What is a Record?

Records are defined by the Illinois State Records Act as:
"books, papers, digitized electronic material, maps, photographs, databases, or other official documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made, produced, executed or received by any agency in the State in pursuance of state law or in connection with the transaction of public business and preserved or appropriate for preservation by that agency or its successor as evidence of the organization, function, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the State or of the State Government, or because of the informational data contained therein".

The simplest definition comes from ARMA International, the international association of records managers, which says that a record is any recorded information regardless of medium or characteristics, made or received and retained by an organization in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business.

If you need help determining if a document you have is a record, consult the Is it a Record? flowchart.