In the future, library applications related to traditional functions may increasingly assume some of the roles and characteristics of archives and museums. In this article, the author describes fundamental archival concepts and theories and their evolution in recent times. Basic archival functions—appraisal, arrangement, description, reference, preservation, and publication—are also introduced. Finally, early applications of automation to archives (including SPINDEX, NARS‐5, NARS‐A‐1, MARC AMC, presNET, CTRACK, PHOTO, and DIARY) and automation trends for the future are discussed. The article presents a cogent introduction to archival operations, thereby providing 1) a basis for understanding distinctions between current archival and library practices and 2) insight concerning the possible convergence of selected roles and functions.
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