|Titel||Reinventing archives for electronic records: Alternative service delivery options|
|Auteurs||Bearman, D., & Hedstrom M.|
|Uitgever||Archives & Museum Informatics|
Archives, public and private, large and small, are unable to cope with the volume of records for which they are responsible given the methods at their command(1). The problem is not just one of degrees. lt reflects a fundamental gap between the task that archivists have assumed for themselves -- ensuring adequate documentation of our society -- and the resources at our disposal to accomplish this task. In many cases several orders of magnitude separate the responsibilities of archivists from their current capacity to achieve them.
Dramatic changes in electronic communications and data processing are transforming the business processes that archivists must document and overwhelming archives with new demands thal few archivists feel competent to meet. In a period of down-sizing, right-sizing and just plain cutting back, the impact of new information technologies is not the only challenge that archivists must confront. Organizations in the public, private and third sectors are reexamining the way they do business, reengineering their business functions, and redistributing responsibility and resources for carrying out their mandates and operations.
Confronted with these challenges, it is time that archivists re-examined the program structures and methodologies which served them reasonably weil up until a generation ago but within which they still largely practice their craft. In a time of "re-inventing" government and organizations, archivists would be well served by thinking through alternatives to their current methods. In an age of measuring outcomes rather than outputs, archivists must demonstrate that they are achieving the ends for which archives are established - preserving access to records of continuing value - and not just increasing the volume of records accessioned, the numbers of researchers, or the percentage of holdings described in national networks.
The problem is that these actions are not sufficient to accomplish the fundamental purpose of archives, even though increasing accessions, researchers or cataloging may be valuable-(depending on the quality of accessions, the satisfaction of researchers and the quality of description). If all these measures rise, year after year, but the evidence, of important events and decisions in the organizations served by archives remain undocumented or inaccessible, then archives are failing to accomplish their purpose. If new record keeping systems are being implemented which increase the insecurity of records, rather than assure their security, then archives are failing to ensure the keeping of adequate documentation.
We moeten overstappen van het papieren paradigma naar het digitale paradigma.