Object-oriented diplomatics

Adam Jansen (School of Library, Archival and Information Studies, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada)

Records Management Journal

ISSN: 0956-5698

Publication date: 16 March 2015



This paper aims to present a conceptual methodology, named herein as object-oriented diplomatics, based on a presentation given by the author at the Digital Diplomatics 2014 conference. This methodology centers on building digital records capable of supporting their authenticity over time and when removed from their original systems by extending archival diplomatics theory by leveraging object-oriented programming (OOP) principles.


This paper presents new method for supporting the presumption of authenticity of digital records through extending archival diplomatics concepts into OOP principles when creating digital records within a record-keeping system.


This paper is based on a preliminary research being conducted during the design of a government digital archives. This concept was used as a core design element for their digital archives and has thus far shown great promise in articulating and encapsulating those essential data elements that support the presumption of authenticity across a wide diversity of record types.


This paper presents a new approach to support the presumption of authenticity of digital records by utilizing concepts from archival diplomatics leveraged with OOP principles. It is the hope of the author that this paper will initiate a deeper collaboration between archives and records management professionals and software developers in the design and implementation of digital repositories.



The author wishes to acknowledge Dr Luciana Duranti for her tireless devotion to her students and the outstanding leadership she has provided for over a decade as Project Director on the InterPARES project. This paper would not have been possible with her guidance and the hard work and dedication of all the Graduate Research Assistants, Co-investigators and test beds who worked on InterPARES. Major funding for The InterPARES Project over the years has been provided by The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s Major Collaborative Research Initiatives (SSHRC-MCRI), The National Archives of Canada, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission and the National Science Foundation of the USA. Matching funds are provided by The University of British Columbia’s Hampton Fund Research Grant, the Vice President Research Development Fund, the Dean of Arts, and the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies. Lastly, and surely not the least, heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to Dr Marilyn Hart for her years of dedication, mentoring, leadership and support.


Jansen, A. (2015), "Object-oriented diplomatics", Records Management Journal, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 45-55. https://doi.org/10.1108/RMJ-04-2014-0022

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