Archives: Recordkeeping in Society introduces the significance of archives and the results of local and international research in archival science. It explores the role of recordkeeping in various cultural, organisational and historical contexts. Its themes include archives as a web of recorded information: new information technologies have presented dilemmas, but also potentialities for managing of the interconnectedness of archives. Another theme is the relationship between evidence and memory in archives and in archival discourse. It also explores recordkeeping and accountability, memory, societal power and juridical power, along with an examination of issues raised by globalisation and interntionalisation.

The chapter authors are researchers, practitioners and educators from leading Australian and international recordkeeping organisations, each contributing previously unpublished research in and reflections on their field of expertise. They include Adrian Cunningham, Don Schauder, Hans Hofman, Chris Hurley, Livia Iacovino, Eric Ketelaar and Ann Pederson.

The book reflects broad Australian and international perspectives making it relevant worldwide. It will be a particularly valuable resource for students of archives and records, researchers from realted knowledge disciplines, sociology and history, practitioners wanting to reflect further on their work, and all those with an interest in archives and their role in shaping human activity and community culture.


Students of archives and records, researchers from related knowledge disciplines, practitioners wanting to reflect further on their work, and all those with an interest in archives and their role in shaping human activity and community culture

Table of Contents

  • Dedication
  • Figures
  • About this book
  • Chapter 1: Traces: Document, record, archive, archives
  • Chapter 2: Archival institutions
    • Archives and human impulses: The institutionalization and pluralization of the record
    • Institutional form and function since the dawn of time
    • The French Revolution and the nineteenth century
    • Archival institutions in twentieth-century post-colonial societies
    • Archival institutions in North America
    • Public records institutions in Australia
    • The collecting tradition in Australia
    • Business archives in Australia
    • Educational and religious archives in Australia
    • Archives as a place and virtual archives
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 3: Professing archives: A very human enterprise
    • Understanding professions and professionalization
    • Building a profession: The journey so far
    • Recordkeeping heritage: Major strands of practice
    • Traditional roles and relationships
    • Electronic revolution: Catalyst for integration
    • Reinvented global professional mission
    • Towards a reinvented professional
    • Professional associations
    • Professional knowledge and education
    • Looking to the future
  • Chapter 4: Documents
    • We live in a web of documents
    • Concept of genre
    • Document analysis: The near and far, the side by side
    • Documents and records as evidence
    • Documents, information objects and metadata
    • Document computing
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 5: Records
    • Introduction
    • Records and documents
    • Reliable records and records as contingent objects
    • Situating the document in records systems
    • Case study: Registry systems
    • Metadata
    • Access
    • Appraisal
    • Conclusion:


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© 2005
Chandos Publishing
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About the authors

Michael Piggott

Affiliations and Expertise

Independent archives scholar, Australia

Barbara Reed

Affiliations and Expertise

Clinical Professor of Dermatology