As part of scrapbooking, scrapbookers capture and collect ephemera of the things they do throughout a day, week, month, or other chunk of time. They use scrapbooks to preserve memories. Archives are usually a collection of materials of an institution or person.

Scrapbooks, then, are the archives of a person where they are both the archivist and the person whose materials are being archived.

They have been metaphorically defined as “the secretions of an organism”, and are distinguished from documents that have been consciously written or created to communicate a particular message to posterity.1