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noun case history, chronicle, data, documentation, evidence, exhibits, file, legal instruments, manuscript, moving papers, offiiial writing, papers
Associated concepts: ancient documents, attorney-client privilege, attorney's work product, documentary evidence, production of documents, public documents, subpoena, traditional documents
See also: credentials, data, evidence

DOCUMENTS, evidence. The deeds, agreements, title papers, letters, receipts, and other written instruments used to prove a fact. Among the civilians, by documents is also understood evidence delivered in the forms established by law, of whatever nature such evidence may be, but applied principally to the testimony of witnesses. Savig. Dr. Rom. Sec. 165.
     2. Public documents are all such records, papers and acts, as are filed in the public offices of the United States or of the several states; as, for example, public statutes, public proclamations, resolutions of the legislature, the journals of either branch of the legislature, diplomatic correspondence communicated by the president to congress, and the like. These are in general evidence of the facts they contain or recite. 1 Greenl. Sec. 491.

References in classic literature ?
Poking and burrowing into the heaped-up rubbish in the corner, unfolding one and another document, and reading the names of vessels that had long ago foundered at sea or rotted at the wharves, and those of merchants never heard of now on 'Change, nor very readily decipherable on their mossy tombstones; glancing at such matters with the saddened, weary, half-reluctant interest which we bestow on the corpse of dead activity -- and exerting my fancy, sluggish with little use, to raise up from these dry bones an image of the old towns brighter aspect, when India was a new region, and only Salem knew the way thither -- I chanced to lay my hand on a small package, carefully done up in a piece of ancient yellow parchment.
Because the document in question is of such immense importance that its publication might very easily--I might almost say probably--lead to European complications of the utmost moment.
Mary shut the door, laid the documents upon her table, and sank her head on her hands.
The document has never been out of my possession, sir," he said.
An Inventory of papers, documents, and articles followed at great length on the next three pages.
In that document he assured them, in a Royal manner, that he received the profession of their attachment with a full conviction of its sincerity; and again generally exhorted them to follow his example--which, at least in so far as coming into a great property was concerned, there is no doubt they would have gladly imitated.
In a word, I believe,--and my legal advisers coincide in the belief, which, moreover, is authorized, to a certain extent, by the family traditions,--that my grandfather was in possession of some deed, or other document, essential to this claim, but which has since disappeared.
The clerk, besides, was a man of counsel; he could scarce read so strange a document without dropping a remark; and by that remark Mr.
The consul took the document and carefully read it, whilst Fix observed, or rather devoured, the stranger with his eyes from a corner of the room.
Mademoiselle," the document ran, "certain untoward circumstances compel me to depart in haste.
However, we were to have a "battery of guns" from the Navy Department (as per advertisement) to be used in answering royal salutes; and the document furnished by the Secretary of the Navy, which was to make "General Sherman and party" welcome guests in the courts and camps of the old world, was still left to us, though both document and battery, I think, were shorn of somewhat of their original august proportions.
They would, they said, send an escort of Sagoths with me to fetch the precious document from its hiding-place, keeping Dian at Phutra as a hostage and releasing us both the moment that the document was safely restored to their queen.

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