This dynamic book considers whether and how the management of records (and archives) differs from the management of information (and data).
Can archives and records management still make a distinctive contribution in the 21st century, or are they now being dissolved into a wider world of information governance? What should be our conceptual understanding of records in the digital era? What are the practical implications of the information revolution for the work of archivists and records managers?
Geoffrey Yeo, a distinguished expert in the global field, explores concepts of ‘records’ and ‘archives’ and sets today’s record-keeping and archival practices in their historical context. He examines changing perceptions of the nature and purpose of records management and archival work, notions of convergence among information-related disciplines, and archivists’ and records managers’ attitudes to information and its governance.
Starting with Peter Morville’s dictum that ‘when we try to define information, we become lost in a hall of mirrors’, Yeo considers different understandings of the concept of ‘information’ and their applicability to the field of archives and records management. He also looks at the world of data science and data administration, and asks whether and how far recent work in this area can enhance our knowledge of how records function and how they relate to the information universe.
Key topics covered include:
- The keeping of records: a brief historical overview
- Thinking about records and archives: the transition to the digital
- Archivists, records managers and the allure of information
- Finding a way through the hall of mirrors: concepts of information
- Records and data
- Why records are not (just) information; understanding records in the digital era.
This thought provoking and timely book is primarily intended for records managers and archivists, but should also be of interest to professionals in a range of information-related disciplines. In addressing the place of record-keeping in contemporary information culture, it aims to provide a balance of theory and practice that will appeal to practitioners as well as students and academics around the world.