What is Record?

Legal Definition
Evidence. A written memorial made by a public officer authorized by law to perform that function, and intended to serve as evidence of something written, said, or done. 6 Call, 78; 1 Dana, 595.

2. Records may be divided into those which relate to the proceedings of congress and the state legislatures - the courts of common law - the courts of chancery - and those which are made so by statutory provisions.

3. - 1. Legislative acts. The acts of congress and of the several legislatures are the highest kind of records. The printed journals of congress have been so considered. 1 Whart. Dig. tit. Evidence, pl. 112 and see Dougl. 593; Cowp. 17.

4. - 2. The proceedings of the courts of common law are records. But every minute made by a clerk of a court for his own future guidance in making up his record, is not a record. 4 Wash. C. C. Rep. 698.

5. - 3. Proceedings in courts of chancery are said not to be, strictly speaking, records; but they are so considered. Gresley on Ev. 101.

6. - 4. The legislatures of the several states have made the enrollment of certain deeds and other documents necessary in order to perpetuate the memory of the facts they contain, and declared that the copies thus made should have the effect of records.

7. By the constitution of the United States, art. 4. s. 1, it is declared that "full faith and credit shll be given, in each state, to the public acts, records and judicial proceedings of every other state; and the congress may, by general laws, prescribe the manner in which such acts, records and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof." In pursuance of this power, congress have passed several acts directing the manner of authenticating public records, which will be found under the article Authentication.

8. Numerous decisions have been made under these acts, some of which are here referred to. 7 Cranch, 471; 3 Wheat. 234; 4 Cowen, 292; 1 N. H. Rep. 242; 1 Ohio Reports, 264; 2 Verm. R. 263; 5 John. R. 37; 4 Conn. R. 380; 9 Mass 462; 10 Serg. & Rawle, 240; 1 Hall's N. York Rep. 155; 4 Dall. 412; 5 Serg. & Rawle, 523; 1 Pet. S. C. Rep. 352. Vide, generally, 18 Vin. Ab. 17; 1 Phil. Ev. 288; Bac. Ab. Amendment, &c., H; 1 Kent, Com. 260; Archb. Civ. Pl. 395; Gresley on Ev. 99; Stark. Ev. Index, h. t.; Dane's Ab. Index, h. t.; Co. Litt. 260; 10 Pick. R. 72; Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t.
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
The act of making a record.

2. Sometimes questions arise as to when the act of recording is complete, as in the following case. A deed of real estate was acknowledged before the register of deeds and handed to him to be recorded, and at the same instant a creditor of the grantor attached the real estate; in this case it was held the act of recording was incomplete without a certificate of the acknowledgment, and wanting that, the attaching creditor had the preference. 10 Pick. Rep. 72.

3. The fact of an instrument being recorded is held to operate as a constructive notice upon all subsequent purchasers of any estate, legal or equitable, in the same property. 1 John. Ch. R. 394.

4. But all conveyances and deeds which may be de facto recorded, are not to be considered as giving notice; in order to have this effect the instruments must be such as are authorized to be recorded, and the registry must have been made in compliance with the law, otherwise the registry is to be treated as a mere nullity, and it will not affect a subsequent purchaser or encumbrancer unless he has such actual notice as would amount to a fraud. 2 Sell. & Lef. 68; 1 Sch. & Lef. 157; 4 Wheat. R. 466; 1 Binn. R. 40; 1 John. Ch. R. 300; 1 Story, Eq. Jur. ยง403, 404; 5 Greenl. 272.
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
n. A written account of some act, transaction or instrument, drawn up, under authority of law, by a proper officer, and designed to remain as a memorial or permanent evidence of the matters to which it relates. There are three kinds of records, viz.:

(1) judicial, as an attainder;

(2) ministerial, on oath, .being an office or inquisition found;

(3) by way of conveyance, as a deed enrolled. Wharton. In practice. A written memorial of all the acts and proceedings in an action or suit, in a court of record. The record is the official and authentic history of the cause, consisting in entries of each successive step in the proceedings, chronicling the various acts of the parties and of the court, couched in the formal language established by usage, terminating with the judgment rendered in the cause, and intended to remain as a perpetual and unimpeachable memorial of the proceedings and judgment. At common, law, "record" signifies a roll of parchment upon which the proceedings and transactions of a court are entered or drawn up by its officers, and which is then deposited in its treasury in perpetuum rei memoriam. 3 Steph. Comm. 583 ; 3 Bl. Comm. 24, A court of record is that where the acts and judicial proceedings are enrolled in parchment for a perpetual memorial and testimony, which rolls are called the "records of the court," and are of such high and supereminent authority that their truth is not to be called in question. Hahn v. Kelly, 34 Cal. 422, 94 Am. Dec. 742. And see O'Co.nnell v. Hotchkiss, 44 Conn. 53; Murrah v. State, 51 Miss. 656; Bellas v. McCarty, 10 Watts (Pa.) 24; U. S. v. Taylor, 147 U. S. 695, 13 Sup. Ct. 479, 37 L Ed. 335; State v. Godwin, 27 N. C. 403, 44 Am. Den. 42; Vail v. Iglehart, 69 111. 334; State v. Anders, 64 Kan. 742, 68 Pac. 668; Wilkinson v. Railway Co.. (C. Ot) 23 Fed. 562; In re Chris-tem, 48 N. Y. Super. Ct. 531. In the practice of appellate tribunals, the word "record" is generally understood to mean the history of the proceedings on the trial of the action below, (with the pleadings, offers, objections to evidence, rulings of the court, exceptions, charge, etc.,) in so far as the same appears in the record furnished to the appellate court in the paper-books or other transcripts. Hence, derivatively, it means the aggregate of the various Judicial steps taken on the trial below, in so far as they were taken, presented, or allowed in the formal and proper manner necessary to put them upon the record of the court. This is the meaning in such phrases as "no error in the record," "contents of the record," "outside the record," etc.
See also
-- Black's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
v. To register or enroll; to write out on parchment or paper or in a book, for the purpose of preservation and perpetual memorial; to transcribe a document or enter the history of an act or series of acts, in an official volume, for the purpose of giving notice of the same, of furnishing authentic evidence, and for preservation. See Cady v. Purser, 131 Cui. 552, 63 Pac. 844. 82 Am. St Rep. 391; Vidor v. Rawlins, 93 Tex. 259, 54 S. W. 1026.
-- Black's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
That on which a cause is submitted to an appellate court, and may include the transcript of all papers on file in the case and all entries in the record book, but not the evidence. See 143 Iowa, 578, 21 Ann. Cas. 231, 121 N. W. 685. A written history of the proceedings in a cause from the beginning to the end. See 147 U. S. 695, 37 L. Ed. 335, 13 Sup. Ct. Rep. 479. To recite; to repeat; to transcribe. See 126 Ala. 425, 85 Am. St. Rep. 42, 51 L. R. A. 396, 28 South. 497. To file for record in a public office where the document is entitled to be recorded. See 1 Rand. (Va.) 102. See, also, Court of record; Public record.
-- Ballentine's Law Dictionary