Thirty Years of Electronic Records

ISBN 13: 9780810847699

Thirty Years of Electronic Records

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9780810847699: Thirty Years of Electronic Records
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As the institution with the oldest, largest, and most actively managed program in the world, the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) encompasses thirty years of experience in appraising, accessioning, preserving, describing and providing access to archival electronic records. In this collection of essays, twelve contributors, each of whom has been involved in NARA's development, discuss the application of archival theory and practice in NARA's development of these functions and trace how they evolved over time. The result is a fascinating and awesome amalgam of achievement, anecdote, and aspiration.

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About the Author:

Bruce Ambacher is an information technology specialist with the Modern Records Program, National Archives and Records Administration. He also is an adjunct instructor at the University of Maryland and George Mason University, Arlington, Virginia.

Review:

Why read this volume? There are several reasons. A major one is the quality of the contributors...For those more steeped in electronic records generally, the volume presents a history of what was arguably the most influential electronic records program in the 20th century...Finally, the book will provide the more knowledgeable reader with a better appreciation of the perspective of NARA's archival program. (The Government Records Section News)

A celebratory volume, recognizing NARA's accomplishments as well as the contributions of the scores of men and women who have laboured to ensure the continuing preservation and management of electronic records...[a] fascinating volume containing an awesome amalgam of achievement, anecdote and aspiration. (The Electronic Library)

For those who lack an intimate acquaintance with the history of NARA's involvement (and noninvolvement) with electronic records, this is an excellent beginning, a cross between public laundry washing (on the part of the survivors at NARA who have lived to see a real Electronic Records Archives effort going forward), whistle blowing (more pronounced on the part of those not now employed by NARA), and a usually deserved self-justification (from both) that explains much about why the NARA program looks like it does today....the editor and authors are to be commended for getting this much of the story out....this is such an interesting and useful book, an obvious choice for teaching... (Information & Culture)

[Thirty Years of Electronic Records] can teach quite a lot, at many different levels. Indirectly, the history of the electronic records program serves as a guide to the recent history of the National Archives and not just as synecdoche, because nothing happened to the program in isolation. The larger context of political changes and federal budgets always intrudes. The result is an interesting picture and a cautionary tale of organizational change, different management styles, the importance of leadership, and, perhaps most telling, the significance of consistent financial support. (Technicalities)

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