Traditionally, records management has been defined as the systematic organisation of all recorded information — whether it be on paper, tape, disc, film, or any other medium — from its creation, through its use, to its storage and final disposition, either in permanent archival storage or in its legal destruction. What this means is that the recorded information of an organisation must be managed throughout its life cycle, from the moment it is created, throughout all the years that it might be kept, to the day it is destroyed. The life cycle concept of records management, divides the life of a record into three stages: active or current, when it is in regular use; semi‐active or semi‐current, when it is still of use to the creator or recipient, but only occasionally, and so may be stored remotely; and inactive, when it is no longer of use to the creator or recipient, and may be destroyed or sent to archival storage. Customarily, records managers have dealt with records during their current and their semi‐current stages, when in a commercial environment; while archivists have dealt with records during their inactive and their semi‐current stages, when governmental environment. Inevitably, the two fields overlapped and recognised their common concerns.
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