A penalty for longevity, personal or institutional, is the necessity to re‐think basic tenets every so often, least they become outworn shibboleths, a block to progress. Records managers are so accustomed to thinking of themselves as belonging to a ‘new’ discipline whose value is only just coming to be recognised, that they forget just how long it has, in fact, been in existence. The classic texts on records management — Schellenberg, Leahy and Cameron, Benedon are now sorely dated although all, especially Schellenberg, contain valuable ideas and insights. One makes no reference to computers, a second deals only with physical protection and back up, and the third, listing them under ‘non‐conventional filing systems,’ dismisses them as not being ‘a practical means of information retrieval’. Such statements are by their very nature hostages to fortune, as indeed this article, in its way, also. Yet its author is comforted by re‐reading his own contribution to Peter Emmerson's How To Manage Your Records (1989) and noting that most of the issues he raised there are still pertinent.
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