The meaning or meanings of record, and the relationship of records to other concepts such as evidence and information, are continuing subjects of debate. This paper examines statements about the nature of the record made by writers and practitioners within the archives and records management community, and it identifies some of the ways in which understandings and emphases vary. After reviewing different attitudes to definition and the perception of meaning, it discusses the challenges of defining records in terms of evidence or information, and suggests that archivists and records managers may prefer to consider evidence and information as two of the many affordances that records provide to their users. It concludes by exploring the concept of representation and proposing an alternative characterization of records as persistent representations of activities.

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