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Electronic Records : A Workbook for Archivists (ICA Study 16)


dimanche 29 janvier 2006, par anass

In 1997, the International Council on Archives published the Guide for Managing Electronic Records from an Archival Perspective, (hereafter the Guide) which was prepared by the Committee on Electronic Records (1993-1996). That Guide provides the context for this Workbook : our approach has been informed by it. The Guide recognised that, worldwide, current records are increasingly produced in an electronic form. Since the publication of the Guide use of information technology for business processes and service delivery in private enterprises and public institutions has reached the stage where “the de facto record in many organisations around the world has become electronic.”1 With the increasing number of electronic records in office systems, including networked environments, there is a growing concern about their maintenance and long-term preservation. In order to preserve electronic records, it is important that archival requirements are incorporated when systems are designed and that records are carefully controlled throughout their life cycle to ensure their ongoing quality and integrity. The Guide was designed to “help archival institutions reposition themselves to address the management of archival electronic records”2 in the face of increasingly complex technological and organisational challenges.

The first part of the Guide describes that context and its impact on recordkeeping. It discusses key concepts, notably ‘record’ and ‘recordkeeping’, and their significance in an electronic environment. It starts by proposing a set of overall policies and strategies for the management of records through the life cycle and concludes with the technological implications of these strategies for archives. To implement any strategy one needs a set of tools and methods. In the context of electronic records, this means manuals, model requirements, and standards. In the second part of the Guide, a first attempt at such an approach was made : it discusses records in a database environment, and the maintenance of availability, accessibility and understandability over the life cycle/continuum stages. This represented work in progress and it was hoped that “the contents of Part II will be expanded over time, and that it will form the basis for the development of a series of recommendations to guide archives at the ‘how to’ level”.3

It is in pursuit of this objective that the ICA’s Committee on Current Records in an Electronic Environment (subsequently referred to as the ICA Committee 2000-2004) has prepared this Workbook. It presents tactical approaches to managing records in electronic office systems, including electronic networked environments, and covers all types of electronic records across the life cycle/records continuum. Throughout, the emphasis is on the practical rather than the theoretical.

Source :Conseil International des Archives.2005.

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