(a) Records Defined.–

Terms Used In 44 USC 3301

  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • 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. See 44 USC 3301

(1) In general.–As used in this chapter, the term “records”–

(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.


(2) Recorded information defined.–For purposes of paragraph (1), the term “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.


(b) Determination of Definition.–The Archivist’s determination whether recorded information, regardless of whether it exists in physical, digital, or electronic form, is a record as defined in subsection (a) shall be binding on all Federal agencies.