A document is a collection of data or data, recorded on a carrier. By adding context to this, it becomes information. This can consist of written record, for example on a pyramid or a temple, clay tablets, parchment, stone, paper or microchip / digital. The definition is not bound by language (letters, memos, manuscripts, certificates, bills, medical records, political manifestos or logs). A spreadsheet contains numbers and that is also a document. A PowerPoint presentation with pictures is also a document. A drawing of a building (work of an architect) is just as much a document as the work of a notary. The collected work of Rembrandt or Vincent van Goch offers us an insight into life in their time.

General: a document is a record of events to store knowledge. There are often formal or informal requirements for recording per document type.

Back to the concept of data; recorded on a carrier. A graveyard with tombstones tells a lot about a period of time and the carrier is exceptionally durable.

A document is a form of information. A document can also be stored electronically on a computer in the form of files. An Electronic Document Management system (EDM) is used to manage this wealth of information.

When using certain computer applications, such as a word processor, a document is the unit of stored work. Each document is saved as a uniquely named file. A unit of a document, in IT, is usually also referred to as a content item or an information object.

In the computer industry, documentation is the information provided to a customer or other users about a product or the preparation process.

To document a fact, event or something else (verb) is to record or annotate, which means that it is placed in a relatively permanent form for retrieval later.

Please make no fuzz about definitions. I’ll give you my insights. If it helps you, that’s a bonus.

An elephant in the wild is a big beast. An elephant in the zoo is a document.

A historian I know who was a documentalist for a client gave me his definition of “document”.

Data in writing on a durable medium. It provides information on a period in early June 1944 in Normandy.