vary widely in their physical form or characteristics. They may be on paper, electronic, audiovisual, microform, or other media.
Attention should also be given to working files, or working papers, because of the difficulty of determining record status. Normally case working files are records because they generally need to be organized and maintained for some specified period of time. Other likely record categories include working files used in preparing reports or studies and preliminary drafts of policy documents circulated for comment. In contrast, preliminary drafts not circulated for comment are more likely to be nonrecord materials.
An agency's disposition program also needs to include managing nonrecord materials, because their volume may exceed that of records. These are US Government-owned documentary materials excluded from the legal definition of records (44 U.S.C. 3301), either by failing to meet the general conditions of record status already described or by falling under one of three specific categories:
Extra copies of documents preserved only for convenience of reference.
Stocks of publications and of processed documents. Each agency needs, however, to create and maintain record sets of processed documents and of publications, including annual and special reports, special studies, brochures, pamphlets, books, handbooks, manuals, posters, and maps.
Library and museum material made or acquired and preserved solely for reference or exhibition purposes.
On the basis of these conditions and the categories specifically cited in the law, nonrecord materials include:
printing of books was an important step in promotion of education due to multiple reasons.
firstly printing of books allowed the knowledge and information to be stored in a permanent form would not be lost being transmitted from person to person.
also it allowed a chance for the information to reach multiple people via the medium of the printed books