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The Needs of Archives: 16 (simple) rules for a better archival management



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Presentation for NISE/UNPO workshop on "Archival Awareness", 31 March 2014 (ADVN/NISE, Antwerp)

The Needs of Archives: 16 (simple) rules for a better archival management

  1. 1. The Needs of Archives Sixteen (simple) rules for a better archival management
  2. 2. NISE loves archives - Database: archival guide in relational datastructure - Projects: • Guide to the Archives (2009-2012) • Ambulant Archives Services (2013-2014) - Helpdesk: Expertise and Information Centre - Repository: Kurdish National Congress (KNK), Bayernpartei, etc.
  3. 3. Archives? - “materials created or received by a person, family, or organisation, public or private, in the conduct of their affairs […]” - organisations: letters, (meeting) reports, financial administration, member administration, publications, campaign materials, audiovisual materials (photos, films, …) and all digital born or digitised materials
  4. 4. Archives? - legal function: a.o. support and guarantee the rights and obligations of governments and citizens - administrative function: good governance - historical value: influence the contents and orientation of personal and collective memory, thus the formation of a national identity - policy supporting: legimitation of policy and decision making
  5. 5. Sixteen rules / Six themes - Context - Appraisal - Arrangement - Preservation - Digitisation - Access
  6. 6. Context: the whereabouts?
  7. 7. Context: the whereabouts? #1. Discover your archives
  8. 8. Context: the whereabouts? #2. Learn about the use of your archives
  9. 9. Context: the whereabouts? #3. Research the history of your archives
  10. 10. Appraisal: all paper in the bin?
  11. 11. Appraisal: all paper in the bin? #4. Know your national retention policies
  12. 12. Appraisal: all paper in the bin? #5. Destroy, but keep history in mind
  13. 13. Appraisal: all paper in the bin? #6. Cleaning: the easy option
  14. 14. Arrangement: think twice!
  15. 15. Arrangement: think twice! #7. What applies to paper…
  16. 16. Arrangement: think twice! #8. …applies to digital
  17. 17. Preservation: better than conservation!
  18. 18. Preservation: better than conservation! #9. Avoid the cost of conservation
  19. 19. Preservation: better than conservation! #10. Good materials are half the job
  20. 20. Preservation: better than conservation! #11. Storage conditions are essential
  21. 21. Digitisation: a paperless archive?
  22. 22. Digitisation: a paperless archive? #12. The purpose of digitisation
  23. 23. Digitisation: a paperless archive? #13. Use SOAP for a clean scan policy
  24. 24. Access: locking away or opening up
  25. 25. Access: locking away or opening up #14. The research benefit
  26. 26. Access: locking away or opening up #15. The right for information
  27. 27. Access: locking away or opening up #16. Transparent policies
  28. 28. Sixteen rules = success? - Archival management is much more complex - “Rules” are work in progress, adjusted with every new experience: from regionalist European parties to worldwide minority movements - “Rules” are guidelines to a better understanding of the relevance practical implications of archives - Only a small effort vs efforts of ICA/UNESCO
  29. 29. Universal Declaration on Archives - Defines archives to include all recorded decisions, actions and memories in all formats including paper, digital, and audiovisual - Recognises the uniqueness of archives in the way they provide authentic evidence of human actions - Emphasises key role of archives in ensuring administrative transparency and democratic accountability
  30. 30. Universal Declaration on Archives - Supporting democracy and human rights, and preserving collective social memory - Explains the role of archivists as skilled professionals who care for archives and provide access to them - Highlights the key requirements for good archival management
  31. 31. Further information - Website: - Database: - Guide to the Archives report: - Contact: • •