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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2017

Evgenia Vassilakaki and Valentini Moniarou-Papaconstantinou

This paper aims to identify through a systematic review the roles that archivists adopt in a changing archival landscape and to illustrate any similarities between the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify through a systematic review the roles that archivists adopt in a changing archival landscape and to illustrate any similarities between the roles of archivist and librarians.

Design/methodology/approach

The systematic literature review approach was adopted for the purposes of this research. Specifically, peer-reviewed literature published in English between 2000 and 2015 was considered. The relevant papers were retrieved based on specific search terms run on related databases.

Findings

The analysis showed that the traditional roles of record-keeper and collection manager were still relevant, whereas new ones, namely, digital archivist, archivist as educator and dual archivist/librarian, started to prevail. The technological developments as well as the social and educational changes seemed to have affected the emergence of these new roles, whereas the need for collaboration and communication among archivists, librarians and researchers was evident in many roles, namely, archivist as educator, dual archivist/librarian and archivist as researcher.

Originality/value

This literature review explored the different roles that archivists adopt within their work context and not the archivists’ skills, duties and responsibilities.

Details

Library Review, vol. 66 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 6 September 2011

Rusnah Johare and Mohamad Noorman Masrek

The purpose of this paper is to report the results of a study carried out pertaining to the Malaysian archivists' knowledge and skills in managing electronic records (ER).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report the results of a study carried out pertaining to the Malaysian archivists' knowledge and skills in managing electronic records (ER).

Design/methodology/approach

The main data collection has been gathered through survey questionnaires. Quantitative data were gathered from a total of 41 archivists at the National Archives of Malaysia.

Findings

The insufficiency of education and training received by the archivists contributed to the archivists' limited knowledge and skills to support their roles and responsibilities to manage ER. The archivists' limited knowledge and skills on ER management (ERM) prevented them from implementing the policies and standard procedures on ERM which was part of their main responsibilities.

Practical implications

This study would be useful in identifying the required knowledge and skills for the archivists and suitable education and training for them to acquire such knowledge and skills to manage ER.

Originality/value

This is the first study of its kind which deals with the archivists' competencies in managing ER in the Malaysian Government.

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2015

Diana K. Wakimoto and Christine Susan Bruce

This paper aims to explore the varying ways in which academic archivists in the USA experience archives, how these experiences compare to those of academic librarians and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the varying ways in which academic archivists in the USA experience archives, how these experiences compare to those of academic librarians and how we can use these findings to improve communication and collaboration.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a phenomenographic research approach, academic archivists were interviewed and the transcripts were examined to develop categories reflecting varying experiences.

Findings

There are three different ways of experiencing archives: as organizational records, as archival enterprise and as connection. The connection category is a more complex way of experiencing archives as it incorporates the aspects of the other two categories as well as the awareness of archives connecting people to their histories.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited to academic archivists in the USA.

Practical implications

Understanding that there are different ways of experiencing archives means that information professionals should clarify their definitions of before beginning collaborative projects. Also, by understanding these varying experiences, information professions should be able to communicate and engage more fully with each other and their users in projects and programs that leverage archival collections.

Originality/value

This is the first study to use phenomenography to investigate archivists’ experiences of archives. This understanding of the lived experience of archivists, combined with understanding how librarians experience archives, should enable better communication and ultimately collaboration between the two professions.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 43 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article
Publication date: 21 November 2008

Melinda Van Wingen and Abigail Bass

This paper aims to explore the relationship between historiography and archival practices. It takes the new social history approach to history as a case study for…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the relationship between historiography and archival practices. It takes the new social history approach to history as a case study for examining how historians' changing theories and methods may affect solicitation, acquisition, appraisal, arrangement, description, reference, outreach, and other aspects of archival administration.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a review of the archival and historical literature since the late 1970s.

Findings

The paper finds that many aspects of archival administration have been and continue to be affected by the new social history trend in historical scholarship. The paper suggests that archivists and archival educators be trained in historiography as a way to understand historians' craft and develop strong documentation strategies to anticipate future archival needs.

Research limitations/implications

Because the paper is primarily a literature review, it does not test real‐life examples or case studies that would be useful in understanding the relationship between historians and archivists.

Practical implications

The paper includes implications for the development of archival administration and education strategies.

Originality/value

The paper draws from a range of literature to consider the impact of scholarly practices on professional archival work.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2005

Richard E. (“Rick”) Barry and Michael J. (“Mike”) Steemson

Explores why it is that archivists and records managers rarely discuss important aspects of the highest ranking record‐keeping job in any country. There are plenty of

Abstract

Purpose

Explores why it is that archivists and records managers rarely discuss important aspects of the highest ranking record‐keeping job in any country. There are plenty of issues about what is or should be one of the most critical positions in any democratic society, whether at the national, state/provincial or local government level, worthy and in need of open discussion and debate within the professional community and more broadly in the public domain.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the controversial, ongoing case of President Bush's nomination of a new Archivist of the United States (historian Professor Allen Weinstein), this article focuses on some of the above issues.

Findings

Largely out of sight or earshot of the US public, US historians, archivists, librarians and information managers have united in community force to challenge President George W. Bush's nomination for the next Archivist of the United States. Discusses the possibilities of real or perceived political interference in the management of the nation's archives and especially ready public access to its Presidential records.

Originality/value

The dispute highlights changing thinking about what constitutes proper selection process and qualifications for national archivists that could stimulate professional debate world‐wide.

Details

Records Management Journal, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2012

Maria Kallberg

Public organizations are investing in e‐government development and e‐services to improve the interaction and services to the citizens. Archivists need to act more

Abstract

Purpose

Public organizations are investing in e‐government development and e‐services to improve the interaction and services to the citizens. Archivists need to act more pro‐active to capture and manage records in order to be accessible both in the present and in the long‐term. Archivists need to understand the conceptual context and business processes in which the records are created. This study aims to focus on an ongoing process within a specific context, which may have direct, but also future implications for archivists' professional identity. Professional identity is understood as a sense of shared understandings and skills, experiences, common way of perceiving problems and their possible solutions. The study is meant to answer the overall research question and sub‐questions: What is the status of archivist professionals' positions and practice within public organizations? What organizational effect has the change from paper‐based to electronic record keeping had on archivists' professional positions and practice within organizations? How do archivists perceive themselves in their professional roles, i.e. identity? Are there any critical competence issues that need to be solved that are connected to new requirements in working methods related to electronic record keeping? and How do archivists define their skills and working performance?

Design/methodology/approach

The data presented and analyzed in this article are based on a literature review and an empirical study. The literature covers areas related to archivists' professional practice and future role. The empirical study is based on interviews with nine municipality archivists at nine different Swedish municipalities identified by the Swedish Association of Local Government and Regions as “good example” e‐government municipalities. All interviews were undertaken during January and March 2011.

Findings

The findings provide information on how archivists define their current and future professional role in relation to the organization and the development of information technology: the status of archivist professionals' positions and practice, for example, within public organizations. It explores the importance of strategic approaches to managing electronic records – from their creation throughout their whole existence, including long‐term preservation – and considers necessary changes to the professional image of archivists and the skills they need.

Originality/value

This article will be of interest to record keeping practitioners working in the shift to e‐government in local contexts and also to educators, as there appears to be a shift in the skills and knowledge required by those working in local government.

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Article
Publication date: 22 March 2011

Jodi Kearns and Rhonda Rinehart

Archivists and Librarians are subjected to social stereotypes by those outside and within the field of library and information science. Many of these role descriptions…

Abstract

Purpose

Archivists and Librarians are subjected to social stereotypes by those outside and within the field of library and information science. Many of these role descriptions come from within the LIS professions themselves; the differences between information responsibilities of Archivists and Librarians are not clearly defined. The purpose of this paper is to dispel myths of distinguishable differences in information role responsibilities of Archivists and Librarians.

Design/methodology/approach

A simple survey was developed and completed by Archivists and Librarians who volunteered to express, in their own words, up to three descriptions of what their information responsibilities are. Responses were recorded in the respondents' own words, and so, the responses were necessarily compared, reduced, and categorized into nine recognizable categories of synonymous and qualifying terms for comparison.

Findings

Results of the survey demonstrate that both Archivists and Librarians list access most often as their information responsibility. Similarly, preserve and process are listed as second and third, in reverse order; and collect and evaluate are listed fourth and fifth, in reverse order. Results indicate the major differences as Archivists naming collect more often, and Librarians listing teach more often.

Originality/value

Archivists and Librarians usually both receive their education and training in schools of library and information science. Other than collection types and patrons served, which vary significantly among libraries and archives themselves, this exploratory study indicates no major differences in personally expressed information responsibilities of those within the fields of practice, and debunks the misconceptions that Archivists and Librarians have distinct, observable differences in their approaches to information.

Details

Library Review, vol. 60 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 23 June 2021

Lois M. Evans

The paper aims to respond to three questions: Are Canadian organizations committed to sustainability? Are there any links between sustainability and records management and…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to respond to three questions: Are Canadian organizations committed to sustainability? Are there any links between sustainability and records management and archives programs? And, to what extent are records managers, archivists and technologists engaged in climate action? The paper also provides background on climate change in the Canadian and global contexts, defines relevant terminology, and presents a literature review that positions sustainability, adaptation and mitigation in relation to records management and archives.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on qualitative participatory research involving expert interviews in 24 government agencies, universities and businesses located in 10 Canadian cities.

Findings

The organizations in the study are committed to sustainability and have developed significant programs and activities in support of this aim. Although the records managers, archivists and technologists interviewed are involved in related activities, there is a gap between what they are doing as a matter of course and the wider sustainability efforts of their parent organizations. As resources are tight, sustainability measurement entails more work and there are no real incentives to add sustainability components to programs, the participants are focused on delivering the programs they are hired to do. As a result, there is a sense of serendipity around outcomes that do occur – “sometimes, green is the outcome”.

Research limitations/implications

This paper presents the results of research conducted at 24 organizations in 10 Canadian cities, a small but meaningful sample that provides a springboard for considering climate action in records and archives. Based on the discussion, there is a need for a records and archives agenda that directly responds the United Nation's climate action targets: strengthening resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters; integrating climate change measures into policies, strategies and planning; and improving education, awareness-raising and human institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning. In support of this aim, the paper charts possible material topics from the literature and compares these with research findings.

Practical implications

From a top-down perspective, organizations need to expand sustainability programs to address all business areas, including records and archives. From a bottom-up perspective, records managers and archivists should include adaptation in disaster planning and consider the program benefits of developing economic, environmental and social sustainability initiatives to mitigate climate change.

Originality/value

The paper defines resilience, sustainability, adaption and mitigation and positions these terms in records management and archives. The paper examines how records managers, archivists and technologists think about sustainability; where sustainability intersects with records and archives work; and how records managers and archivists can engage in climate action.

Details

Records Management Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

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Article
Publication date: 26 August 2020

Tiyang Huang, Rui Nie and Yue Zhao

The purpose of this paper is to propose a theoretical framework to illustrate the archival knowledge applied by archivists in their personal archiving (PA) and the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a theoretical framework to illustrate the archival knowledge applied by archivists in their personal archiving (PA) and the mechanism of the application of archival knowledge in their PA.

Design/methodology/approach

The grounded theory methodology was adopted. For data collection, in-depth interviews were conducted with 21 archivists in China. Data analysis was performed using the open coding, axial coding and selective coding to organise the archival knowledge composition of PA and develops the awareness-knowledge-action (AKA) integration model of archival knowledge application in the field of PA, according to the principles of the grounded theory.

Findings

The archival knowledge involved in the field of PA comprises four principal categories: documentation, arrangement, preservation and appraisal. Three interactive factors involved in archivists' archival knowledge application in the field of PA behaviour: awareness, knowledge and action, which form a pattern of awareness leading, knowledge guidance and action innovation, and archivists' PA practice is flexible and innovative. The paper underscored that it is need to improve archival literacy among general public.

Originality/value

The study constructs a theoretical framework to identify the specialised archival knowledge and skills of PA which is able to provide solutions for non-specialist PA and develops an AKA model to explain the interaction relationships between awareness, knowledge and action in the field of PA.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 77 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2015

Isto Huvila

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how archivists, records managers and scholarly literature in the field(s) analyse how “participation” is discussed in the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how archivists, records managers and scholarly literature in the field(s) analyse how “participation” is discussed in the context of archives and records management, and to explore practical and theoretical implications of the disclosed discursive practices.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis is based on a discourse analysis of a body of archival literature and a sample of posts collected from the archival and records management blogosphere.

Findings

The analysis shows that instead of discussing one notion of participation, the archival science literature is referring to nine different and partly conflicting types of participation from three broad perspectives: management, empowerment and technology. The discourses have also conflicting ideas of the role of engagement and enthusiasm, and of that what do the different stakeholder communities see as real options.

Research limitations/implications

The analysed material consists of a limited sample of mainly English language texts that may not capture all the nuances of how participation is discussed in the archival literature.

Practical implications

A better understanding of how different claims of the benefits and threats endorsing “participation” in archives helps to develop effective and less contradictory forms of collaboration between different stakeholders.

Originality/value

In spite of the popularity of the notion of “participation”, there little, especially critical, research on how participation is conceptualised by archives professionals and researchers.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 71 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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