Archives and Manuscripts Week 8

This week for class we toured Temple’s secondary storage area for its archives and then discussed records management.The high capacity storage was very interesting because of the sheer amount of material stored there as well as the impressive climate control system, which maintained both temperature and humidity in order to preservation the records for longer.

The discussion on records management was also very interesting because of its close relationship with archives. The main difference between the two is that records management focuses on the records during their life-cycle while archives deals with them when they are no longer actively used by an organization. While they focus on different aspects of the records it is important for the two professions to work together since it will help ensure the important records are saved. Indeed the main take away from one of the readings was that those in records management should give more imput in what is saved. However, there are two major concerns with this idea, first is that since they work for the organization, those in records management mat be influenced by the organztion to not save certain records that may cast them in a bad light. This thus poses a conflict of interest since the records may be very important historical by not good to save from an administrative stand point. The second concern is that those in records management are usually not trained in history and therefore will not have the same perspective as an archivist would on what is valuable for researchers. Nevertheless, the two professions need to work together to create, as the National Archives stated, a community of interest in maintain records during their lifecycle so they can be transitioned to archives later.

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