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Electronic records have evolved from simple text-based word processing files or reports to include complex mixed media digital objects that may contain embedded images (still and animated), drawings, sounds, hyperlinks, or spreadsheets with computational formulas. Some portions of electronic records, such as the content of dynamic Web pages, are created on demand from databases and exist only for the duration of the viewing session. Other digital objects, such as electronic mail, may contain multiple attachments, and they may be threaded (i.e., related e-mail messages linked in send-reply chains). These records cannot be converted to paper or text formats for preservation without the loss of context, functionality, and metadata.

From

Cover of Information Governance: Concepts, Strategies, and Best Practices

Note

Relevant to history of documents and definitions of document in digital context.