Active records are documents (both hardcopy and electronic) which are still actively being used by an office. They are usually referenced on a daily or monthly basis. Often times, if in paper, these records will be located in a handy place within the office since they are used frequently.
Inactive records are documents (both hardcopy and electronic) which are no longer referenced on a regular basis and tend to be stored in a less accessible place since they are not used frequently. Many times records become inactive when they reach their cut-off as defined on a Records Retention Schedule.