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Miscellaneous Exotic Records and the Uses of Exotic Records

Martha Phillips Allbright, Ronald I. Schindler, Land and Permitting II (1996)

Though the word “exotic” most often is associated with the definition “from another part of the world,” another definition of “exotic” in common use is “intriguingly unusual or beautiful.”1 At first glance, placing the word “exotic” next to the term “land records” would appear to be either an acknowledgment of an antonym or alternatively, a mistake. Perhaps a closer examination may show a relationship less than obvious at first consideration.

General land records are somewhat limited in their content. They disclose, for example, who has record title to property, who has the right to use the property (both the mineral and surface estates) and other title to aspects of property, such as liens and financial instruments affecting property. This important information is normally accessible in a central county or government repository. Exotic land records, on the other hand, can be considered to be non-traditional records or non title records less concerned with the actual title history, created for diverse purposes and penned with different focuses. Therefore, such “exotic” records are helpful to those entities with needs that may go beyond a traditional interest in the buying or selling of property.

When the task at hand is the acquisition of these non-traditional records related to land, one must visit locations that seem “from another part of the world” and may