An abstract is a complete compilation of all the public records in the courthouse that pertain to an area of land. An abstract could contain many different pieces of property within the same area. Abstracts are created by the courthouse abstracter that places these documents together. The title examiner then pieces them together. Having an abstract in place makes the examiners job significantly easier since they do not need to comb through all courthouse documents.
There are 3 different types of abstracts.
These are long pieces of paper in an accordion style binding. The abstracter adds their own notes describing each instrument pertaining to the land. The notes are usually written across the margin of the documents and not easily decipherable.
The first type of bobtailed abstract was a bound stack of 4x8 notecards. Each slip of paper was tied to a single instrument. Usually, direct quotes were added for important details and typed for legibility.
This is a refined version of a bobtailed abstract. The abstract is put together with legal sized paper and contains one or more instruments per page. They are typed and transcribed by the abstracter in the courthouse.