UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Conceiving the records continuum in Canada and the United States Eamer-Goult, Jason Christopher 1996

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C O N C E I V I N G T H E R E C O R D S C O N T I N U U M I N C A N A D A A N D T H E U N I T E D S T A T E S by J A S O N C H R I S T O P H E R E A M E R - G O U L T B . A . , University of Vic tor ia , 1992 A T H E S I S S U B M I T T E D I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T O F T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E O F M A S T E R O F A R C H I V A L S T U D I E S in T H E F A C U L T Y O F G R A D U A T E S T U D I E S (School of Library , Arch iva l and Information Studies) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A November 1995 © Jason Christopher Eamer-Goul t , 199 5 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) 11 A B S T R A C T This thesis surveys the efforts made by Canadian and American records administrators, both records managers and archivists, to ensure that records are created, received, stored, used, preserved, and disposed of in a manner which is both efficient and effective. Beginning with the French Revolution and continuing to modern times, it investigates how approaches in North American archival thinking, government records programs, and applicable records legislation were often flawed because of fundamental misconceptions of the nature of the records themselves. The thesis traces how the most widely accepted approach for administering records, which called for the division of responsibilities amongst records professionals according to the records' "life status" — active, semi-active, or inactive — was incorrect because it was not compatible with the reality that records exist as a conceptual whole and are best administered in a manner which reflects this realization. The records, which should have been managed as a coherent and complete fonds of an institution, suffered from these divisions which had eventually led to the evolution of separate records occupations: those who looked after active records, called records managers, and those who handled inactive ones, labelled archivists. What was required was an "integrated" or "unified" approach such as that articulated by the Canadian archivist Jay Atherton. Like others, he called for the management of records in a manner which reflected the singular nature of the records, an approach which did not make arbitrary divisions where none existed, but instead viewed records from a wider and more complete perspective. Support for this approach amongst some records administrators was precipitated by a number of factors, not the least of which were the demands of handling information in modern society. I l l The thesis concludes by examining what is required for the integrated ideas to be implemented as part of a practical model in today's institutions. It suggests that for the best results to be achieved, records administrators w i l l have to learn to work with others in related informat ion professions, or risk los ing the abil i ty to make val id contributions in the modern information age. i v T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S A B S T R A C T .' ii T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S iv A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S • .v I N T R O D U C T I O N i C H A P T E R O N E The Orig ins of the N o r t h Amer ican Separation of Records Management from Archives 6 C H A P T E R T W O The Post War Relationship Between Nor th American Records Managers and Archivists 3 2 C H A P T E R T H R E E Contemporary Records Adminis t ra t ion in N o r t h Amer ica 68 C O N C L U S I O N S 97 B I B L I O G R A P H Y 109 Articles 109 Books and Theses 116 Government Legislat ion, Orders, Manuals, and Reports 117 Canada 117 United States 1 1 8 Miscellaneous 120 A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S I w o u l d l ike to thank the countless friends and family who have given me advice, support, and asssistance in this endeavour. Part icular ly , I owe a debt of gratitude to Professor Terry Eas twood , who provided insightful guidance for this paper. 1 I N T R O D U C T I O N It has been almost a decade since Jay Atherton wrote his seminal article, "From Life Cycle to Continuum: Some Thoughts on the Records Management — Archives Relationship."1 In this paper, he confronts an issue which for decades has been plaguing North American archivists and records managers: "is the management of current records simply the first stage in an archival methodology; or is the archival concern, the requirement to ensure the preservation of permanendy valuable records, merely the final step in a comprehensive records management process?"2 Because the answer to this question will decide who will direct the management of records at all stages of their existence, it affects everything that archivists and records managers do. While some archivists are inclined to manage public records before they are transferred to the archives, others feel that they should restrict themselves to the care of records designated for permanent preservation. The question is therefore one of importance to the archival community. The debate is not new. It has existed since before the Second World War. More than ever, however, many individuals feel there is now a need to achieve its resolution. They claim that as archivists and records managers confront the effects of information technology on the creation, maintenance, use, and disposition of records, a reassessment of their respective roles is essential. Abundant, transient, and readily disposable electronic records will not wait for the dispute to be resolved; for the benefit of society, archivists and records managers must act immediately to institute a framework suitable for the management of all forms of modern records. Uay Atherton, "From Life Cycle to Continuum: Some Thoughts on the Records Management -- Archives Relationship," Archivaria 21 (Winter 1985 -1986): 43-51. 2Ibid., 43. 2 With that very goal in mind, Atherton proposes a model which accommodates all records functions. He contends that the concept of the "life cycle" of records has not adequately explained the natural sequence which characterizes a record's progress through the stages of creation, use, maintenance, and disposition. 3 The life cycle supposes that the management of records falls into "eight distinct, separate stages."* Traditionally, records managers have overseen the first four stages, where the emphasis is understood to be on the administration of active records. This encompasses "creation or receipt of information in the form of records, classification of the records or their information in some logical system, maintenance and use of the records, and . . . disposition through destruction or transfer to an archives." O n the other hand, archivists have dealt with the last four stages, comprised of "selection/acquisition of the records . . . description of the records . . . preservation of the records or, perhaps, the information in the records, and reference and use of the information by researchers and scholars."' In contrast to the records managers' administration of active records, it has been understood that the archivist's main focus is on the acquisition of inactive records to meet the needs of scholarly research. Atherton argues that it is possible but unwise to manage records in this manner, because the tasks of comprehensive records administration cut across these arbitrary stages. He further argues that the life cycle model no longer works in the current information management environment. "Data base management systems," he states, "completely separate elements in a record, allowing the user to bring them ^An early discussion of the "life history" of records may be found in Philip Coolidge Brooks, "The Selection of Records for Preservation," American Archivist 3.4 (Oct. 1940): 221-234. 4Atherton, "From Life Cycle to Continuum," 44. Emphasis added. There are several variations of the life cycle concept. However, they all distinctly separate the roles of the archivist and the records manager. 5Atherton, "From Life Cycle to Continuum," 44. 3 together, perhaps altered, in any useful combination."6 He later elaborated on this point: The convincing factor [for writing the article] was the increasing importance of the electronic record. In so many ways, the static features of the paper document cannot be found in data created, manipulated, changed, and maintained in a computer environment. 7 How could the life cycle paradigm apply to such records, which in truth have become too fluid to fit into such a rigid structure? If the life cycle concept, with its steady progression from one stage to another, does not correspond to current reality, what precisely should take its place, and what is the archivist's role to be? Atherton sees the archivist being "involved prior to the actual creation of the record."8 As he puts it, Does the archivist really have no role to play in serving the creator of the records, in determining disposal periods, or developing classification systems? Does the records manager really have no responsibility in identifying permanendy valuable records or serving researchers? T o ask these questions is to answer them.9 His "simpler, more unified model", which he calls the "records continuum", has four integrated functions, consisting of creation or receipt, classification, scheduling for disposition, and finally, maintenance and use of records. 1 0 These functions do not take place in stages, but rather are performed to meet the needs of users of the records. In contrast to the life cycle concept, which is tailored to suit the sequential responsibilities and personal needs of records managers and archivists, the continuum concept capitalizes on the capability of the records to fulfil various societal needs. $ Ibid., 47. 7Letter from Jay Atherton, Wakefield, Quebec, to the Author, Vancouver, 23 December 1994. 8Atherton, "From Life Cycle to Continuum," 47. 9Ibid., 47. l0Ibid., 48. 4 In the continuum, Atherton feels that these needs are most effectively met by elevating the concept of service. Unlike previous models, this paradigm suggests that archivists and records managers both work within the bounds of this single unifying realm. 1 1 O n a fundamental level, all records professionals, regardless of whether they are records managers or archivists, have to be able to provide service to anyone who has a right of access to the records. This is their first and most important responsibility, for by ensuring the "preservation and availability of records of enduring value," the "memory of the creating agency" is maintained.12 Atherton's concept of continual and integrated service is only a conceptualization and does not give specifics on records administration. It leaves many particulars of management unclear, prime among them what the role of the records managers and archivists of old will be in the future and how each will contribute to the building of the new scheme, or whether labour will continue to be divided as it has between the two. What is clear is that Atherton's concept of the continuum comes after a struggle to find a theory and method for managing records effectively. "I cannot really say how the continuum idea came to me," he said. "It just seemed self-evident that we were dealing with a single process, whose steps were interrelated."15 Thus, this thesis will look at the history of the question, for in it may lie the answers to how and why the matter remains unresolved. Many of Atherton's ideas are not new, but no one put them together as he has. By examining thinking about the management of public records and its historical context, it is hoped that records managers and archivists will gain a better perspective on the enduring issues involved in conceiving and implementing an integrated system. In fact, studying these past trends will better prepare records professionals to nIbid. l2Ibid. 1 3Letter from Atherton to the Author, 23 December 1994. 5 administer the records of today and tomorrow. The goal of this thesis, therefore, is to demonstrate why records administrators must reject any model based on functional divisions between records managers and archivists, and to show what the elements of a unified approach should be. Note that the phrase "records administrator" is intended to refer to both "records managers" and "archivists", since these terms have in some situations developed narrower connotations within the domain of the life cycle model. A n examination will not be made of all archival thinking, but of only the conceptualizations which have emerged from the sphere of North American public institutions. In order to do this, special attention will be applied to the development of Canada's and the United States' national archives. *4 Primarily, this will involve studying the literature pertinent to records administration, to ascertain how theory and method have evolved to their present state. In the first chapter, the origins of the separation of archives from records management will be analyzed. In the next chapter, there will be an investigation of the post-Second World War dialogue on what the roles of records management and archives should be. The third chapter will explore the more recent developments which eventually provided the environment for Atherton's article, while the conclusion will examine both a practical model for implementing the continuum ideas and the possible future trends for records administration. 1 4 While some scenarios will also apply to private organizations, this thesis will not attempt to address their issues or what they should do. 6 C H A P T E R O N E : The Or ig ins of the N o r t h Amer ican Separation of Records Management f rom Arch ive s Contemporary archival and records management practice has its or igins in times far before the beginning of this century. Luciana Duran t i has observed that the roots o f m o d e r n records management l ie i n Mesopa tamia and other ancient civi l izat ions around the w o r l d . 1 ' T rac ing the "Odyssey of Records Managers", she contended that even in South America's Inca civi l izat ion there were individuals whose responsibi l i ty was "preserving informat ion about actions and transactions for the interests of their creators and the funct ioning and development o f their society." ' 6 W h i l e there is some debate whether these individuals were archivists or records managers, or some combination thereof, it is clear that since ancient times societies of all k ind have actively administered archives. 1? It was not unti l the beginning of the modern era, however , that archival administration as we know it began to emerge. Erns t Posner, in his influential work about the effects o f the French Revo lu t ion on archival development, argued that this event had ramifications for today's archival ins t i tut ions . 1 8 The facts are well known . The French revolutionary government implemented three principles which still exist today: firstly, national archival institutions were centralized and organized; secondly, the state assumed responsibility for the care o f the records o f the past; and thirdly, the 1 5 S e e Luciana Duranti, "The Odyssey of Records Managers -- Part 1: From the Dawn of Civilization to the Fall of the Roman Empire," Records Management Quarterly 23.3 (July 1989): 3-11, and "The Odyssey of Records Managers -- Part II: From the Middle Ages to Modem Times," Records Management Quarterly 23.4 (Oct. 1989): 3-11. ^Durant i , "The Odyssey of Records Managers -- Part I," 3. 17Ibid., 4-5. See also Ernst Posner, Archives in the Ancient World (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1972). ^ E r n s t Posner, "Some Aspects of Archival Development Since the French Revolution," American Archivist 3 (July 1940): 159-172. 7 modern principle of public accessibility to government archives was enshrined in law.'9 In the third principle lies the cause for today's division between archivists and records managers. With the Decree of June 25,1794, inactive records were transferred from their creating offices, and placed in regional or national repositories.2 0 Here, they were declared the historical record of the people, who could freely consult them. The problem was that a distinction developed between "administrative archives", or active and semi-active records, and "historical archives", or inactive records. Eventually, the "historical" archivists turned to classification by function or subject, thus forgetting that "records are given meaning by the circumstances of their creation, by their context, and must be maintained according to it." 2 1 It was only later that the principle of respect des fonds was re-established, but historians had now usurped the role of the public administrators and assumed responsibility for records in archival institutions. 2 2 Posner claimed that When the scholar took over most of the positions in the new general archives establishments, his attitude toward the materials had to be, of necessity, entirely different from that of the former custodians. Archives became preponderantly scientific institutions and lost somewhat their character of government offices.2 5 One result was that the treatment of modern government records was simply ignored, for the natural inclination of historians was to acquire documents which they felt held historical or scholarly value. 24 x9lbid., 161-162. 2 0 L u c i a n a Duranti, "Is There a Records Management Theory?," Proceedings of the A R M A International 35th Annual Conference. November 5-8. 1990. San Francisco. California (Association of Records Managers and Administrators) 818. 21Ibid. 22Ibid., 819. 2 3 Posner, "Archival Development Since the French Revolution," 166. 24lbid., 167. 8 When in N o r t h Amer ica archivists became separated from the records-creating bodies, others who wanted to take on the challenges which active publ ic records p rov ided f i l led their place. These individuals , who eventually became k n o w n as records managers, learned their trade from sources other than archival. Especial ly in the Uni ted States, they advocated the ideas o f "scientific management," which, borne of the progressive movement of the first decade o f the 20th Century, was not so much a specific practice as a general philosophy based on "scientifically ascertained laws and principles, translated effectively into industrial administrat ion." 2 ' Those who applied scientific management to records were called "efficiency experts," and in contrast to archivists, they were not interested in retaining records as the permanent memory of the actions, transactions, and functions of the creating body. Instead, their hallmark was the improvement of the economy of the office environment, whether this meant the destruction o f archives or no t . 2 6 The stage had been set in Canada and the Uni ted States for the divis ion between modern archives and records management. A s shall be seen, records professionals wou ld polarize into two solitudes: records managers wou ld administer active publ ic records, and archivists would concentrate on acquiring the historical material of past years. The fo l lowing discusses these developments for each country. A national publ ic archival inst i tut ion emerged in Canada l o n g before its counterpart was created in the United States. Established in 1 872, Canada's Archives d id not result from the internal impetus of a government arguing for its o w n publ ic Z5C. Bertrand Thompson, The Tavlor System of Scientific Management (New York: A. W. Shaw Company, 1917) 5. 2 6 Artel Ricks, "Records Management as an Archival Function," Records Management Quarterly 11.2 (April 1977): 13. 9 records office. 2" 7 Instead, the federal government responded to a peti t ion from the Li terary and His tor ica l Society o f Quebec, which was cal l ing for a national publ ic archival institution to preserve the sources o f a common history needed to unify the country's component colonies and disparate peoples . 2 8 These petitioners wanted a national archives because they felt that compared to other countries, Canadians w e r e at a disadvantage i n their r e sea rch . 2 9 F o r this reason, the new Arch ives gave scant attention to the publ ic records question. Instead, it focussed on the acquisi t ion of historical material. The first significant accession o f the new D o m i n i o n Arch iv i s t , Douglas Brymner , was the 400,000 records of the Bri t ish A r m y created in Canada since 1759. It was to be followed by an extensive program to copy historical records relating to Canada in L o n d o n and Paris. 3 ° Meanwhi le , the Department of the Secretary of State, which had jurisdict ion over pub l ic records, perceived Brymner as a threat to its pos i t ion , and in 1874 appointed another i n d i v i d u a l to supervise government records per ta in ing to administrative or legal functions. 3 ' Importandy, these publ ic records were viewed as entities apart from historical records, to be dealt with by a different administration and under the control of someone other than the D o m i n i o n Arch iv i s t . 3 2 A l t h o u g h this was a set-back for Brymner , he conceded that his interests lay in the acquisi t ion of historical material: "the special object of the office is to obtain from all sources, private Z / Ian E. Wilson, '"A Noble Dream': The Origins of the Public Archives of Canada," Archivaria 15 (Winter 1 9 8 2 - 1 9 8 3 ) : 16. 2 8Bernard Weilbrenner, "The Public Archives of Canada, 1 8 7 1 - 1 9 5 8 , " Journal of the Society of Archivists 2 ( I 9 6 0 ) : 101 , and Wilson, '"A Noble Dream,'" 17. 2 9 Hugh A. Taylor, "Canadian Archives: Patterns from a Federal Perspective," Archivaria 1.2 (1976 ) : 4 - 5 . 3 uWilfred I. Smith, "Total Archives': The Canadian Experience," Archives el Bibliotheques de Belsique 5 7 (1986) : 328 . 3 1 Wilson, '"A Noble Dream,'" 22 . 3 2 Jay Atherton, "The Origins of the Public Archives Records Centre, 1 8 9 7 -1956," Archivaria 8 (Summer 1979): 36 . 1 0 as well as public, such documents as may throw light on social commercial , municipal , as well as purely political history."35 This d iv i s ion between the two records administration bodies was not to last. F o l l o w i n g an i 897 Departmental Commiss ion report which argued that "it is not too much to say that the r ival ry existing between (the Pub l i c A r c h i v e s and Records Branch) has l o n g been an obstacle to the attainment o f that unity of responsibility and control essential to the in t roduc t ion of a perfect system," the two offices were amalgamated by Order in Counci l in 1903.34 This , however, did not sway the Archives from its historical objectives. A s Ather ton sees it, the Order in Counci l recognized the records keeping responsibi l i t ies o f the D o m i n i o n Arch iv i s t , but still saw h i m as serving essentially a cultural need [It was] based solely on the need to preserve records for their value as historical evidence, wi th no recognit ion of the need to retain them for the use o f the G o v e r n m e n t itself, o r to protect legal r igh ts . F u r t h e r m o r e , it i g n o r e d several key ' records management ' recommendations o f the 1897 Commiss ion , namely a mechanism for immedia te des t ruc t ion and per iod ic future d isposal o f useless documents, a standard retention period for routine financial records, a review o f f i l ing systems in departments, and a fixed age for transfer of records to the Archives .35 A r t h u r G . D o u g h t y , who became D o m i n i o n A r c h i v i s t in 1904, cont inued the orientation o f his predecessor. He believed that historical study was imperative for the growth o f the Canadian nation, and emphasized the importance of the Publ ic Archives i n this process. 3 6 L i k e Brymner , Doughty was not greatly concerned by the g r o w i n g vo lume of unsorted and disorganized records dispersed in many government offices. Rather, he was mainly interested in preserving and publ ishing what he considered to •"As quoted in Smith, "Total Archives,'" 328. 3 4 As quoted in Atherton, "Public Archives Records Centre," 40. Emphasis added. See also Weilbrcnner, "Public Archives of Canada, 1871-1958," 104. 3 5 Atherton, "Public Archives Records Centre," 42. 3 6 I a n E. Wilson, "Shorn and Doughty: The Cultural Role of the Public Archives of Canada," Canadian Archivist 2.4 (1973): 12. 1 1 be documents o f historical va lue . ' 7 H e never seriously pursued the wider issue o f systematic records control and disposition. The Archives ' first legislated mandate did not satisfactorily address the active records issue either. In the Publ ic Arch ives A c t of 1912, the A r c h i v i s t was granted guardianship o f "public records, documents, and other historical material," and now had the power to "acquire for the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s all such o r ig ina l records, documents, and other material as he deem(ed) necessary or desirable to secure . . . . " 3 8 H o w e v e r , these terms were not defined, nor was their appl icat ion to different departments explained satisfactorily. Thus , there were not any effective processes for the transfer o f records to the Publ ic Archives , unless the departments chose to forfeit their records voluntar i ly . W h i l e the "potential for a serious publ ic record office operation had been created", the Pub l i c Arch ives lacked the authority to implement systematic records con t ro l and disposi t ion . 39 The shortcomings of the 1912 act revealed that both government officials and the D o m i n i o n Arch iv i s t had yet to realize the full dimensions of the problem. As ide from the crucial fact that Doughty ' s interests lay in accumulating historical material, the reality was that the Public Archives was still largely viewed as a cultural and historical institution. In fact, little thought was given to its role in managing public records unti l a royal commiss ion to investigate the care and control o f departmental records was convened in 1912. Th i s Commiss ion found that government records, rarely used more than five years after their creation, were badly organized, poor ly treated, and difficult to locate. Its report, released in 1914, blankly stated that "one fact, everywhere observable, is that the preservation and care of the older records is the last thought of 3/Weilbrenner, "Public Archives of Canada, 1871-1958," 106-107. 3 8Canada, Public Archives Act. R.S.C. 1912, c. 222, s. 6, and s. 8. 3 9Atherton, "Public Archives Records Centre," 44. 1 2 anybody." 4 0 The Commiss ion therefore recommended that a Publ ic Record Office be established, wi th in which inactive records could be stored under the control of the departments, destroyed when useless, or transferred "to the Archives proper in the Publ ic Record Office." It also suggested that records twenty five years of age or older be sent to the records office, and that authority had to be granted by the Treasury Board for the destruction o f useless documents. 4 1 W i t h the onset of war in 1914, these recommendations were never implemented. It is questionable anyway whether the Commission's recommendations would have brought the Publ ic Archives closer to the field of active records administration. The C o m m i s s i o n d id not call for the Arch ives to advise the departments on the administration of public records, and there is little doubt that the Arch iv i s t and at least some o f his staff lacked the inclination to take on a larger role for the Archives . A s Ian W i l s o n makes clear, "by temperament as much as by circumstance, [Doughty] emphasized the cultural rather than the record-keeping role of archives." 4 2 D u r i n g the inter-war per iod , several attempts were made to deal wi th the p rob lem o f orderly disposi t ion o f records. Often, the matter was pushed aside by more pressing economic or poli t ical problems. One initiative d id get off the ground, briefly. In 1933, the Department of Pub l ic W o r k s set out to create a cheap storage facility for semi-active government records. Importantly, while the Publ ic W o r k s Depar tment w o u l d maintain the bu i ld ing , ind iv idua l departments w o u l d retain control and custody over their public records stored there. 4 3 B y 1938, the bu i ld ing 4 U Canada, Report of the Royal Commission Appointed to Inquire into the State of the Records of the Public Departments of the Dominion of Canada (Ottawa: F. A . Acland, 1914) 10. 4lIbid., 13. 4 2 W i l s o n , ' "A Noble Dream,'" 32. 4 3 A . M . Willms, "Canada's New Records Centre," American Archivist 19.4 (Oct. 1956): 322. 13 was completed, and the records transfers began. However , as the bu i ld ing was soon needed for the war effort, the departments were forced to take back their material. In the short per iod the facility had existed, nonetheless, it had been found that having each department supervise its o w n records d id not work . The single Pub l i c W o r k s clerk in the bu i ld ing was unable to provide the necessary services to the departments, and the endeavour failed.44 A t the time o f the outbreak o f the Second W o r l d War , the Publ ic Arch ives was sixty seven years o ld , yet no solution for the question o f its role in managing the publ ic records of the federal government had been found. A s the latest thrust of the Publ ic W o r k s Department revealed, there was always a chance that some other agency wou ld seize the initiative, leaving the Arch ives to its traditional cultural role, wi th which for the most part it was content. This was not the only problem. The demands of war had caused a bureaucratic boom which naturally led to an increase in the amount of public records produced. A t the same time, the Public Archives . . . suffered severely. Its appropriations were severely reduced, some members of the staff entered the armed forces and activity in general . . . was reduced to a min imum. The institution thus emerged from the war in a weakened condit ion. A t the same time, the problem o f government records had become more pressing than ever before.45 These difficulties d id not go unnoticed. A b o u t a year before the war ended, the h is tor ian G e o r g e B r o w n wrote "the si tuation [of pub l ic records] as a whole is deplorable, that in some respects it is scandalous, and that it is contrary to the public interest, since history . . . must be a l lowed to play its part i f we have any sound conception o f the national development." 4 6 44Ibid. 4 5 C . P. Stacey, "Canadian Archives," in Royal Commission Studies: A Selection of Essays Prepared for the Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters and Sciences (Ottawa: Edmond Cloutier, 1951) 234. 4 6 George W. Brown, "The Problem of Public and Historical Records in Canada," Canadian Historical Review 25.1 (March 1949): 1. Like other contemporary 1 4 Brown recognized that the purpose of records in an archival institution should not be misinterpreted as serving only the needs of historians . On the contrary, he thought that the archival institution's participation in the wider sphere of all public records should be encouraged. "An archives", he claimed, "should first of all be a public records department for the preservation of the non-active records of government. "47 The main purpose of records, therefore, was to protect the rights of both the government and its citizens, though he bemoaned the fact that ideas of this type were "conspicuous in Canada by [their] absence. "48 Predicting that the number of government records was sure to grow, he urged those responsible to give the matter the attention which it was due.49 Coincidentally, the government had already taken steps to address the problem. About a year before Brown's article, Cabinet authorized W. E . D. Halliday, a government servant who was neither an archivist nor a librarian, to investigate the means required to preserve the government's war records. Finding that there was no real distinction between them and others generated in the usual course of government activity, Halliday recommended that a permanent public records committee be convened to oversee all public records, that the departments and agencies of historians, Brown still linked a strong community of archival institutions, with the historical resources that such places provided, to the healthy development of a national identity. 41Ibid., 1-2. 4%lbid., 3. 4 ^Brown's comments did not go unnoticed. In response to his article, the Canadian Historical Association Archives Committee conducted a survey of archival institutions, province by province. Although the Committee seemed to concur with Brown's general conclusions, no real remedies were suggested. "It was the view of this meeting", said the Archives Committee, that "while there were some signs of improvement, the situation in general was a deplorable one, and that the Association should take whatever steps it could to draw this to the attention of public authorities and others who might assist in bringing about an improvement." See the Canadian Historical Association Archives Committee, "The Discussion of the Problem of Public and Historical Records in Canada," Report of the Annual Meeting Held at Montreal. June 1-2. 1944 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1944) 45. 1 5 government recognize their primary responsibility for the care of their records, that senior departmental officers be assigned responsibility for those records, and that the feasibility o f creating a publ ic record office as recommended by the 1912 R o y a l Commiss ion be considered. ' 0 In the autumn o f 1945, Cabinet responded by passing the Orde r in Counc i l P . C . 617s. establ ishing the P u b l i c Records Commit tee . A m o n g s t others, its membership included the Secretary of State, the D o m i n i o n Arch iv i s t , members from the Canadian Hi s to r i ca l Assoc ia t ion , and various representatives from assorted departments . ' 1 The Committee's main concern was "to keep under constant review the state o f the public records and to consider, advise, and concert wi th departments and agencies of government on the organization, care, housing, and destruction o f publ ic records." ' 2 T h i s Commit tee w o u l d address records management concerns wi th an organized plan for the disposit ion o f records. T w o principles were instituted: firstly, responsibility was given to departments for their o w n records' supervision; secondly, the departments had to appoint individuals whose role was oversight of the records. ' i R e p o r t i n g directly to the Treasury B o a r d , (which was the arm o f the Canadian government which regulated federal management procedures,) and responding to the policy it set, the Committee persuaded the Secretary of State that "the first function of a national archives should be to preserve the non-active records o f the government ." ' 4 5 0 W . E. D. Halliday, "The Public Records of Canada: Recent Developments in Control and Management," American Archivist 13.2 (April 1950): 104-105. The last recommendation was not carried out. (See Stacey, "Canadian Archives," 241.) ^ 1 Halliday, "Recent Developments in Control and Management," 105. 5 2 P . C . 6175, s. 3, 20 September 1945, as quoted in Atherton, "Public Archives Records Centre," 50. 53Atherton, "Public Archives Records Centre," 51. $4Ibid., 52. Emphasis in the original text was removed. 1 6 The Publ ic Archives wou ld have a role only in g i v i n g advice to the departments in support of Treasury Board policy; it had no desire to become physically involved with the records. W i t h this Order , the Canadian government came closer to the era of modern records adminis t ra t ion . Bu t such an advance was not as progressive as first appearances indicate. Since the Committee reported to the Treasury Board , the Publ ic Arch ives only had an advisory role in the administration of publ ic records. A s has been the case ever since, the Treasury Board issued records policies and directives to departments and agencies. The Archives only advised what those should be, and how they should be implemented. The Archivis t ' s powers therefore were not augmented; instead, a committee of oversight was established. A s shall be seen, only with the 1966 P u b l i c Records O r d e r wou ld new powers devolve , through regulat ion, to the D o m i n i o n Arch iv i s t . Thus , while the Order in Counci l P . C . 6 1 7 s may have showed some progression o f Canadian records administration policies, in practice it was not entirely successful, even to its contemporaries. "I must confess said Hal l iday, that ". . . we have been unable to carry out . . . the establishment of a Pub l i c Records Office." '5 W h i l e Canada's Publ ic Archives pondered the records administration issue, its counterpart to the south was also having to come to grips wi th the same problem. The American National Archives had some catching up to do, however. In contrast to Canada's national archival institution, the American National Archives had relatively late beginnings, and was conceived in response to different needs. W h i l e Canada's national archival insti tution was established,to act as a cultural adhesive between the Halliday, "Recent Developments in Control and Management," 107. 1 7 various regions o f the country, the United States' Nat ional Arch ives was created because o f the acute need to rectify the sorry state o f government records. A s in Canada, pressure f rom archiva l , patr iot ic , and his tor ical groups mot iva ted the President and Congress to take action to preserve the historically valuable records o f the federal government. Consequently, the cornerstone of the Nat ional Archives was l a i d i n 1933.56 The Uni ted States' Nat ional Archives formally came into existence on J une 19, 1934. The A c t to Establ ish a Nat ional Arch ives o f the Uni ted States Government , which was the enabling legislation o f this new institution, allowed the new Arch iv i s t to ... inspect . . . the records o f any agency o f the U n i t e d States G o v e r n m e n t whatsoever and wheresoever loca ted , .. . and to requisi t ion for transfer to the Nat ional Arch ives Establ ishment such archives, or records as the National Archives Counci l . . . shall approve for such transfer, and he shall have authority to make regulations for the arrangement, custody, use and withdrawal of material deposited in the Nat ional Archives Bu i ld ing . . . . ' 7 Compared wi th the Canadian archives act, this legislation seemed to grant the National A r c h i v i s t , together w i th Nat iona l Arch ives C o u n c i l (consis t ing o f himself, the Execu t ive Heads of Department , and others), a much broader authority manage federal r ecords . ' 8 Problems, however, were soon apparent. There were as yet no federal procedures to assist the A r c h i v i s t in carrying out his responsibil i t ies, and especially no means to identify which records should be transferred to the Archives . A d d i t i o n a l l y , for "limited periods", any head o f an agency or department cou ld "exempt from examination and consultation" those records which were deemed to be 5()Donald R. McCoy, The National Archives: America's Ministry of Documents, 1934 - 1968 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1978) 5-6. ^7United States, An Act to Establish a National Archives of the United States Government, and for Other Purposes. United States Statutes at Large Vol. 48 (1933-1934) s. 3. 5%Ibid., s. 6. 1 8 of a confidential nature.'9 If the Archivist did not know what records the departments possessed, and if he could not view them, there was no avenue to stop the loss of valuable material. Thus, attempts to acquire public records often involved long and tedious negotiations with agencies which were not always cooperative/'0 As a result, from the outset, something of an adversarial situation existed between the interests of the agencies and those of the Archives. In hindsight, these problems are not surprising. As in Canada, there was a traditional belief that archivists were cultural caretakers, historians who should passively wait for records to be delivered to them. Not everyone shared this view. If the National Archives was unable to take a more participatory role in the administration of current public records, it was not because all archivists thought they should be historians interested only in the past. One product of the Progressive Era, for example, was Margaret Cross Norton, who wanted archivists to be committed to the active and efficient administration of government records. "The archivist", Norton wrote, "should be a public official whose first interest is business efficiency, and only secondarily should he be interested in history."6' Luke Gilliland-Swetland gives a summary of her views: Historical libraries managed by historians were not archives ... The confusion to the contrary was not merely unfortunate, for it threatened the very preservation of the nation's legally important documents. Historians had a research agenda that was fundamentally at odds with the mission of archives. The latter ... was primarily to serve the administrative needs and public accountability demands of its institution and the needs of scholars only secondarily.62 59Ibid., s. 3. 6 u M c C o y , National Archives. 10. 6 1 Thornton W. Mitchell, ed., Norton / on Archives: The Writings of Margaret Cross Norton on Archival and Records Management (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1975) 5. 6^Luke J. Gilliland-Swetland, "The Provenance of a Profession: The Permanence of the Public Archives and Historical Manuscripts Traditions in American Archival History," American Archivist 54.2 (Summer 1991): 165. 1 9 N o r t o n therefore contended that records in archival institutions were important for tracing the administrative functions of which they are by-products, and anv historical impor tance the documents possessed was "so m u c h 've lve t . ' " 6 ' A n "archives department", she claimed, "is the governmental agency charged wi th the duty o f p lann ing and supervis ing the preservation o f all those records o f the business transactions o f its government required by law or other legal impl i ca t ion to be preserved indefini tely. 1 1 6 4 One reason for this preservation was that it maintained the authenticity of the records necessary to convey the legal privileges and prerogatives of the government and its cit izens. 6 ' In ideas such as these were the beginnings of the concern to articulate a role for archivists and archival insti tutions wi th in government circles. N o r t o n felt that archivists had responsibilities other than to the historical communi ty ; they had to become more than passive individuals wai t ing for the departments at the w h i m o f officials to pass public records to them. Archivis ts would have to move beyond their traditional bounds of historical acquisition into a more active place in the supervision o f government records; they would have to become administrators as well as scholars. W h i l e individuals such as N o r t o n argued that archivists were custodians o f peoples' rights and privi leges, many others felt that they had to partake in the administration of records for an utterly practical reason: to handle the rapid increase o f records created and used by the bureaucracy. Between 1889 and 1930, no fewer than ten executive and legislative efforts were launched to deal with the disposition of excess records, and the problem was only getting worse . 6 6 W i t h the N e w Deal policies o f 63Mitchell, ed., Norton / on Archives. 251. 64lbid., 13. 65Ibid., 25-26. See also pp. 250-251 6 6 Emmet t J. Leahy, "Reduction of Public Records," American Archivist 3.1 (Jan. 1940): 28-29. This was originally a report of a committee of the Society of American Archivists chaired by Leahy. 20 Frank l in D . Roosevelt and the expansion of government dur ing the Second W o r l d War , a crisis seemed to be approaching. A s Robert H . Bahmer commented, Whoever was acquainted wi th the rate o f records accumulation pr ior to the war was rightfully concerned lest the f lood of records overwhe lm everything and everybody in its path. Today this apprehension has become outright fear.6"? The solution was not, however, easy to find: F e w greater dangers threaten the comparat ively small quanti ty o f valuable records that accumulate in government offices than the in te rmingl ing wi th them o f huge quantities o f routine and valueless material; i f the important records are not actually lost in the confusion, they stand a good chance of being buried so deeply that the task o f the archivis t who must appraise and administer them is made doubly difficult i f not impossible . 6 8 F o r purely practical reasons, the archivist was therefore being compelled to administer active pub l ic records. B u t what was the nature o f this new role for the Nat ional Archives? Some indication of its future direction had been provided in 1939, with A n A c t to Prov ide for the Disposi t ion o f Certain Records of the Uni ted States Government . 6 ? T h i s inc luded a mandatory repor t ing mechanism by w h i c h the heads o f the departments wou ld report their non-active public records to the Nat ional Arch iv i s t , and it provided for the establishment of a joint committee of Congress to determine which records wou ld be retained. The act was important, E m m e t t J . Leahy said, because it was "easily the most significant attempt by legis lat ion to insure and safeguard the reduction o f federal records."? 0 6 7 Rober t H. Bahmer, "Current Aspects of Records Administration: Scheduling the Disposition of Records," American Archivist 6.3 (July 1943): 169. ^lbid., 170. 69united States, An Act to Provide for the Disposition of Certain Records of the United States Government. United States Statutes at Large Vol . 53 (1939). 7 0 Emmet t J. Leahy, "Reduction of Public Records," .29. 2 1 It was also symbolic of the more active participation of some archivists in the acquisit ion of active government records. This group was perhaps best represented by P h i l i p B r o o k s . "The selection of records for preservation and the consequent choice of those to be disposed of are", he said, "the obverse and converse of the same problem and cannot properly be separated."?' H i s opin ion was that because there were n o w so many records, selection for disposi t ion had to continue at all times. A s a proponent o f the life cycle concept, he argued that ideally the archivist should first become invo lved in the supervision o f records when they ceased to be of use to the government off ic ia ls . 7 2 Nonetheless, within the bounds of what an archivist could do according to this conflict, he recognized that archivists had a "valid interest" in records before they came into their custody, because the "archivist looks upon current records as future archives, and it is a legitimate part of his function to make available counsel on how they can best be handled."7} Brooks's approach therefore reflected the g rowing concern with active records acquisition. H e decided that since it was the administrators who created and used the records, it was also they who were best equipped to decide what was "susceptible of becoming archival material" (in the tradit ional life cycle sense o f what was to be transferred to archival inst i tut ions). 7 4 He also realized, however, that participation by the archivist as early as possible in the life o f the record was most beneficial to their proper care. H e felt that . . . the earlier in the life history of the documents the selection process begins, the better for all concerned. A n d the earlier in that life history that co-operation between the agency of or ig in and the archivist can be established, the easier wi l l be the work of all. 75 7 1 Philip Coolidge Brooks, "The Selection of Records for Preservation," American Archivist 3.4 (Oct. 1940): 221. 72Ibid., 222. ™lbid., 223. 14Ibid., 224. 15Ibid., 226. 22 In matters per ta ining to active publ ic records, B r o o k s appeared to env is ion a responsive advisory role for the archivist. In keeping with the life cycle concept, he d id not indicate that the archivist should become involved in the supervision of active records so m u c h as guide bureaucrats in the r igh t d i rec t ions o f records administration. The difficulty wi th having the archivist as only an adviser on records matters was that this disregarded the issue of who had wider authority to impose government-wide standards for records classification, cont ro l , and disposi t ion. Mere ly to give advice is not to exercise authority or control , and Brooks , being an advocate of the life cycle, was l imited by the constraints o f a conceptualization which d id not endorse archival jurisdiction over how records were to be created, processed, filed, and the like. Arch iv i s t s , as opposed to those who were intended to administer active records, were restricted to matters in the active records sphere which directly bore on acquisit ion. There was no recognit ion o f the exact responsibilities and roles the archivist should assume. A t this time, the records management profession still had to emerge as an identifiable g roup . Thus , the real issue o f h o w to exercise authori ty over the management o f records was sti l l being submerged in the discussion over what advisory role, i f any, that the archivist should have in the acquisition of active records, and opinions on this varied. Some were unwi l l ing to accept any participation at all by archival institutions in the early stages of the life c y c l e . 7 6 Some, in contrast, were resentful o f any disposi t ion decisions made by office managers wi thou t archival / b A l b e r t Ray Newsome, fore example, wanted to leave this sphere of work to the "education, legislation, and supervision" of bureaucrats, who would learn "to preserve such public records as arc in the offices of origin." Though he concluded that "archival production, collection, preservation, and use are interrelated parts of an integral process which can not and should not be too rigidly compartmentalized", Newsome did not see archivists participating in the administration of current records. See his "The Archivist in American Scholarship," American Archivist 2.4 (Oct. 1939): 221, 223-224. 23 input.77 Others believed that the archivist had at lease some part in the administration of active records, i f for reasons of acquisition only .7 8 The question of the archivist's participation in the active stages of the life cycle was at least partly resolved by the realities of the times. "The advent of W o r l d War II", Robert K r a u s k o p f claimed, redoubled the need for effective record management programs, as emergency agencies again began to proliferate and to create voluminous records, wi th no organized plan of disposi t ion and no restraint upon quantity. In this difficult situation the Nat ional Arch ives abandoned the traditionally conservative and passive attitude of [public] archival institutions and plunged into the field o f current administration. A s the central agency with major responsibility for the welfare of Government records, it took the initiative in encouraging and col laborat ing with other agencies in the establ ishment o f records admin i s t r a t i on programs. 79 E v e n s t i l l , no one was exactly certain o f h o w such endeavours should be worked within the structure o f government. Arch iva l participation in the field of active public records came about as a pragmatic response to a desperate situation. It was primari ly in this context that the Nat iona l Arch ives chose to act, and not because of a ' 'Rober t C. Binkley, for example, viewed the "office" manager" as "a professional enemy" of the archivist (and archives) because he freely destroyed inactive records with no concern for their secondary values. In the interests of preserving archival documents, Binkley fell that archival institutions had to work with office managers by giving them advice on the "careful distinction between the dcstroyable and preservable records." See his "Strategic Objectives in Archival Policy," American Archivist 2.3 (July 1939): 164-165. 7 8 E r n s t Posner claimed thai it was only proper that the archival institutions which would one day receive the records should have "the right to give their advice as to how the files of government offices should be organized and kepi from the beginning so as to insure a satisfactory original arrangement that wi l l also be suitable for retention by archives agencies." Posner, therefore, saw the archivist as part records administrator, and part records trustee: "We may assume thai gradually the archivists wi l l become the nations' experts who must be consulted in all questions of public record making and record keeping and likewise become the trustees who wil l safeguard the written monuments of the past, of the present day, and of the future." See his "Archival Development Since the French Revolution," 172. 7 9 Rober t W. Krauskopf, "The Hoover Commissions and Federal Recordkeeping," American Archivist 21.4 (Oct. 1958): 372-373. 24 fundamental shift from long-held conceptualizations. S t ruggl ing to discover their proper role, archivists were responding to situational st imuli , not theoretical tenets. The most significant example of this trend can be seen in one of the programs which emerged during this period. In 1941, an acute need for space in the Department o f the Navy led to the creation of the Uni ted States' first records centre by Leahy and Rober t B a h m e r . 8 0 These "depositories", said the Amer i can A r c h i v i s t , "wi l l serve as intermediate steps i n the process o f transfer [to the Na t iona l A r c h i v e s ] , offering facilities for the segregation o f useless and ephemeral material f rom records collections." Importandy, both current and noncurrent records would be managed according to "accepted archival principles." 8 ' These records centres' impact on future A m e r i c a n archival practices cannot be underestimated. "It is fair to say", said the archivist Herbert Ange l in 1968, that a large propor t ion o f the Federal, State, munic ipal , corporate, and commercial records centers in this country evolved from the A r m y and N a v y records centers o f W o r l d W a r II and that many o f those responsible for the present-day records centers either had experience in the early centers or were trained by others w h o d id have such experience. 8 2 The importance o f o f these records centres was at the time noted. In various articles, emphasis was placed on the proper administration of publ ic records, whether they were in archival institutions or still active. Fo r example, the records administrator Wi l l a rd F . M c C o r m i c k emphasized the necessity for control l ing public records during the process o f their creation, partly by "eliminating nonessential paper work once it 8 U Herbert E. Angel, "Archival Janus: The Records Center," A Modern Archives Reader: Basic Readings on Archival Theory and Practice, ed. Maygene F. Daniels and Timothy Walch (Washington, D.C. : National Archives and Records Service, 1984), and reprinted from the American Archivis t 31 [Jan. 1968]: 5-12) 47. 8 1 Karl L . Trever, ed., "News Notes: Naval Records Depositories," Amer ican Archiv is t 5.3 (July 1942): 200-201. S^Angel, "Archival Janus," 48. 2 5 gets into the work f low." In comparison, Leahy voiced his concerns about the "majority o f pape rwork and records [which] are by-products o f inefficient performance o f essential functions or unessential dupl ica t ion or over lapp ing of functions." 8 ' B o t h of these individuals saw that public records were often the product o f inefficient processes, unnecessary dupl icat ion, or other poor records practices wh ich were hav ing obvious consequences for management, both in the short and long term. Dis t inc t ions , however , were maintained between those should administer active public records and those who should care for them in the archival institution. Brooks , for example, realized that the functions of records manager and archivist were deeply interrelated, but as before maintained that archivists had responsibil i t ies separate from those who dealt with the administration of active public records. He felt that archivists were mutual participants wi th records managers only at the point in the life cycle where active records were acquired for the archives . 8 4 Thus , current records could best be served by a records officer with "adequate authority and staff", and not by the archivist. 85 A m o n g s t the writers o f his era, B r o o k s was one who comprehended the complexi ty the relationships between the various stages o f the life o f a record. 8 3 S e e Willard F. McCormick, "Current Aspects of Records Administration: The Control of Records," American Archivist 6.3 (July 1943): 166, and Emmett J. Leahy, "The Navy's 'Record' in the Second World War," American Archivist 8.4 (Oct. 1945): 237. This new concern with active public records was noted by Philip Brooks: "In the ... back issues of The American Archivist . 1 have found no less than eight articles in which some responsibility of the archivist for records before they reach his custody is recognized ... . There is a consistent note throughout these documents -- a desire to develop in public officials a knowledge of good record-keeping methods and an appreciation of the value of records." See Philip C. Brooks, "Current Aspects of Records Administration: The Archivist's Concern in Records Administration," American Archivis t 6.3 (July 1943): 158-159. 8 4 B r o o k s , "The Archivist's Concern in Records Administration," 162. ^Ibid. 26 Surpr is ingly , he even stated that "the whole life history of records is an integrated continuous entity", and that the functions of those responsible for various stages of the existence o f the records could not be viewed or conceptualized in i s o l a t i o n . 8 6 T h o u g h he may have conceived of the essence of what wou ld later become Atherton's concept, he never made the intellectual connection which placed archivists and those other individuals who watched over those records wi th in the appropriate theoretical perspective. It seems that B r o o k s could see the importance o f such ideas, but was either unwi l l ing or unable to set out a practical scheme on that basis. It was therefore only in the acquisition aspect that archivists were drawn into earlier phases in the management of records, which was left mainly to "efficiency experts" such as Leahy. W i t h such large amounts o f records, material suitable for permanent retention had to be selected while still active. T o leave records to be picked over after the government departments had finished wi th them was impract ical . Nonetheless, because there was no overarching concept o f service, such as that envisioned by Ather ton , the two emerging groups of records managers and archivists were unable to escape from a mind-set which saw them serving different needs, one of office efficiency, the other of posterity. The outcome was the gradual separation of records managers from archivists. By 1941, the Society of Amer ican Archivis ts ( S A A ) had already officially recognized records management as a "professional activity o f government archivists" when it renamed its Committee on the Reduct ion o f A r c h i v a l Mater ia l , chaired by Leahy, the Committee of Record Adminis t ra t ion . 8 ? D u r i n g the war, the formulat ion by the Amer ican National Archives of a records administration program, inc lud ing records centres, created the impetus necessary for the eventual %6Ibid., 164. 8 7 F r a n k B . Evans , "Arch iv i s t s and Records Managers: Variat ions on a Theme, A m e r i c a n A r c h i v i s t 30.1 (Jan. 1967): 45. 27 emergence of the records management profession. 8 8 But this would not occur immediately. A t this time, records staff could still be seen as clerks who, led by individuals such as Leahy, were struggling to tame the "paper tiger." Since few of these individuals had training in records administration, they were hardly able to excel beyond attempting to remedy the ineffectiveness and inefficiency which Leahy had so adepdy targeted. 8 9 Nonetheless, each group became entrenched in their functions, as dictated by the life cycle concept. "Records managers" came to specialize in a distinct sphere of work with the records — the active / current phase —and left the "historical" sphere for archivist. Moreover, since the Archives was "rarely able to serve beyond being the consultant at large and the promoter par excellence", it was unable to control how records management would develop; in other words, it was powerless to "direct what 8 8 As a result of its new responsibilities, the National Archives created a records administration program in 1943 '"to assist in developing throughout the Government principles and practices in the filing, selection, and segregation of records that will facilitate the disposal of or the transfer to the National Archives of records as they become noncurrent.'" See Brooks, "The Archivist's Concern in Records Administration," 169. Herbert Angel, an archivist, foresaw a time when the naval records depositories could eventually perform "correspondence management, current records management, noncurrent records management, administrative reference service and the controlled issuance of directives, and microphotographic service." See Herbert E. Angel, "Highlights of the Field Records Program of the Navy Department," American Archivist 7.3 (July 1944): 180. 8 9 I n 1957, Ernst Posner claimed that although "we may be proud of our progress and of our achievements ... in the matter of standards and training, much thinking and work remain to be done." Likewise, in the early 1970's, Frank B. Evans and Robert M. Warner conducted a survey of American archivists, and found that their "record of professional education and training leaves much to be desired." In fact, Evans and Warner found that although the Federal Government and others did provide training programs, the general standard of education was such that "it should be obvious that much remains to be done in the matter of education and training and the solution is not simply a proliferation of introductory courses." See Ernst Posner, "What, Then, Is the American Archivist, This New Man?" American Archivist 20.1 (January 1957): 10, and Frank B. Evans and Robert M. Warner, "American Archivists and Their Society: A Composite View," American Archivist 34.2 (April 1971): 169, 172. 2 8 it had set in mot ion ."9° Soon, records management would drift beyond the National Arch ives ' paternal supervis ion. A n y opportunit ies for a unified approach to the administration o f records wou ld soon disappear. In fact, a new emphasis on defining a relationship between the two groups soon emerged. W i t h official recognit ion o f records management in 1941, it became necessary to iterate the archivist's responsibilities in the administration of active public records. Solon J . Buck was one person who brought the issue to the fore. Buck , who was Nat ional Arch iv i s t , was a well k n o w n supporter o f initiatives to improve federal government management, and often endeavoured to fo rward his cause.9 1 H e dismissed those who equated '"archives'" with '"historical manuscripts'", or who thought that "archives are preserved solely for use by historians as source materials." In his v iew, "archival documents may be o ld or very recent, current or noncurrent from the point of v iew o f administration, active or inactive from the point o f v iew o f use . . . ." Thus , he contended that it was only logical that the Nat iona l Arch ives participate not only in developing procedures for the disposal of records but also by starting to look at "birth control in record making ."9 2 Buck was not the only one to articulate this view. B r o o k s noted in 1942 that records management and archives "cannot help affecting each other, and they can work together to mutual advantage." Because o f this, he argued that it was important to "emphasize the closeness of the two functions and the need for cooperation."93 In this comment, Brooks may have inadvertently discovered the root of the matter. The 9 u M c C o y , National Archives. 162. 9 1 Ibid., 195. 9 2 Solon J. Buck, "Let's Look at the Record," American Archivist 8.2 (April 1945): 110-112, 114. See also Ernst Posner, "Solon Justus Buck and the National Archives," Archives and the Public Interest: Selected Essays by Ernst Posner. ed. Ken Munden (Washington, D. C : Public Affairs Press, 1967). 9 3 Brooks, "The Archivist's Concern in Records Administration," 161 and 163. 29 continuum's one sphere of functional activity, managing the records, is divided into phases. Here, Brooks simply perceived the two phases to be working in isolation, with the people in each phase seeing themselves as operating in completely different ways, and for different purposes. Brooks would take the idea of archival participation in public records creation through giving advice to the departments, and make it one of his central themes. He had grasped that the . . . management of records in agencies would most often be carried out according to their definition of a good program instead of that of the National Archives. The important thing . . . was to get records administration programs going, "hammer the main principles," give more "concrete advice" on what constituted a good overall program, and "try to reconcile the differences" in approaches.94 As the years progressed, Brooks's opinions would become more developed. "Because of their special interests and qualifications," he later said, archivists could give "guidance" to administrators "with respect to methods of creation and current handling of records." In fact, he candidly stated that the National Archives was already assuming tasks which would not "meet the more strict definition of archival work", and that the National Archives (records administration) program constituted "an integral part of our broader [professional] field. "95 Attitudes about the archivist's role in the administration of records were therefore still evolving. The war was in may ways been both good and bad for these 9 4 McCoy, National Archives. 159-160. 95Philip Coolidge Brooks, "Archivists and Their Colleagues: Common Denominators," American Archivist 14.1 (Jan. 1951): 37-38. Other individuals were having similar sentiments. Ernst Posner, for example, praised the courage of the archivists who in 1941 established records centres, thereby moving beyond their traditional roles. He said of the changes that the "magnitude of the job are bound to amaze the old line archivist." See Ernst Posner, "The National Archives and the Archival Theorist," American Archivist 18.3 (July 1955): 209-210. 3 0 records administration programs. O n the one hand, it i l luminated the need for the regulated control , classification, and disposit ion of all government records. O n the other hand, it accelerated and magnified the professional differences o f those who administered active records and those who managed inactive ones. M o s t of al l , it left questions which had not been satisfactorily answered: could archivists be happy with part icipat ing in the management of active records only insofar as it affected their insti tutions' acquisi t ion strategy? Should archivists be g i v i n g advice bevond the bounds o f this limited realm? Mos t importantly, as Brooks had hinted at, what was the nature o f the records program that everyone was attempting to administer? In other words, h o w could archivists only restrict their activities to the inactive stages of the life cycle concept when there were indicat ions that what was needed was a more comprehensive approach to the administration of records? It is clear that the national archival institutions of both Canada and the Uni ted States had therefore undergone significant changes. The future development o f both institutions w o u l d , to a large degree, depend on h o w they had been affected by the demands and disruptions o f W o r l d War II. The Nat iona l Arch ives of the Uni ted States, which would emerge from the war with new responsibilities, had fostered the g rowth o f what would be in future years an identifiable, strong, and autonomous profession o f records managers. T h o u g h strained by the war, its prospects were encouraging. O n the other hand, the demands o f war had left Canada's P u b l i c Arch ive s in a relatively weaker pos i t ion , and thus at first it wou ld approach its problems from what seemed to be a weaker vantage point. The next chapter wi l l examine how the situations of both institutions would affect h o w each one would identify their roles they renewed their efforts to tame the "paper tiger." A s shall be seen, a combinat ion of committees, task forces, legislative initiatives, executive orders, and institutional restructuring would all have an effect on 3 1 the approaches Canada's and the United States' records professions would t a k e in the administration o f public records. 3 2 C H A P T E R T W O : The Post War Relat ionship Between N o r t h Amer i can Records Managers and Arch iv i s t s The previous chapter explored how unprecedented records proliferation had led to the development of a practical relationship between those who oversaw active records and those who were responsible for inactive ones. Th i s relationship was neither a comfortable one, nor was it completely understood or accepted. In fact, after the Second W o r l d War , it became clear that the endeavours of various public archival institutions to cope wi th the monumental amounts o f records wou ld not be easv, and w o u l d be characterized by debate over what the respective roles of those who dealt wi th the records at different stages o f the records' existence should be. The issue now to be determined was who should perform which functions at different life cycle phases of the records' existence. Some archivists were convinced that their institutions had no business dealing wi th active records, and some records managers perceived archivists' attempts to invade the active records sphere as a threat. In contrast, others were inclined to argue (to varying degrees) that it was only natural for archivists to become involved wi th government records while they were not only still active, and sometimes even before they were created. It was this issue, and the attempts to resolve it, which wou ld be a major facet o f developments in records administration for many decades to come. In Canada, the matter came to the fore largely because o f he semi-active records issue. After the war, the Publ ic Arch ives was in dire need of government support in this area. Wi thou t semi-active records storage facilities, the Arch ives was unable to make any further advances in government records administration.9 6 This was one 96See Halliday, "Recent Developments in Control and Management," 105; Stacey, "Canadian Archives," 242; and Atherton, "Public Archives Records Centre," 52. 33 concern o f the new D o m i n i o n Arch iv i s t , W . Kaye L a m b , who shortly after assuming his appointment in 1949, was consulted by the Roya l C o m m i s s i o n on Nat iona l Development in the Ar t s , Letters and Sciences (the Massey Commission) . T h o u g h at first K a y e L a m b was opposed to records centres as had already been proposed by the Publ ic Archives staff, he came to believe that the main obstacle for the Archives was the shortage o f adequate semi-active records storage space.97 H e therefore proposed to the Commiss ion "the construction o f a large half-way house for departmental files, controlled and staffed by the Public Archives . . . . "98 In its investigation of public records, the Massey Commiss ion contended that the w o r k o f the 1912 Roya l Commiss ion had been "almost i f not altogether in vain." T h o u g h it acknowledged that the Orde r in Counc i l o f 1945 had been a move in the right direction for dealing with the backlog of active records, it charged that thirty-six years after the blunt comments of the Roya l Commiss ion on the Pub l i c Records, fifty-two years after it was decided to maintain our public records in one central place under the custody of the D o m i n i o n A r c h i v i s t , and seventy-eight years after Parl iament first noted "the unsatisfactory state o f the Archives" , the truth about Canada's publ ic records system must still be a cause o f embarrassment to all Canadians.99 Cri t ical o f the indefinite retention of records by government departments and o f the inadequate funding for the Publ ic Archives , the report contended that publ ic records difficulties could not be addressed until the Archives had the space and staff it required to handle the volume of records . 1 0 0 T h e historian C. P. Stacey advocated a different approach. In a study for the Roya l Commiss ion , he argued that the "crux o f the problem" was that there was no 9 7 Atherton, "Public Archives Records Centre," 53. 9 8 A s quoted in Atherton, "Public Archives Records Centre," 54. Also quoted in Stacey, "Canadian Archives," 244. Emphasis added. 99canada, Report of the Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts. Letters and Sciences: 1949 - 1951 (Ottawa: Edmond Cloulier, 1951) 113. l00lbid., 113-114. 34 mechanism for the systematic transfer o f records to the Pub l i c A r c h i v e s . 1 0 ' Rather than create a publ ic records office separate from the Archives to achieve this, however, he felt it was only necessary to strengthen the exist ing capabilities o f the P u b l i c Arch ives . C i t ing the 1912 Royal Commiss ion , he stated that a sound publ ic records policy . . . must do two difficult things: it must ensure that records o f no permanent value are not preserved after their temporary usefulness is past; and (even more important) it must ensure that records which do possess permanent value are preserved and are kept available for governmental purposes and for the use o f h is tor ians . 1 0 2 A s a his torian, Stacey naturally seized on the question o f acquisi t ion to ensure the accessibility o f records for secondary, scholarly purposes. H e denounced records centres because they were costly and their holdings inaccessible to historians. What was needed, he said, was "a plan which w i l l provide for and enforce the constant and systematic screening of the obsolete records of government." i o 3 Unfortunately, he did not give details of the plan, only of its objectives. In the end, the Massey Commiss ion recommended that the Publ ic Records Committee be strengthened to support traditional archival functions, and that it have overa l l con t ro l o f government records, their transfer to the archives, and their destruction. It also suggested that the departments review their semi-active records and keep abreast o f current ones, and that provisions be made for more space and staff for these records at the Publ ic A r c h i v e s . ' 0 4 A s to who was to make disposi t ion decisions regarding the records, Ather ton claimed that the Commiss ion saw only a minor role for archivists, since it was suggested that 1 0 S t a c e y , "Canadian Archives," 234. l02Ibid., 239. 1031bid., 248. 1 0 4 C a n a d a , Royal Commission nn National Developmeni in the Ans . Letters and Sciences. 337-340. 3 5 .. . decisions on the retention or disposal o f publ ic records should be made while the records were still in the departments [by a qualified records officer], wi th records o f historical value [as according to the parameters set by the Publ ic Records Committee] being transferred to the archives. Th i s was very similar to Br i t i sh practice; init iat ive for transfer lay with the departments, not the Archives. 1 0s T h e Massey C o m m i s s i o n therefore d id not advocate the A m e r i c a n practice o f archivists directly making decisions regarding records disposit ion while the records were in records centres, but rather supported a system where such decisions w o u l d be left to the departments. 1 0 6 In contrast, K a y e L a m b supported the Amer ican model . H e claimed that archivis ts were better adminis t ra tors o f records centres than departmental bureaucrats, who in the 1930's had failed to run a records centre wh ich was cost-effective and reliable. By 1950, he managed to convince the Treasury Board of this, and in 1956, a records centre, under the contro l o f the D o m i n i o n A r c h i v i s t , was opened at Tunney 's Pasture in Ot tawa. T h i s w o u l d be the first o f many records centres which would later be established across the coun t ry . 1 0 7 F o r Canadian publ ic records administrat ion, this was a banner event. The departments w o u l d use the records centres, control led by the Publ ic Arch ives , for semi-active storage, reference, and disposition. Kaye Lamb's insistence that the Publ ic Arch ives take an active part in the running o f the records centres created the impetus necessary to assume this function from the departments. What was still required was some clearer defini t ion of the role o f the archivist in both scheduling and records 1U3Atherton, "Public Archives Records Centre," 55. 1 "^Recommendation "E" was "That every department appoint a properly qualified records officer to supervise, within the scope of such regulations as may be issued by the Public Records Committee, the care of its departmental records, and the screening of inactive files and the transfer to the Archives of those of permanent value." See Canada, Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts. Letters and Sciences. 337. lu7Atherton, "Public Archives Records Centre," 55-57. 3 6 creation. Th i s was soon to come. In 1959, the Roya l Commiss ion on Gove rnmen t O r g a n i z a t i o n (the G la s sco C o m m i s s i o n ) a c k n o w l e d g e d the impor tance o f participation of both archivists and records managers, but perceived their roles to be separate as according to the phases in the life cycle: The disposal and custody of public records should be securely founded on clearly formulated programs for records scheduling and records disposal. Records scheduling, which provides for the flow of records f rom o r ig in to final disposi t ion, is a proper funct ion of departmental management; appraisal of records is a task for the archivist. Between these separate but closely related functions, there is the intermediate task o f records s torage. 1 0 8 T h o u g h records management and archives were to remain as two solitudes, Glassco recognized that the Publ ic Arch ives had to be able to give advice on publ ic records policies, as set by the Treasury Board . The "process of final disposal", the report said, was "essentially an archival and not a managerial responsibility, and has to be effectual at all points in the process." Th i s included the right of the Arch ives to scrutinize departmental schedules, w i th the r ight o f final decisions regard ing records d i spos i t ion . ' °9 F o l l o w i n g the Glassco Commiss ion , Cabinet passed the Publ ic Records Order o f 1966, wh ich provided the Publ ic Archives with new responsibilities and enhanced author i ty . G o v e r n m e n t departments and agencies (in theory, i f not always successfully in practice,) had to set and implement records retention and disposi t ion schedules approved by the D o m i n i o n Arch iv i s t , and they had to have permission o f the Arch iv i s t to destroy records . ' 1 0 Eve ry department also had to appoint a "records coordinator" wi th a thorough knowledge of records management . 1 1 ' As wel l , the 1 0 8 C a n a d a , 1959 Roval Commission on Government Organization: Management of the Public Service, vol. 1, (Ottawa: Roger Duhamel, 1962) 562. l09Ibid., 571. 1 1 0 Canada , Public Records Order P.C. 1966 - 1749, s. 8(1 )(b) and (c). ulIbid., s. 8(l)(a). 37 Publ ic Records Committee was replaced with an Adv i so ry Counci l on Publ ic Records, wh ich , as its name implies, had the ability to "consider and make recommendations to the D o m i n i o n Arch iv i s t concerning all matters respecting publ ic records referred to it by any member o f the Counci l or the Treasury B o a r d . " 1 1 2 B u t this d id not mean there was a revolut ionary shift in attitudes in the administration o f records. The main thrust of the Order was to improve the economy and efficiency o f government records-keeping practices in order to safeguard important publ ic records from accidental destruction, for future reference, and from deterioration or destructive agents. M i c r o f i l m i n g in particular was thought to be a method by which this concept might be advanced. ' '3 A d d i t i o n a l l y , the Treasury-B o a r d categorically retained its right to set records management policies and procedures for the publ ic s e r v i c e . 1 ' 4 T h i s meant that a l though the D o m i n i o n Arch iv i s t had received some authority over records disposit ion, it was granted only at the pleasure of the Treasury Board , and could at any time be removed by it. Nonetheless, a l though the D o m i n i o n A r c h i v i s t d id not have the wider authority which would eventually be granted by the National Arch ives A c t o f 1987, the Orde r d id grant some control over disposi t ion to the Pub l i c Arch ives . The D o m i n i o n Arch iv i s t now assumed an administrative role which, for the first time, had been enshrined in the administrative law o f the Canadian government. N o w , the Pub l i c Arch ives had a hand not only in acquiring records for preservation, but also in determining the disposition of the active records of government. The overall control o f publ ic records administration had been placed in the hands o f the Arch iv i s t ; his scope o f responsibilities and activities had expanded to the field o f active records. n2Ibid., s. 9(5). u3Ibid., s. 4(c)(i),(ii),(iii), and (iv). U4Ibid., s. 3 . 3 8 A l m o s t one century after the Archives had been established, some recogni t ion of a need for a unified approach amongst all records administrators had come to Canada. The Uni ted States also experienced change after W o r l d War II. A s in Canada, the end o f this conflict resulted in renewed initiatives to handle the publ ic records p le thora . 1 1 ' B u c k , w h o as the Nat iona l A r c h i v i s t was a w e l l - k n o w n advocate of records management, soon became alarmed at the government 's rapid records generation practices. This was of special concern to h i m because he realized that the Nat iona l Arch ives w o u l d soon be unable to accommodate the government's needs. T h o u g h initially he attempted to solve the problem by fighting for additional records centres, eventually he had to accept the political compromise o f less storage space in order to retain centralized control over his expanding ins t i tu t ion . 1 1 6 Despite this problem, the Truman Adminis t ra t ion had been impressed by the necessity for the effective administrat ion of active public records, and in 1 946 the President signed Execu t ive Orde r 9784. Th i s order aimed at the "more efficient internal management o f the Government" by ensuring that publ ic records were "uti l ized to m a x i m u m advantage and disposed o f expedit iously when no longer needed." 1 1? Whi l e it wou ld only be a stop-gap measure for a serious problem, "it was the most effective th ing done to encourage federal records management unti l 1 1 5 T h i s was occurring at state as well as federal levels. For example, Margaret Cross Norton, who worked for the Illinois State Archives, stated in 1945 that "Somehow departments must get control over the records of state government which cannot function effectively without them." (Sec Mitchell , ed., Norton / on Archives. 132.) 1 1 6 M c C o y , National Archives. 194-195. 1 ^Un i t ed States, Truman Executive Order No. 9784: Providing for the More Efficient Use and for the Transfer and Other Disposition of Government Records. United States Code Congressional Service. 79th Congress, 2nd Session (1946). 3 9 addi t ional steps were taken du r ing the 1950's." 1 1 8 M o s t s ignif icant ly , records administration problems were being recognized at the highest levels of government. In a manner similar to Canada's Order in Counc i l P . C . 617s. Execut ive Orde r 9784 assigned responsibility for the management and disposit ion of active records to the heads o f the departments. Un l ike P . C . 617s. it placed the most important decisions for the supervision and disposi t ion o f publ ic records not wi th a Nat iona l Arch ives C o u n c i l or the Na t iona l A r c h i v i s t , but wi th someone w h o by nature o f his appointment had little interest in the cultural, historical, or administrative needs of the records: the Di rec tor o f Bureau o f Budget. This was the beginning of a trend in the Un i t ed States where the proper administrat ion of active records was equated wi th economic efficiency, where the main objective was to l imi t records product ion and promote the expeditious destruction of valueless records. The Amer ican tradition of the strong divis ion between those who were to economize the administration of active records and those who were intended to be responsible for the historical and cultural aspects o f inactive records was entrenched. 1 '9 Whi l e the Nat ional Arch ives Counc i l influenced the laws and regulations governing the management of active records, it had no authority to manage the process and be accountable for it. Subsequent events wou ld reinforce these deepening divisions. Shortly after T r u m a n issued his executive order, a commiss ion was established to examine government operations as a whole. T h e so-called H o o v e r C o m m i s s i o n , whose mandate was to explore avenues for l imi t ing government expansion while maintaining proficient service, created a task force led by Leahy to examine the government's public records administration strategies. Leahy's job was to find out who was responsible for publ ic records management, and what obligations were to be placed with the staff of l l 8 M c C o y , National Archives. 196. 1 ^Krauskopf, "Hoover Commissions," 373. 4 0 the departments and agencies. In A p r i l , 1948, he therefore set out to explore the records administration i s sue . 1 2 0 Leahy was preoccupied wi th what he perceived as the hazards of the "mass p roduc t ion o f records." H e therefore stressed that management specialists were required to achieve economic efficiency: T h e t radi t ional so lu t ion o f records deposi tories , whether pub l ic archives, business and ins t i tu t ional records centers, or h is tor ica l societies, no longer in themselves suffice. The financial means and physical capacity o f such depositories are hopelessly inadequate as a single device to cope wi th the volume of modern records. The solution o f modern problems in records management must therefore be in and by the operating agencies of management. 1 2 1 This is not to say that Leahy did not see a place for archivists in the administration of active records, for he d i d . 1 2 2 However , while Atherton would advocate the competent supervis ion o f government records as a service to users, Leahy emphasized the "economical management of modern records." 1 2 ' It was this orientation which is seen in his report for the H o o v e r Commiss ion. O n a superficial level, the Leahy Report contained recommendations similar to those of the Canadian R o y a l C o m m i s s i o n o f 1912. B o t h called for the better administrat ion and care o f records, as well as for improved mechanisms for the records' proper d ispos i t ion . There was, however , one outs tanding difference. Hall iday observed that the Canadian 1 2 U Krauskopf, "Hoover Commissions," 374-377, gives an excellent summary of the events leading up 10 the First Hoover Commission. 1 2 1 E m m e t t J. Leahy, "Modern Records Management," American Archivist 12.3 (July 1949): 232. 1 2 2 p o r example, he claimed that " ... if the counsel of the professional archivist and historian are not injected into (records centers') management there is no insurance that the essential core of records will be preserved . . . " See Leahy, "Modern Records Management," 235. l23Ibid., 234. 4 1 . . . Roya l Commiss ion contemplated enlargement of the Archives to include publ ic records administrat ion, whilst the (Leahy) Task Force recommended the formation of a records administration program of which the Archives would be a par t . 1 2 4 In fact, the Task Force's most significant suggestion was that a Federal Records Adminis t ra t ion , which included the National Archives , should be created to provide a centralized and streamlined structure for the administrat ion o f records . ' 2 5 T h i s decision was not made for theoretical reasons. Instead, it was thought that better efficiency cou ld be achieved by a management body which dealt wi th the general administrative concerns of the bulk of public records. The Nat ional Arch ives , which was supposedly only concerned with particular historical functions, was therefore not suited for this f u n c t i o n . ' 2 6 Archivis ts were seen as an entity apart from active public records, existing in a solitude only suitable for non-active, historical material. T h e Leahy Repor t , wh ich had repercussions for both federal records management and public archival institutions, was not without its detractors. Because 1 2 4 H a l l i d a y , "Recent Developments in Control and Management," 104. 1 2 ^ T a s k Force of the Commission on the Organization of the Executive Branch of Government, Records Management in the United States Government: A Report with Recommendations (Washington, D.C.: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1948) 7. In the report, the three main suggestions were summarized, and then addressed in detail. The Task Force's two other recommendations dealt with records management. One of these was that Congress should pass a "Federal Records Management Act of 1949", which would deal with the creation, use, administration, and disposition of records. The Task Force felt that along with the creation of a Federal Records Council, this was necessary to strengthen the ability of the the Federal Records Administration to carry out the management of records (see pp. 27-28). To help with this, the last recommendation was that in compliance with E. 0 . 9784. each department should be obligated by law to carry out a minimum requirement of records management responsibilities. Specifically, each department should have to appoint a qualified records officer to oversee the records management program. The Task Force argued that a qualified records officer with the competence to carry out an administrative mandate was essential to creating the proper environment for a well-coordinated and successful records program (see pp. 31-32). 1 2 ^ T a s k Force of the Commission on the Organization of the Executive Branch of Government, Records Management in the United States Government. 24. 42 it concentrated on money-saving contingencies rather than on specific issues related to the control o f records creation, content, classification, and quality, it received heavy cri t icism. ' 2 ? Its emphasis on the managerial rather than archival point o f view caused concern w i th the staff o f the Na t iona l A r c h i v e s , many o f w h o m wanted their i n s t i t u t ion to assume a wider variety o f records management f u n c t i o n s . 1 2 8 Nonetheless, f o l l o w i n g the lead provided for it by the Leahy Repor t , the H o o v e r Commiss ion stressed the formidable costs of records administration. 1 2 9 There was neither meaningful discussion of the value of the information in the records, nor o f the his tor ical or legal implicat ions o f their management. Instead, the H o o v e r Commiss ion Report based its discussions on the "housekeeping" aspect o f managing records, recommending that both archives and records management functions be placed in a single new agency responsible for internal management services. 13° F o l l o w i n g the passage of the Federal Property and Administrat ive Ac t of 1949, the Nat ional Archives ceased to exist as an independent agency. Instead, it became the Nat iona l Arch ives and Records Service ( N A R S ) , a branch of the General Services Adminis t ra t ion ( G S A ) . N A R S ' s responsibilities were defined in the Federal Records A c t o f 19so. which , superseding the Nat ional Arch ives A c t o f 1934, was the first federal statute to define records management comprehensively. Setting out records V l 'Krauskopf, "Hoover Commissions," 380. See, for example, Martin P. Claussen, who maligned the report's heavy money-saving emphasis, and claimed that the more serious problems needing attention were "the quality of modern records, the quality of records personnel, and the need for what might be called better 'quality controls' for the improvement of record making and record-keeping." Martin P. Claussen, "Review of Records Management in the United States Government. A Report with Recommendations." A m e r i c a n Archiv is t 12.3 (July 1949): 287. 1 2 8 Krauskopf , "Hoover Commissions," 382. l29Herberi Hoover, et al., Hoover Commission Report on the Organization of the Executive Branch of Government (Toronto: McGraw-Hil l , n.d.) 78-80. noIbid., 80. 4 3 management responsibil i t ies for both the Genera l Services A d m i n i s t r a t o r and department or agency heads, 13 1 the new act charged the A d m i n i s t r a t o r w i t h r e spons ib i l i ty for i m p r o v i n g standards, procedures, and techniques wi th respect to the creation of records; the organization, maintenance, and use o f current records; and the d i spos i t ion o f records when no longer needed for current operations. H e was also specifically authorized to establish and operate records centers. 1 ?2 It is indeed ironic that the act which effectively ended the Nat ional Archives ' ability to function autonomously was also the one which appeared to be most progressive in terms o f records administration. For the first time, records management was officially recognized in government legis la t ion. B o t h records managerial and archival responsibilities were officially placed under one individual , who could provide for the effective access and control of information. The problem was that these responsibilities were not lodged with the National Arch iv i s t . Instead, they were given to the Adminis t ra tor of the G S A , whose concerns for economy and efficiency wou ld mean that the objective of managing records to ensure their use as tools o f publ ic accountability and cultural continuity w o u l d take a back seat. In the event, the l ink between current and semi-active management and archival or historical management was severely weakened. Indeed, no one seems to have articulated an overarching theory to draw them together. Thereafter, it became a challenge to have the two solitudes cooperate. A l t h o u g h archival responsibilities wou ld be designated by the Adminis t ra tor to the Nat ional Arch iv i s t , there was always the chance that the Adminis t ra tor , by the nature o f his mandate, could have very different views from the Arch iv i s t about h o w 1 3 Un i t ed States, Federal Records Act of 1950. United States Statutes at Large Vol . 64 (1950-1951) s. 505 and s. 506. 1 3 2 H e r b e r t E. Angel, "Federal Records Management Since the Hoover Commission Report," American Archivist 16.1 (Jan. 1953): 14. 44 public records should be managed. 13 3 This was the very concern which was expressed by O l i v e r Holmes . H e acknowledged that at some level , every professional does become junior to a non-professional superior. What was important, he argued, was that archivists had to be granted the authority necessary to carry out their dut ies . '34 Thus , he advocated allocating records management responsibilities to the Nat ional A r c h i v i s t , for he felt that this ind iv idua l was best equipped to make decisions regarding records. Th i s was because the Nat ional Arch iv i s t was the one with "closer contacts wi th both programs" and thus "more l ikely to see them in perspective." 135 Speaking o f the relationship between records management and archives, Ho lmes wrote: There can be no half and half business about this. Records management must be included in this unified program. It has made progress only as it was led by a professional group and dominated by the professional spirit . Records management in the agencies and in the intermediate records centers must be coordinated and harmonized wi th the work in the Nat ional Arch ives — must be a professionally control led activity throughout the life history of the records . 1 3 6 H o l m e s understood that the loss of an independent approach to adminis ter ing records wou ld be detrimental, for it could lead to decisions being made by those who had little comprehension of the nature and values of records. Other people were more supportive of the changes. Wayne Grove r , the United States' new National Arch iv i s t , believed that the close relationship which had evolved between archives and active records administration during the war ran contrary to the traditional definitions of the archival role as portrayed in the life cycle mode l . 1 3? A t an 1 3 3 / / ? i d . 1 3 4 0 1 i v e r W. Holmes, "The National Archives at the Turn of the Road," American Archivist 12.4 (Oct. 1949): 350-351. 1 3 5 /fe/ 'd. , 351. ^6lbid. l 3 7 S e e also Irving P. Schiller, who had earlier suggested that gaining effective control of records creating activities was too "heavy a price paid for an immediate tangible advantage." The "cost", he believed, would be "the 45 annual meeting of the S A A , he claimed that the approach which had developed during the wartime period was no more than a stop-gap measure which, with the establishment of N A R S and the Federal Records Act of 19 s o. should be discontinued: During the war . . . our best talents within the National Archives were diverted to carrying the gospel of good records management to other agencies of the Government. The establishment of within the National Archives and Records Service of a Records Management Divisions, together with the passage of the Federal Records Act of 1950 . . . will relieve archivists in the National Archives itself of much of this burden. 1' 8 For Grover, the issue had to do with control and specialization (according the the life cycle model). Although he saw that the two groups were linked in that together they had an "interest in improving the quality and decreasing the quantity of an organization's records," he nonetheless felt that each was sufficiently specialized as to concentrate on different aspects of records administration.*39 He said it was a "problem, in the Federal Government, of organization and emphasis in a large part, although in some part also a matter of function."1 4 0 Grover believed that the archivist had to have an academic background, especially in history and the social sciences. On the other hand, the active records administrator was essentially supposed to be part of abandonment of the tradition of scholarship and research, desertion of historiography, and renunciation of a broad intellectual comprehension of the records, particularly an understanding of how they relate to the world of reality beyond the walls of the repository Schiller suggested that unless archival institutions were willing to strike a balance between records administration and traditional archival work, there would come a time when archivists would be unceremoniously replaced by office clerks. See Irving P. Schiller, "The Archival Profession in Eclipse," American Archivist 11.3 (July 1948): 229-233. 138\vayne C. Grover, "Recent Developments in Federal Archival Activities," American Archivist 14.1 (Jan. 1951): 11. 1 39see Wayne C. Grover, "Archives: Society and Profession," American Archivist 18.1 (Jan. 1955): 5, and Grover, "Recent Developments in Federal Archival Activities," 8. l 4 u Grover, "Recent Developments in Federal Archival Activities," 7. 46 the "management team," and thus a management out look and management skills were essential for the "records management specialist." 1 4 ' W h i l e this debate was be ing conducted , the mu l t i p l i c a t i on o f records continued. W i t h the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, bureaucracy, and records along wi th it, was burgeoning once a g a i n . ' 4 2 In 1953, Congress therefore formed a Second H o o v e r Commiss ion , which had the power o f asking not only "how well a governmental function was being performed, but whether it should be performed." ' 43 Regarding public records, the Commiss ion was to "measure the costs and dimensions o f paperwork activity in general, to identify the areas of potential savings, and to suggest organiza t iona l changes as may be necessary to i m p r o v e pape rwork management and remove red tape." ' 4 4 Signif icant ly, the area o f study w o u l d be paperwork and not records management, because the term "paperwork" was considered to embrace a broader spectrum than the records storage and disposal themes of "records management."' 4 ' The subsequent Task Force on Paperwork Management was chaired once again by L e a h y . ' 4 6 A s in the past, Leahy's concern with the vast costs of public records creation was evident. "Paperwork in the Government" , Leahy's report said, "is b ig 1 4 1 Ibid., 8. 1 4 2 Krauskopf , "Hoover Commissions," 386-388. ^ 4^ Ibid., 388. Emphasis was in the text. 1 4 4 N e i l MacNeil and Harold W. Met/., The Hoover Report of 1953-1955: What it Means to You as Citizen and Taxpayer (New York: MacMillan Company. 1956) 82-83. 1 4 ^See Krauskopf, "Hoover Commissions," 389, and the Task Force on Paperwork Management for the Commission on the Organization of the Executive Branch of Government, Report on Paperwork Management -- Part I: In the United States Government (Washington, D.C. , 1955) 11-12. 1 4 ^ T h e Task Force studied two main areas. The first one, of which is concern here, dealt with how the government managed its paperwork; the second dealt with the paperwork incurred by business and government as a result of government regulations and requirements. The second area shall not be discussed in any detail. 4 7 business . . . . Now for the first time taxpayers have a measure of the billions spent on paperwork and obtainable savings."'4? Thus, it was recommended that a Paperwork Management Service, with a complementing Paperwork Management Program, be established in the G S A , because this present N A R S responsibility was hampered by the bureaucratically perceived "narrow connotation" of that body. 1 4 8 The Second Hoover Commission did not accept all of the Task Force's recommendations. It suggested that the President write an executive order establishing a paperwork management program, with the G S A having responsibility over all areas of paperwork management. Subsequently, the Bureau of Budget decided that an executive order was not necessary, although the G S A did get additional funds for paperwork management and records centres.'4? The Second Hoover Commission also advised that paperwork as it existed in N A R S should be consolidated in a new organization; as a result, the Office of Records Management was formed as part of N A R S in 1956.' ?° Thus, the Second Hoover Commission expanded on and continued the work begun by the first one. 1 ' 1 Both commissions were essentially concerned with economic efficiency, and ignored the Archives' larger role as a cultural agency. Leahy's emphasis on economic management rather than on the needs of competent records control led him to suggest using untrained people in areas previously staffed by archivists. At a later time, the prudence of this decision was questioned. For example, with records centres, many thought the use of untrained staff was unwise because records management and archival functions are integral and inseparable. The great national system of Federal Records Centers 1 4 7 T a s k Force on Paperwork Management, Report -- Part 1. 49. l48Ibid., 49-51. 1 4 9Krauskopf, "Hoover Commissions," 392-393. 1501bid. 1 5 1 Ibid., 399. 48 developed since 1949 have become intermediate archival repositories as well as economical storage centers. The archival function of appraisal of records for disposal or permanent preservation is inseparable from them and can only be performed by professional archivis ts . 1 5 2 Fortunately for N A R S , successive G S A Administrators recognized the importance of a joint program o f records management and archives and did not tie them to N A R S objectives of managerial efficiency. 15' In fact, N A R S became "concerned wi th every aspect o f the management of records from their creation, size, and design through their use and traffic patterns to their storage and their destruction or preservation." ' '4 W h i l e the two H o o v e r Commiss ions may have reinforced the r ig idi ty o f the "two solitudes" relationship between records managers and archivists in the Uni ted States, individuals invo lved with public records now became aware that they could not work in isolation from each other. Others were not so sure, because they saw a more definitive d iv i s ion between records management and archives wi th in an organization. Robert Bahmer implied that as records management expanded its role to include not only publ ic records disposi t ion, but also records creation and records maintenance, the archivist was no longer needed to do these things. T o Bahmer, the archivist was pr imari ly concerned wi th inactive publ ic records, and so the more the records manager supervised current records, the "less the professional archivist, as an archivist, can contribute." T h o u g h Bahmer did not entirely dismiss the valuable contributions that archivists could make to records management, he did add, rather petulandy, that "I am speaking only of what i 2 " 1 9 6 6 Report of the Joint Committee on the Status of the National Archives," 280, in the Appendix of H. G. Jones, Records of a Nation: Their Management. Preservation, and Use (New York: Atheneum, 1969) 273-295. l5^Ibid., 281. 1 5 4 M c C o y , National Archives. 281. 4 9 should be expected o f the professional archivist who is administering the non-current files of the Government." '5 5 Such exclusive sentiments, occasionally demonstrated by both sides, were perceived by some to be or ig in of the problem. In his presidential address to the the S A A in 1955, M o r r i s Radoff attempted to reassure those who had misgivings about a l l o w i n g these new records managers to join the association. In fact, since the Assoc ia t ion o f Records Executives and Adminis t ra tors and the Amer ican Records Management Associat ion ( A R M A ) were both being organized that same year, Radoff was in all l ike l ihood responding to these events by attempting to obtain a point of consensus between archivists and records managers. '5 6 "When we worked together", he said, "we did a fair job by respecting each other; when we worked separately we did badly. E v e n w o r k i n g together, however , is a makeshift arrangement." 157 What archives and records management needed, therefore, was a point o f contact between them. Agree ing wi th G r o v e r that it was "folly" for archivists and records managers to part company, Radoff gave the most succinct interpretation of the matter when he said "We are seeking . . . the elusive something which does, or ought to, b ind us together." 15 8 A p p r o p r i a t e l y , he found that the so lu t ion lay w i th what was be ing administered: the records themselves. Because both archival institutions and records management were dealing with essentially the same material, it was counterproductive to distinguish their respective responsibilities: A r e we . . . creating specialists where specialties do not exist; are we th inking too much of the record as a l i v ing organism requir ing special 155Robert H. Bahmer, "The National Archives After 20 Years," American Archivist 18.3 (July 1955): 202. 1 5 6 £ v a n S ) "Archivists and Records Managers: Variations on a Theme," 54. 157Radoff, "What Should Bind Us Together," 7. l5%Ibid., 3. 5 0 care at various stages of its life history, when in fact it is inanimate and of the same texture and form from beginning to end? 1 '9 Radoff contended that since no distinction should be made between an organization's "current" records and its "archival" ones, the same cou ld be argued for records management and archives. He asked, rhetorically, "Why could not the same (person) be both archivist and records manager?" 1 6 0 The conclusion was unmistakable: Let us recognize as truth that a record being made is the same record which a few years later may find its way into our sanctum sanctorum, that in its course from here to there it needs physical care and guidance, and that it is the archivist's field, whole and indivisible, to give it this care and guidance. In the end, it was not the indiv idual who determined h o w the records were to be administered, but rather the other way around: the records wou ld shape the role that the professional would play. "We do not share common interests" b u t " . . . have only one interest; namely the guardianship of records." 1 6 1 Fate wou ld not support R a d o f f s v i s ion o f the existence o f a unified records profession. This is because Theodore Schellenberg, arguably the most influential o f N o r t h Amer ican archival scholars, presented a very different conceptualization. L i k e most of his colleagues, Schellenberg had agreed that it was necessary for archives to become involved in the life cycle earlier than previously allowed. Schellenberg's reason for this was simple. In his M o d e r n Archives : Principles and Techniques, he claimed that Pub l i c records are the grist o f the archivist's m i l l . T h e quality of this grist is determined by the way records are produced and maintained l59lbid., 5. l60/bid. Radoff, "What Should Bind Us Together," 4. Emphasis was in the original text. Robert A . Shiff also agreed that archival and records managerial responsibilities were becoming increasingly "interchangeable." See his "The Archivist's Role in Records Management," American Archivist 19.2 (April 1956): 111-120. 5 1 while in current use, and by the way records are disposed of. The adequacy of documentation on any matter . . . depends on how the records are made and kept for current use; and the disposition that is made of them after that use has been exhausted.162 In other words, he contended that the archival institutions should become involved with active public records because the quality of their care while in the departments would determine their merit as archival material. l 65 The goal of such endeavours was to determine the public records' "ultimate usefulness to the people and the government. 1 , 1 6 4 Schellenberg injected into North American archival thought a sense of the necessity to provide service to users, whomever they were. "It should," he said, . . . be the archivist's purpose to promote management practices that will effectively serve both the immediate needs of the government official and the ultimate needs of the private citizen. He may become involved, as a consequence, in the development of methods or practices of records management."165 Like Brooks before, and like Atherton three decades later, Schellenberg claimed that this was the reason why the archivist should partake in records management activities: it was the best method to ensure that the requirements of those who were to use the 1 ^ 2 x . R. Schellenberg, Modern Archives: Principles and Techniques (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1956) 26. i^Schellenberg's thinking ran contrary to that of one of his greatest contemporary rivals, the British archivist Sir Hilary Jenkinson. Discussing the exclusion of British archivists from the processes of selection, Jenkinson claimed that the "The business of the Keepers of the Archives is still, as Sir Thomas Hardy once put it, to keep them." (See Hilary Jenkinson, "Roots," Journal of the Society of Archivists 2.4 (Oct. 1961): 137.) Such a viewpoint came about because of Jenkinson's strong views about the archivist's objectivity: he felt that allowing them to become involved in disposition decisions would lessen their ability to handle the records in an uncompromised manner. His famous statement that "the Archivist is not and ought not to be an Historian" summarizes this idea. *64 Schellenberg, Modern Archives. 34. 1651 bid., 28. 5 2 records cou ld be fulfil led by guaranteeing the records, and the information in them, wou ld be readily accessible when requested. Whi l e Schellenberg may have believed in the importance of service wi th in an organizat ion, he d id not recognize that it unified records managerial goals with archival objectives. Instead, Schellenberg perceived records management to exist apart f rom archives, w i th its aim being "to make records serve the needs o f government officials and to dispose of them after those needs have been served, in the most effective and economical manner poss ib le . " ' 6 6 H e felt that because records managers had close affiliations with records creating bodies, they were the ones best able to judge the primary value of records, which was the value of the records to the originat ing or creating agency. O n the other hand, while he may have had a vis ion of participation by the archivist in the administration of active public records, he believed this was only to ensure that the material which, in his view, would become archival (in the life cycle sense) would be of better quality than would have existed had the archivist merely waited passively for the records to be passed to h im. The reason for this was because the archivist was best able to judge the secondary values of the records, those being the values to those other than in the creating agency. 1 6 7 Schellenberg's d iv i s ion o f records by active versus inactive, pr imary versus secondary, appeared to be the best solut ion for what had become this troublesome issue. H o w e v e r , it only served to widen the gu l f between archives and records management. Jane Parkinson observed that B y d i s t inguish ing records and archives, and pr imary and secondary-values, Schellenberg was able to establish a boundary between records managers and archivists, wh ich had become a wall by the 1960's. Records managers were d r iven by the imperat ive o f efficiency, archivists turned their attention to serving scholarship. A l t h o u g h both l66Ibid., 43. ]61Ibid., 133. 5 3 professions dealt wi th the same material, their different perspectives seemed to renew the categorical distinction between an agency's records and 'historical 'archives, which archival theory o f the previous 100 years had been attempting to b r idge . 1 6 8 Ultimately, the records manager's sphere of influence was seen to be the administration wh ich created the records, whi le the archivist 's domain was preserving historical material for posterity. Schellenberg's d i v i s i o n o f responsibi l i t ies had re inforced the separate administration of records, as according to their status in the life cycle. The integration o f "archives" and "records management," which Radof f had acknowledged to be revolut ionary , became more unl ikely as the years passed. A d d i t i o n a l l y , the two H o o v e r Commissions , with their emphasis on records management's independence, only strengthened the posi t ion of those who supported the conceptualizations which Schellenberg had advocated. Consequently, many records administrators would accept the divisions which had developed. Instead o f explor ing avenues wh ich w o u l d unify the activities of records management wi th archival institutions, they concentrated on reconcil ing the two groups which sometimes coexisted, and at other times were at serious o d d s . , 6 9 W h i l e some people were forceful in their renunciations o f the other group , others were not: despite records managers' and archivists ' separate entrenchment, many people argued that this d id not mean that they could not cooperate. By the mid to late i95o's, there was a g r o w i n g assumption that, as Schellenberg had impl ied , archival institutions did have a justified role in most decisions which could affect the existence 1 & » J a n e Parkinson, "Accountability in Archival Science" (Master of Archival Studies Thesis, University of British Columbia, 1993) 58-59. 1 6 9 G o r d o n Dodds, "Back to Square One: Records Management Revisited" Arch iva r i a 1.2 (Summer 1976): 88-89. 5 4 of the records, from creation and use, to maintenance and d i s p o s i t i o n . ' 7 0 However , unlike Radoff, who ideally wanted records managers and archivists to recognize their common characteristics, these individuals accepted their divisions and endeavoured to find ways to work together to achieve opt imum results. Thus , there were many calls for a "team-work," rather than a unified, approach. F o r example, N o r t o n was convinced that while archives needed records managers to manage publ ic records efficiently, archivists had a role in advis ing them how to do th i s . ' 7 ' L e R o y D e P u y felt that archivists should put aside their emphasis on history to work in an "integrated" partnership which would "contribute to increased efficiency and economy in terms of the management of records ." ' 7 2 Rober t W . Gar r i son said that "maximum records management" could only be achieved i f a "greater camaraderie" was p romoted "among archival , l ibrary, and records management fraterni t ies ." ' 7 ' M a r y G i v e n s B r y a n approved of these "Changing Times" which had led to the g r o w i n g affiliation between the records professions. 1 7 4 Final ly, J . J . Hammi t t called for "the v i s ion of the archivist" to facilitate "a closer relationship" between the two g r o u p s . ' 7 ' 1 7 u T h i s was seen in not only public archival institutions, but also private ones. See, for example, Thornton W. Mitchell, "Records Management," Univers i ty Archives: Papers Presented al an Institute Conducted by the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library Science, ed. Rolland E. Stevens (Champaign, Illinois: Illini Union Bookstore, 1965) 22-23, and 32-33; and F. L. Sward, "Business Records Management," American Archivist 29.1 (Jan. 1966): 69-74. 1 7 1 Marga re t C. Nonon, "The Archivist Looks at Records Management," I l l ino is Libraries 38.8 (September 1956): 222-233. 1 7 2 L e R o y DePuy, "Archivists and Records Managers -- A Partnership," American Archivist 23.1 (Jan. 1960): 49-55. 1 7 3 R o b e r t W. Garrison, "Maximum Records Management," American Archivist 23.4 (Oct. 1960): 415-417. 1 7 4 M a r y G ivens Bryan, "Changing Times," American Archivist 24.1 (Jan. 1961): 3-10. 1 7 ^ J . J. Hammitt, "Government Archives and Records Management," A m e r i c a n Archiv is t 28.2 (April 1965): 219. 5 5 W i t h the possible exception o f N o r t o n , most o f these writers probably assumed that records management and archives should be separated in the manner envis ioned in the life cycle model and Schellenberg's arguments. Nonetheless, attempting to get one group to accept the other's advice could be interpreted (not always incorrectly) as an arrogant move taken by those who appeared to believe they were superior — and it often was. When this occurred, it d id noth ing to lessen the tensions between the two groups; instead, it may have made them worse. Despite this, what was needed was a new out look from each side which w o u l d encourage more coordination between them. It was not so much the theory of the life cycle which they wanted changed as the way in which it was implemented. N o w that it was accepted that records management and archives had separate functions depending on the life of the record , the two groups often called for synchroniza t ion , and only rarely for unification. If the Americans were attempting to find consensus to ease this contentious issue, their Canadian neighbours demonstrated little of the passion which sparked such controversy south of the border. Why , at this time, was there a relative paucity of interest in Canada regarding the relationship between archival institutions and records management? As ide from the essential reason that unti l the mid - i Q 6 O ' S , Canadians did not have an archival journal o f their o w n in which to voice their opinions, the answer lies in the context in which Canadian public archives developed. Wil f red Smith was accurate in his assessment o f the Canadian public archival situation when he said that "the relatively s low development of records management in Canada" had led to a vacuum of responsibilities which had been assumed under the "broad scope and extent o f the responsibilities of the D o m i n i o n Arch iv i s t . " 1 ? 6 1 7 6 W i l f r e d I. Smith, "Archival Seleclion: A Canadian View," Journal of the Society of Archivists 3.6 (1967): 280. 5 6 In contrast to the Amer icans , who had a s trong and autonomous records management tradit ion, Canada's Pub l ic Arch ives had always had the most forcible claim on records management. A weak tradition of records management in Canada, Smith said, . . . p rov ided a need and an opportunity, and the Pub l i c Arch ives has taken the initiative in the development of records management, since it is apparent that it is inseparable from archival functions. 1?? This did not mean, however, that the Publ ic Archives desired to unify the functions of archival institutions and records management. Instead the Publ ic Records Order of 1966 merely established the responsibilities which would be assigned to the Archives , and the ones which wou ld be left to the departments. In fact, these departments maintained control over active records and therefore many appointed records officers. This created a cadre o f records managers in the departments where none had existed before. In the Pub l i c Archives itself, responsibility for "historical" records and records management were also placed in separate branches. In accordance wi th Schellenberg's ideas, records managerial and archival activities in Canada were unders tood to respond to primary and secondary needs. Th i s out look can be detected in both K a y e Lamb's and Smith's wri t ings. In three different articles, Kaye L a m b supported the archivist's active participation in the management o f publ ic records . '? 8 H e did not want to see the destruction o f records which , because o f uses not perceived by the departmental administrator or records manager, could have been retained as useful source material: 177'Ibid., 276 1 7 o W . Kaye Lamb, "The Fine Art of Destruction," Essays in Memory of Sir Hilary Jenkinson. ed. Albert E. J. Hollaender (Chichester, Sussex: Moore & Tillyer, 1962) 50-56; W. Kaye Lamb, "Keeping the Past Up to Date," Journal of the Society of Archivists 2.7 (April 1963): 285-288; and W. Kaye Lamb, "The Changing Role of the Archivist," American Archivist 29.1 (Jan. 1966): 3-10. 5 7 E v e r y archivist knows that documents may prove useful and valuable for a wide variety of purposes that may have little or no relationship to the purpose for which they were brought into existence. A n d for this very reason the officials of the department that created them may be very poor judges o f their long-term value. 1 ?9 K a y e L a m b , l ike Schellenberg, wanted to prevent the departments or their records managers f rom inadvertently mak ing incorrect d isposi t ion decisions. "It is (the archivist's) business", Kaye L a m b said, "to take the long term v i e w . " ' 8 0 Thus , the archivist , and not the records manager, had to have the last say over what was to be done wi th government records. "The basic change," he said, " . . . is that the archivist has ceased to be primari ly a custodian — a caretaker — and has become a gatherer o f records and manuscripts. H i s role has ceased to be largely passive and has become dynamic and act ive ." l 8 i Smith , who was Kaye Lamb's successor, believed that the person best qualified to determine the usefulness of the records to the agency were records officers, who, with "their knowledge ... o f the purpose for which the records are likely to be used in performing the functions of the agency," were most l ikely to make the best decisions regarding scheduling. H o w e v e r , only the archivist could make choices o f final selection for retention, for it was only he who could be the "best guarantee that the r ight choice w i l l be made" regarding " . . . the purposes for which they w i l l or may be useful ." ' 8 2 In other words, Smith perceived the records officer to have the best idea of the primary values of the records, while he saw the archivist as most capable o f judging secondary values. N o t i n g that he spoke outside any theoretical context, he said that 1 7 9 K a y e Lamb, "Fine A n of Destruction," 52. n°lbid., 53. 1 8 1 Kaye Lamb, "The Changing Role of the Archivist," 4. 1 8 2 S m i t h , "Archival Selection: A Canadian View," 276. 5 8 "the system of archival selection which has been approved by the government o f Canada has evolved in a pragmatic way in response to particular needs." 1 8 3 N o t all archivists agreed that their main purpose was to appraise secondary values. In the new archival journal , the Canadian A r c h i v i s t , the Br i t i sh trained archivist A l a n Ridge (who was w o r k i n g in Canada) suggested that since records were "created dur ing a transaction o f any description and preserved as evidence of such transaction", they should be acquired by the archives because they were important management tools for the creating agency. T h e "distinctive characteristic o f an archive", he said, was "that it should have been raised for a specific purpose, a n d not for acquir ing antiquity." F o r this reason, archives were a "tool of management", a n d "it automatically fol lows that an archivist should be on hand to advise in the matter of managing current records ." 1 8 4 O f all the individuals who came into contact wi th the records, it was the archivist who, from his wide experience in a number of creating agencies, could best comprehend the what had to be done to the records a n d when. T h u s , it was necessary for archivists to be educated about current records administration, records management, the administration of records centres, a n d the l ike , for it was they who could best ensure that the records were handled properly throughout their "life cycle"; w h o could best carry out the "role o f an efficiency expert." 1 8 ' R idge ignored what had become traditional N o r t h Amer i can assumptions about archival par t ic ipat ion in the administrat ion of active records. Instead of supposing that archival input at this stage was for preventing the loss of material which cou ld have secondary values, he contended that the archivist had a val id say in l*3lbid., 280. 1 8 4 A l a n D. Ridge, "What Training Do Archivists Need?" Canadian Archivist 1.3 (1965): 5. l%5Ibid., 5-7. 5 9 h o w the records were to be supervised because the archival ins t i tu t ion was a mechanism o f efficient management. Ridge's representations paralleled those of N o r t o n , w h o saw that archival insti tutions were cri t ical to society because they contained the very material wh ich documented the relationships o f rights and privileges between individuals and bodies; the same relationships which sprung from the actions and transactions which led to the creation of the records. Interestingly, in using the term "efficiency expert", R idge added a disclaimer that he d id not mean it in a "pejorative sense." O n e can ascertain f rom this comment that archivists w h o were interested in the efficient administration o f records so that they "could be preserved for the benefit o f others" did not want to confused with those who felt that "efficiency" had something to do with throwing out no longer needed yet valuable records merely to save m o n e y . 1 8 6 Despite Ridge's innovative ideas, the major preoccupation of both Canadians and Americans of the late 1960's was the improvement of communicat ion between the separate groups. Frank Evans , for example, strove to contribute toward "that closer relationship we all seek" by conducting a survey of what had been written on the theme in A m e r i c a since W o r l d War I I . 1 8 7 O n e of his observations was that very few ind iv idua ls were completely uncomfortable w i th archival par t ic ipa t ion in the administration o f active records. "In the pages of the Amer ican Archiv is t" , he said, he could only find one "dissenting voice . . . . " , 8 8 T h o u g h Evans was quick to assert that "mutual misunderstandings" persisted, he contended that archivists and records managers had too much to learn from each other to waste their time in squabbling over their differences. ,89 Restating his views three years later, he said that. 1S6Ibid., 4. 1 8 7 E v a n s , "Archivists and Records Managers: Variations on a Theme," 45. 1 8 8 / f c / d . , 48. This was the voice of Irving P. Schiller. See footnote 137 ^Ibid., 57. 6 0 Since the modern archivist must appraise records and select those of enduring value, he must have more than a passing interest in records management. H e must recognize that everything that records managers do or leave undone w i l l directly or indirectly affect the archives of the future. Indeed, records managers w i l l increasingly determine the quali ty o f our archives, quality in the sense o f the completeness or adequacy o f the documentation, its integrity . . . , and its accessibility or serviceability for reference and research purposes . . . . The interest o f the modern archiv is t in records management is therefore not on lv legitimate -- it is essential. ' 9 ° Evans thus acknowledged Schellenberg's views by stating that archival institutions had va l id interest in records management because it was only in this way that a col lect ion of records could be provided for the benefit o f all users. C l a i m i n g that archivists and records managers were "ultimately responsible to society and large and thus to posterity", Evans said that it was important to work together toward this common goal. ' 9 ' Nonetheless, l ike others, he did not challenge the life cycle concept which arbitrarily divided records management and archives according to the age of the records. Despite calls for a closer relationship, the reality was that by the T97O ' S records management, or iginal ly intended by individuals such as Radof f to be a function of archivists, was drift ing from the archival fold. Three decades before, it had not been imagined that the administrat ion o f active records w o u l d lead to the b i r th o f an occupational g roup completely separate f rom the archival profession, but this is exactly what was occurring. ' 9 2 Government now believed that archival institutions i y u F r a n k B. Evans, "Modern Concepts of Archives Administration and Records Management," U N E S C O Bulletin for Libraries 24.5 (Sept.-Oct. 1970): 247. 1 9 1 E v a n s , "Archivists and Records Managers: Variations on a Theme," 57-58. 1 9 2 S u c h a split was partly due to the National Records Management Council, which Leahy had helped to create in 1947. It supported attempts by private business to economically and efficiently reduce the number of their records through the use of records managers; the result was that records managers were perceived to be different than archivists. See Christopher L . Hives, "Records, Information, and Archives Management in Business," Records Management Quarterly 20.1 (Jan. 1986): 4, and Charles M . Dollar, "Archivists 6 1 were instruments o f historians, while records management was seen as a function o f efficient and economic public records control . The result was inevitable. "Dur ing the 1960s and 1970s," Charles Do l l a r wrote, the Records Management Office o f the Na t iona l A r c h i v e s issued numerous reports l ist ing savings of mil l ions o f dollars, largely through cost avoidance. T h i s same office, however , failed to pay sufficient attention to ensuring that records management programmes also adequately documented the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, and essential transactions o f federal agencies. Thus, the gap between archives and records management once again widened. '93 Perhaps the best example o f this worsening trend can be witnessed in the perspective given by Gera ld B r o w n in 1971. In a rather non-concil iatory article, he wrote that while the archivist served "the needs of the scholar, the historian, and posterity," the records manager was "a devoted executioner of the obsolete document" whose only interest was economic efficiency. ' 94 "The Archivis t ," B r o w n claimed, "must realize that the Records Manager considers himself to be 'going beyond the call o f duty' when he concerns h imse l f wi th historical records, or at least records that migh t become historical. " ' 95 Nonetheless, while such statements may have seemed discouraging to those who had argued for a unified approach, there were indications of changing trends. A t the municipal level, for example, Stanley B . G o r d o n was discovering that many people were requesting access to semi-active records so that they could be used for purposes and Records Managers in the Information Age," Archivar ia 36 (Autumn 1993): 41. ar, "Archivists and Records Managers in the Information Age," 41. 1 9 4 G e r a l d F. Brown, "The Archivist and the Records Manager: A Records Manager's Viewpoint," Records Management Quarterly 5.1 (Jan. 1971): 21. Brown was speaking of business records. He based his argument on the accepted tenet: "the Records Manager is basically a business administrator and the Archivist is basically a historian." (See p. 21.) Because of this, many of the conclusions he drew could be considered applicable to the government situation. l95Ibid., 22. 62 other than that for which they were created. In other words, he found that these semi-active records had secondary values before they had been accessioned to the archives, and this had forced the municipal records manager to plan his records retention programs as a dichotomy; one d iv is ion being those records o f negligible legal fiscal or research value which may be legally destroyed, records which , though of little research or historical value must be maintained; and the other d iv i s ion , those records that do have historic and research value, whether or not required to be maintained by statute.'1^ What had evolved was a "new breed of Records Manager-cum-Archivis t" who had to fulfil both the traditional duties of records managerial efficiency and provide access to individual researchers. '97 E v e n though some persons, such as B r o w n , thought that records managers should have little care for archival needs, the realities o f publ ic requests for access to semi-current municipal records had forced the "archivist to meet the records manager." In this envi ronment R idge proposed a k i n d of entente between the two groups. "In the current [records] phase", he maintained, the vo ice o f the records manager should be supreme, though the archivist should be familiar with operations. In the semi-current phase the voices of the two should be equal. In the non-current phase the voice of the archivist should be supreme, though he wi l l i f he is wise listen to the records manager in the final process of evaluation. ' 9 s R i d g e came to a compromise . H e accepted the d iv i s ion o f labour, ignored the question o f overall authority, and advocated institutionalized cooperation between the two groups. H e therefore d id not condemn records managers for ignor ing the needs o f archivists. Instead, he reversed the argument by asserting that since the iyt)Stanley B. Gordon, "The Municipal Archives -- Where the Archivist Meets the Records Manager," Records Management Quarterly 5.4 (Oct. 1971): 23. Emphasis in the original text. l91Ibid., 14. 1 9 8 Alan D. Ridge, "Records Management: The Archival Perspective," Records Management Quarterly 9.1 (Jan. 1975): 12. 63 quality o f archival institution's holdings depends on "how records arc made, kept, assessed and evaluated," archivists should have informed records managers o f the secondary values which they had "deliberately wi thhe ld ... so as to reserve unto themselves a monopoly in the mystique of academic usage." N o t unpredictably, Ridge found that fault for the schism between the archivists and records managers lay wi th both, for they ignored each others' concerns. '99 Ridge considered archives and records management to be closely interrelated, "though on different planes." H e contended that what made the two common to each other was the concept of service. Similar to Schellenberg, he distinguished what this meant for each. F o r records management, " improved administrative efficiency and reduced administrat ive costs are the touchstone for the whole operation", and therefore, "service to the organization is the thing that counts." O n the other hand, archivists also had to be concerned with service to the public, and thus, "archives serve not only the parent organization but also all manner of people and institutions in society: they serve the public at large and are answerable to them for the preservation o f their documentary heritage." 2 0 0 In spite of this differentiation, Ridge knew that both were "concerned with total systems affecting the whole organization, for only through that approach can they estimate the significance of interrelated records which react upon each other." 2 0 ' Th is is a statement worth not ing, because the unified approach not only involves unified service, but is more importantly unified by the nature of the archival fonds as a body of interrelated records. Service to all records for both primary and secondary purposes just confirms this theoretical fact - a fact of the nature of the records. Thus , although Ridge felt that the archivist provided service to "make useful yesterday's records for l99Ibid., 12-13. 200Ibid., 13. 2®llbid., 14. Emphasis in the original text. 6 4 tomorrow", and that the records manager did so to provide a "practical approach to today's problems with today's records", he understood that all records administrators were essentially kindred bound together by the records themselves . 2 0 2 Ca l l ing for more understanding, he exclaimed: Le t us archivists devote more time to studying the form and nature of our archives — and leave the subject content to historians and other academic exploiters! Le t us spend more time concentrat ing on the numerous similarities between our functions rather than harping on the differences: let us acknowledge our mutual interdependence and work in harmony in the field of service and information re t r ieva l . 2 0 ' Ridge's cal l , whi le correct, was somewhat wi thout success. A s the Br i t i sh archivist G o r d o n D o d d s subsequently pointed out in the pages o f A r c h i v a r i a . archivists had isolated themselves to such an extent that records managers no longer needed them to carry out their responsibilities, whereas archivists were lost without the cooperation o f records managers. "Records management", D o d d s claimed, "has become a virtual fortress of skills and devices, immensely adaptive, productive and confident ." 2 0 4 Dodds discovered that in the years fo l lowing the Second W o r l d War , archival institutions had lost track of their true responsibilities. H e felt that they were putting too much emphasis on their attempts to check the rise of records management, while ignor ing their role in the administration of active records. He agreed wi th Posner, who in 1940 had written that archivists should be "trustees" answerable not only for publ ic record making and keeping, but also for the material which was, or wou ld become, the documentat ion o f our society. He claimed that "I cannot see that the archivist , especially the keeper of the public record whatever its med ium, can be 202Ibid., 15. 203Ibid., 25. 2 0 4 D o d d s , "Back to Square One: Records Management Revisited," 90. 65 anything less that a thoroughgoing records administrator wi th all that this implies in care and use of records, operational and beyond ." 2 0 ' His conclusion was inevitable: I am therefore at odds w i t h arguments that draw lines between archivists and records managers, whether in terms o f fait accompli or preference or pragmatism, for in truth they are one. I have to support the present rapport because archivists need records managers but I do not surrender to the fact o f our weakness . 2 0 6 In essence, Dodds returned to what Posner and Radoff had said three decades before. B y acknowledging that the separation of responsibilities in the administrat ion of records into records management and archival work were not reflective of the nature o f the records themselves, he fully embraced the archivist's responsibility to become more invo lved with active records. He contended that this was purely an archival responsibi l i ty ; in fact, those w h o worked in records management and archival institutions were o f the same profession. Thus , he asserted that archival education should be comprehensive, for it was only in this manner that these new archivist / records managers would "really 'come of age'" by assuming their overr id ing concern, Posner's "trusteeship" of the records. 2 0 ? B y no means were Dodds's and Ridge's views shared by everyone. However , they were symptomatic o f the renaissance of traditional archival thought which had been submerged by the practicalities of curbing records proliferation. Especial ly in Canada, the next decades would evidence a return to these fundamentals; the symbolic cu lminat ion o f which wou ld be Atherton's article which w o u l d take these long-standing ideas, and reconcile the differences between the two ends of the life cycle. W h i l e such progression was not a uni form occurrence, and certainly contentious, 205lbid., 91 206Ibid. 2Q1Ibid. 66 their wr i t ing was indicative of a new awareness o f integrated archival participation and advice in all stages of the life of the record. In the United States, where the records management tradition was stronger, there was much less evidence that records management and archives were coming to grips wi th an integrated approach. T h o u g h archivists and records managers arguably had achieved a more amicable relationship, there was scant acceptance o f the unified approach as iterated by Dodds and R i d g e . 2 0 8 The post-war era heralded a period of great debate in the N o r t h Amer ican records arena. B y 1956 for the United States, and 1966 for Canada, responsibility for the administrat ion o f records had officially come under the domains of the national archivists o f each country. H o w e v e r , though both o f these individuals had control over current, semi-active, and inactive records, they were both constantly under the threat o f having their authority usurped by other parts of their bureaucracies. In Canada, the D o m i n i o n Arch iv i s t was was l imited in his powers by the wi l l o f the Treasury Board , while in the United States, the National Arch iv i s t could be overruled by the Adminis t ra tor of the G S A . A t this time, the "two solitudes" relationship between archives and records management was mainly predominant. A fully articulated conception, explaining why these functions had to be joined, remained to be composed. W o r k i n g in an environment where problems were solved in a reactive manner, these individuals were often forced into the posi t ion of having to provide quick remedies, rather than cures. Trapped by practical problems, they were rarely able to work from a theoretical stand-point which put aside institutional demands and stop-gap solutions. In both Canada ° °See , for example, Ricks, "Records Management as an Archival Function," 1 2 - 2 0 , who accepted archivists' participation in records management but definitely saw each as a unique profession. 67 and the Uni ted States, this was best manifested in the concern for economy. The mass proliferation o f records led to the creation of records management, while the archival inst i tut ions were seen only to serve scholarly needs. T h e i r joint ob l iga t ion o f preserving the records for the information they contained for users o f multifarious interests was sacrificed to the narrower demands of economy and history. B y the end of the 1960's, however, the situation was changing. T h o u g h there were some who felt that archives should not soi l their hands w i th active pub l ic records, others were not so sure. The essential point was this: people agreed that there was a need to articulate a system for managing active records, but there was little agreement on what shape such a system should take. B y the late 1970's, most of the "ingredients" w h i c h A t h e r t o n w o u l d men t ion in his art icle were b e c o m i n g acknowledged. F o r example, many now understood that service to users on both pr imary and secondary grounds was a concern, and that archives and records management wi th in an organization needed each other to execute their indiv idual tasks. Addi t iona l ly , there was a evolving agreement that records, though current one day and inactive the next, were the same material, which had to be handled with the same respect, by professionals who throughout the life o f the records may have had different titles, but many o f the same goals. The days of w o r k i n g as "two solitudes," where records management and archives ignored the other, were being challenged. A s shall be seen, there wou ld soon be a wider acceptance of the ideas o f an integrated approach. 6 8 C H A P T E R T H R E E : Contemporary Records Admin i s t r a t ion in N o r t h A m e r i c a The years which marked the transition from the post-war life of the 1950 's to today's w o r l d were an important period for publ ic archival institutions. Social and economic changes which transformed almost every aspect of global development did not leave the field o f records administration untouched. The emerging demands o f new information technologies made it vir tual ly impossible for public institutions to manage records in the manner which had been thought to be appropriate before the Second W o r l d War. The combination of advances in records-creating technologies, an increasingly instant global economy, and a g rowing suspicion of government all tested many o f the assumptions which had governed archivists and records managers in their work . It was this environment of change which not only was the catalyst for Atherton's cont inuum, but also for many of the changes which to this day continue to mould the administration o f records in ways unanticipated even a few decades ago. A major cause of these changes was the ever-widening use of computers and the subsequent mass product ion o f machine readable records; Th i s trend, which had its origins in Holler i th 's census counting in the 1 8 9 0 ' s , continued wi th the advent of the U N I V A C computer in the 1950 's, and now flourishes wi th the pervasive use o f optical media in the 1990 's, initially caught records administrators off guard. Whi l e computers as management tools were introduced to the large archival institutions in the m i d-i 960 ' s , little thought had been devoted to the unanticipated ramifications of the vast information revolut ion which was still in its infancy stages bv the beginning o f the i 9 7 o ' s . z o 9 U p to this decade, only a few passing references had been made to automation, and it w o u l d only be at this time that records administrators began to 2 u 9 A n n e J. Gil l i land, "The Development of Automated Archival Systems: Planning and Managing Change," Library Trends 36.3 (Winter 1988): 5 2 0 -521. 6 9 consider seriously the impact of these new mach ines . 2 1 0 W i t h the abil i ty to store records in a machine-readable form and to manipulate them with the touch of a button, new challenges were soon to rise in cont ro l l ing the records' creation, configurat ion, storage, use, and proliferation. In 1968, Ather ton prophesied that "the day wi l l come for all o f us when we find that our volume of holdings and rate of accessions makes imperative the substitution o f new methods for o ld , in order to simply keep our heads above water." 2 1 1 The era of automation had arrived for records. O v e r the next decade, it became clear that these machines wou ld change how archivists administered records. H u g h Taylor observed that the archivist's "principle battle, and perhaps his survival as a member of a distinct profession . . . , w i l l depend on his cont ro l o f .. . the mass o f data and the chaos o f subject con ten t . " 2 1 2 In this environment, such control would only be possible i f the archivist was wi l l i ng to turn full attention not only to the complexities o f information retrieval, but also to the quality o f the information which was being preserved. This wou ld necessitate a new emphasis on records creation, for "it cannot be top strongly emphasized that this aspect of the archivist 's work has an immediate bearing on the quality of records worthy of permanent preservation, and is, therefore, complementary to his classic role." 2 1? 2 1 u S e e , for example, Task Force on Paperwork Management, Repon — Part I, 38, and MacNeil and Metz's commentary on it, which cite the savings computers were thought to generate because of their high speeds and comparatively low costs. Sec MacNeil and Metz, Hoover Report of 1953-1955: What it Means to You. 85. Others, such as J.J. Hammitt, foresaw that the prolific records-creating abilities of computers would bring new problems in records control. See Hammitt, "Government Archives and Records Management," 220. 2 1 1 Jay Atherton, "Automation and the Dignity of the Archivist," C a n a d i a n Archiv is t 2.1 (1970): 58. 2 1 2 H u g h A . Taylor, "Information Retrieval and the Training of the Archivist," Canadian Archivist 2.3 (1972): 30-31. 2 1 3 T a y l o r , "Information Retrieval and the Training of the Archivist," 32. 70 These technological adjustments did not occur apart from other developments in records adminis t ra t ion. In Canada, the influx o f a y o u n g generation into the profession and the evolut ion of awareness about the cultural importance of archival institutions created a "watershed" environment which allowed for the examination of pressing, heretofore untouched, questions on national planning for a rch ives . 2 ' 4 The fo rmat ion o f professional Canadian organizat ions , such as the Assoc ia t ion of Canadian Archivis ts ( A . C . A . ) and [Association des ArchivistesduQuebec, was symbolic of the "ferment of a profession beginning to recognize and realize itself. " 2 l ' T h i s "ferment" extended beyond endeavours for creating a coordinated national scheme for Canada's archives. R a p i d changes in all aspects o f records administration, combined with bureaucratic inaction, quickly showed that the system which had been implemented with the Publ ic Records Order of 1966 was not entirely-successful. In late 1979, Bryan Corbett and E l d o n Frost released a paper entitled Publ ic Records D i v i s i o n [of the Publ ic Archives o f Canada]: Acquis i t ion M e t h o d s . 2 ' 6 C o m m o n l y called the "Corbett-Frost Report ," it examined the archives - records 2 1 4 T e r r y Eastwood, "Attempts at National Planning for Archives in Canada, 1975-1985," Public Historian 8.3 (Summer 1986): 74-76. 2x^lbid., 76. As a result, two reports were written to address the issue of archival co-ordination at the national level. The first, called the "Symons Report," was criticized because it emphasized the growth of archival institutional networks ut i l izing underdeveloped university archival institutions, while ignoring those archival institutions based in the organizations where the records were created. The second, called the "Wilson Report," was more widely accepted because it made general recommendations for a system of archival institutions based on the strength of Canada's established provincial and federal archival institutions, and called for the government to adjust the Public Archives Act to reflect the suggestions it contained. See Eastwood, "Attempts at National Planning, 76-79, and "The Symons Report" and "The Wilson Report" in "Canadian Archives: Reports and Responses," Arch iva r i a 11 (1980-'81): 3-35. 216 S ee Bryan Corbett and Eldon Frost, "The Acquisition of Federal Government Records: A Report on Records Management and Archival Practices," A r c h i v a r i a 17 (Winter 1983-1984): 201-232. This is an abridged version of the o r i g i n a l . 7 1 management relationship, and gave a detailed account of the problems encountered at the Publ ic Archives , as well as recommendations. Corbett and Frost asserted that the expectations created by the Publ ic Records Order had not been fulfilled. Despite mandatory scheduling, there had been neither a steady, regular increase in the amount of records transferred to the Publ ic Arch ives f r o m the depar tments , nor had many departments imp lemen ted records scheduling. 2 1"? In spite of successes in some areas, inconsistencies were chronic. Some major departments and offices o f ministers and deputy ministers had not relinquished their operational records, while , because of the l imitat ions o f the P u b l i c Records Orde r , government agencies such as c rown corporations were under not obl iged to schedule their records . 2 1 8 Corbett and Frost believed that records management in general, and records scheduling in particular, were essential for the proper care of government records. The "true function of a records office in a government department," they said, is to service the organization efficiently, economically, and satisfactorily by systematically p r o v i d i n g for the retrieval and preservat ion o f essential information for the agency's use. 2 L9 In this manner, they believed that the records schedule was one o f the best tools for managing publ ic records. In their v i e w , schedules were created by the records manager, w h o set active disposit ions period based on administrat ive values, and augmented by the Arch iv i s t , who determined final disposit ion based on the value o f the records to all users . 2 2 0 1 1 'Corbett and Frost, "A Report on Records Management and Archival Practices," 202-203. 218Ibid., 203-207. 2l9Ibid., 207. 220/bid., 208. 7 2 They found that the reasons scheduling failed were numerous, but had their basis in the fact that records scheduling and disposit ion processes in different parts of the government were not being applied in an extensive, systematic, and uniform manner . 2 2 1 F o r a remedy, the report recommended that a more comprehensive, control led, and standardized approach be applied to records scheduling for archival acquisition and d i spos i t i on . 2 2 2 Crit ically, Corbett and Frost recognized that this could only occur i f records managers and archivists took a more par t ic ipatory and coordinated interest in each others' activities. 2 23 This report was significant for Canadian archives because it recognized the value of the records office in the larger scheme of ensuring that the responsible administration o f records led to their proper and timely disposition. T h o u g h a study of government records acquisi t ion and disposi t ion, the report cr i t icized the "two solitudes" mentality which placed too much emphasis on the split between records managerial efficiency and archival acquisi t ion. T h r o u g h the double vehicles o f disposit ion and acquisition, there was room for a much broader role for archivists and records managers, and for much less emphasis on the differences which kept them apart. Corbett and Frost acknowledged that.a records officer's aim was not to get rid of material in order to keep costs down , but to oversee records in a manner which w o u l d facilitate the efficient management of records throughout their existence. 2 2 1 See "3.2.4 Failings of Scheduling -- An Account of the Reasons," in Corbett and Frost's "Report on Records Management and Archival Practices,", 213-217. 2 2 2 S e e Corbett and Frost's seventeen recommendations in their "Report on Records Management and Archival Practices," 222-227. 2 2 3 Recommendat ion 7 called for the Records Management and Archives Branches to "develop mechanisms to better coordinate their activities," while Recommendation 10 asserted the importance of "more formal training" for government archivists, including "consideration [being] given to broadening archival training to include such topics as selection criteria and administrative history . . ." See Corbett and Frost, " A Report on Records Management and Archival Practices," 224-225. 7 3 H o w e v e r , whi le envis ioning scheduling as a method which w o u l d a l low records-creating organizations to control and access records competently and effectively, they approached the issue from the traditional perspective of records management as a tool o f archival acquisition. Whi l e they supported greater cooperation (as did many other archivists who were acquisit ion-oriented), and therefore greater involvement for archivists at earlier stages of the life cycle, they were nonetheless traditional: records management, mistakenly, was seen only as a vehicle for acquisit ion, with its role left unexploited for the more inclusive realm of service to the users of the records. Th i s p rob lem w o u l d eventually be evidenced in the new pol icy for publ ic records which was implemented by the Treasury Board in M a r c h , 1983. The purpose o f the new p o l i c y , conta ined in Chapter 460 o f the federal government ' s Adminis t ra t ive Pol icy Manua l , was to facilitate the management and the effective (but controlled) disposi t ion of active publ ic records. F o r this reason, it was intended to apply to records under the control of government ins t i tu t ions . 2 2 4 Whi le the Treasury Board , through its Adminis t ra t ive Pol icy Branch, was to retain control over records management pol icy, it delegated responsibility for assessment of records management to the D o m i n i o n A r c h i v i s t . 2 2 ' The most important factor in this was that government insti tutions were accountable for compliance with the policy. Each department, through the expertise o f its records manager, wou ld have to form a close liaison wi th the Arch ives in order to ensure that records were efficiently made accessible and their dispositions readily carried out at the appointed t i m e s . 2 2 6 The A r c h i v i s t wou ld take a role which was largely supervisory: the work which departmental records managers d id in terms of 2 2 4Canada, Treasury Board, Administrative Policy Manual (March, 1983) .1.1.1: 1. 225Ibid., A A A . : 3. 226lbid., .3: 6-8. 7 4 scheduling w o u l d be their o w n , but it w o u l d be control led and approved by the Archiv i s t . The thrust o f Chapter 460 indicates that Corbett and Frost had succeeded in raising the profile o f records management vis a vis archival objectives. Howeve r , because both the Repor t and Chapter 460 concentrated on only records scheduling and disposi t ion, it it did not satisfactorily resolve how records management would fit into the overall scheme of records administration. A l t h o u g h records management and archives were now seen to be joined by the scheduling function, there was still an incompatibil i ty between traditional records managerial and archival objectives: over a decade after the release of the Report , Frost still referred to records scheduling as " A Weak L i n k in the Chain." "By the late 1980s," he said, "it was evident that the corrective measures taken in response to [the Corbet t -Fros t ] study had not appreciably improved matters in respect to textual records ." 2 2 7 H e also cited the case o f electronic records wh ich , because they were manipu la t ive , transient, and "fragile," had to be protected from the the destructive zeal of the records' creators, many o f w h o m pushed for "efficient disposal and maximum lati tude." 2 2 8 The problem, he had discovered, was that there was disagreement over the purpose of scheduling. As he said, Is it to serve in the first instance as a means of records retention, and secondly as a means of records destruction? O r vice versa? .. . What objective shall [records scheduling] seek to accomplish first?229 Thus, the issue o f whether the purpose of scheduling was to fulfil the immediate needs o f economy and efficiency, or the long-term goals of archival preservation, had yet to be worked o u t . 2 3° 'Eldon Frost, "A Weak Link in the Chain: Records Scheduling as a Source of Archival Acquisition," Arch iva r i a 33 (Winter 1991-1992): 80. 22*Ibid., 80-81. 229Ibid., 82. 230Ibid., 82-83. 7 5 What seemed strange about Frost's comments was that he d id not attempt to explore h o w adopt ing a service approach could essentially resolve this issue. A l t h o u g h Fros t ment ioned schedul ing as a " l ink in this chain o f the record cont inuum," he hardly touched upon h o w his ideas w o u l d affect the needs o f the users. 23' Instead, he expounded on a new approach which wou ld help fulfil the agenda o f the Nat iona l A r c h i v e s , wi thout adequately explaining h o w users w o u l d benefit from these new ideas. Perhaps such benefits were impl ied by the fact that improved d i spos i t ion w o u l d inherently improve service to users by both expedi t iously dest roying useless documents whi le retaining significant ones, but this was not adequately addressed by Frost. S imi la r to the Canadian government wi th the Corbe t t -Fros t Repor t , the Amer ican government was also concerned with h o w records were being administered. In 1975, the Americans launched yet another Commiss ion on Federal Paperwork , because, as before, abundant records were perceived to be s t i f l ing government efficiency, private business, and individual American ci t izens. 23 2 A s a result, Congress directed this Paperwork Commiss ion to study and invest igate statutes, po l i c i e s , rules, regu la t ions , procedures, and practices o f the federal G o v e r n m e n t relat ing to gathering processing, and disseminating information, and managing and control l ing information activities. 233 Subsequently, the Commiss ion found that the problem was that Government looked on the information in records as a "free good" to be used in any way it chose, and that 23]Ibid., 79. 2 3 2 U n i t e d States, An Act to Establish a Commission on Federal Paperwork. United States Statutes at Large Vol . 88 (1974) s. 1(a). 2 3 3 F o r e s t W. Horton, and Donald A. Marchand, eds., Introduction, Information Management in Public Administration: An Introduction and Resource Guide to Government in the Information Age (Arlington, Virginia: Information Resources Press, 1982) 4. See also the United States, An Act to Establish a Commission on Federal Paperwork. 7 6 this, combined with the bureaucratic tendency to perpetuate "'bad' paperwork," was becoming unmanageable:2 34 The tendency of Government officials to look upon information as a "free good" is an important cause of excessive paperwork. Further, the mismanagement of information resources requires that a distinction be drawn between "good" and "bad" paperwork. In the past, almost all Government paperwork and information was considered "good," or at least "harmless." This is not the case. There is, indeed, much paperwork which is simple, effective and valuable as a source of information. But there is also another class of paperwork which stifles communication between Government and the people, misleads the decisionmaker, clogs information channels and suffocates officials. 23? The Commission asserted that the paperwork problem was the consequence of a combination of factors, including a growth in government, an overlap in government programs, a proliferation of knowledge, a lack of solid objectives, new information technology which processed large amounts of information, and the rising costs of data or information processing.236 It lamented that the paperwork programs of the past are [now] unable to control the data explosion engendered by the computer. A simple bureaucratic reorganization of traditional records and paperwork management disciplines to meet the challenges of the information revolution would simply be overwhelmed in attempting to control the mass of complexity presented by modern computer/telecommunications technologies.237 Simply put, the Paperwork Commission found that the "real culprit of the paperwork burden is the mismanagement of information resources," where the government failed . to realize that information was not a "relatively free and limitless commodity, like air 2 3 4 T h e Commission released several preliminary reports before its its final report. This one was addressed in the Commission on Federal Paperwork, Information Resources Management (Washington, D.C., U.S. Government Printing Office, 1977) 1-18, reprinted in Horton and Marchand, eds., "The Paperwork Problem," Information Management in Public Administration. 28-44. 2^fbid.y 28. 236Ibid., 30. 231lbid., 37. 77 and sunshine," but a "resource in l imited supply, often costly to locate, extract and refine." 2? 8 The Commiss ion was crit ical of records management's role in government, because records management programs had been "directed at dealing with physical manifestations o f the informat ion prol i ferat ion p rob lem and not the content of pape rwork or records." T h u s , the C o m m i s s i o n wanted to put aside records management and instead concentrate on the cont ro l o f the informat ion itself. B y do ing so, this Paperwork Commiss ion marked a change in h o w both Canadian and A m e r i c a n records administrators l ooked at records admin is t ra t ion . Records management p rograms , the C o m m i s s i o n said, "have sought to s impl i fy and consolidate forms and records and to reduce the total amount o f paper and files" wi thout addressing the real issue: "why information is collected and used the way it is, what value it has in the success of an organization's programs and missions." 239 It was the recogni t ion o f this important element which changed records administrat ion forever. The Commiss ion proposed a more suitable term for describing what those who handled information should be attempting accomplish: the management of the informat ion itself, or s imply, information resources management. Th i s , they said, was a better phrase than "paperwork" or "records" management, because it more accurately revealed what the focus should be on: the con t ro l and adminis t ra t ion o f the in fo rma t ion itself, rather than on the con t ro l o f the media that carried such i n f o r m a t i o n . 2 4 0 Such contro l could be far reaching, touching on every aspect of 2^lbid., 40. 239Ibid., 39. 24®Ibid., 39-40. T. M . Campbell, "Archives and Information Management," A r c h i v a r i a 28 (Summer 1989): 146,' defines information resource management as "the totality of planned and directed activities within an organization which result in usable, accessible, timely, secure, integral, economical, and accurate information for that organization." 7 8 information administration, from paperwork management programs, to records programs and depositories, to computers and automated information systems, to printing, micrographics, statistical activities, and other information-related fields.24' Information resources management was a major aspect of the Commission's emphasis on a new concept, called "service management." (This was actually a "new concept" for an old problem, that being the fixation with reducing the paperwork cost, thereby increasing efficiency.) With service management, said the Commission, the government would concentrate on combining the aims of economy and efficiency with the provision of information and aid to those both within and without the government: Fundamentally, Service Management requires attitudes and actions by people at all levels in and out of government to work in a partnership toward more effective programs free of unnecessary paperwork. A willingness to discuss and resolve problems in the operation of Federal programs can and must be based on a mutual sense of trust and respect. Most people wish to obey the law and help achieve our national goals; they are frustrated by the waste and ineffectiveness caused by unnecessary paperwork. 2 4 2 Changes in attitude and behaviour were needed: both the bureaucracy and the legislature had to assume the responsibility both to control the costs of paperwork and to accept input from all parties involved, while carefully administering the valuable information resource in a manner which would not create excessive paperwork.24? This point is important, because it indicates that a larger issue than that of records administration was now being considered. Not all information which is simply stored on a medium can be called a "record." One must keep in mind that a 2 4 N o r t o n a n d Marchand, "The Paperwork Problem," Informat ion Management i n Public Administration. 41-42. 2 4 2 C o m m i s s i o n on Federal Paperwork, Final Summary Report (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1977) 3. 243Ibid., 21-22. 7 9 "record" is a result (some say residue) of the practical actions, transactions, processes, and functions o f an indiv idual or body, and thus "raw data" or information which exists on a med ium wi thout this qualif ication merely forms part of a data bank. Nonetheless, despite the fact that this careful differentiation should be made between information (or data) and records, the problem of how government produced, used, stored and destroyed informat ion was n o w directly l i nked to h o w it administered records. A s a result of the Commission's emphasis on the importance o f a coordinated approach to the government's management o f the informat ion resource, Congress passed the Paperwork Reduc t ion A c t o f i o 8 o . 2 4 4 T h i s act created an Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs within the Office of Management and B u d g e t . 2 4 ' The Direc tor of this new body was charged with deve lop ing and implement ing un i form and consistent informat ion resources management policies and overseeing the development o f i n fo rma t ion management p r inc ip les , standards, and guidel ines p romot ing their use . 2 4 6 B y creating an Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs wi th in the Office o f Management and Budget , Amer i can legislators were endeavouring to combine the economy and efficiency emphasized in Leahy's control of records wi th the broader object ive o f effectively adminis te r ing in format ion itself. A s the P a p e r w o r k C o m m i s s i o n imp l i ed , it was time for government officials to realize that their responsibilities now extended beyond the internal machinery of the bureaucracy, and into the "changed and changing nature of government involvement in the day-to-day lives of citizens, organizations, and inst i tut ions." 2 4 7 2 4 4 U n i t e d States, Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980. United States Statutes al Large Vol . 94 (1980). 245Ibid. See § 3503. 246lbid. See § 3504 (b)(1). 2 4 7 C o m m i s s i o n on Federal Paperwork, Final Summary Report. 2. 80 Meanwhi le , it appears that the officials at N A R S and G S A did not embrace this emphasis on a global strategy in the management o f informat ion. T h i s was not a result, however, o f their rejection of information theory, but because these two bodies were still s truggling to solidify their individual control over different stages of the life of the records. In other words, rather than attempting to attain the coordinated control of records through a unified approach to their management, the leadership of N A R S and the G S A were still t rying to split the functions o f records administration into the individual stages of the life cycle. B y 1982, when it was evident that N A R S and the G S A were to be separated, the G S A attempted to retain many records management functions by m o v i n g them from the Arch ives to the G S A ' s Automated Data and Telecommunication Se rv ice . 2 4 8 In 1983, a task force was established to determine what actions could be taken to improve the success of the N A R S as a cultural agency. The task force contended al though records management had been taken on as a legitimate funct ion of the A r c h i v e s , inadvertent ly it had overshadowed the agency's t radi t ional archival responsibilities and had become its core raison detre. "Records management was not intended as an end in itself," said the task force's report, "although there are obvious cost savings benefits which accrue from these activities."24<-> W h a t the task force suggested, therefore, was that the agency head be given the functional independence and "authority to run the agency's programs and be held responsible for the level o f success ach ieved ." 2 ' 0 Th i s wou ld be accomplished wi th the implementat ion on legis la t ion wh ich w o u l d not only p rov ide the A r c h i v i s t wi th responsibi l i ty for 2 4 8 L i n d a Vee Pruitt, "Archives and Records Management in the Federal Government: the Post - GSA Context," Provenance 3.2 (Fall 1985): 88-89. 2 4 9 G e n e r a l Services Administration, Archival Programs within the G S A : A Report and Recommendations to the Administrator of General Services on the Structure. Authorities. Programs, and Policies of the National Archives and Records Service (Washington, D. C : June, 1983) 7-8. See also p. 9. 250Ibid., 11. 8 1 tradit ional archival functions ( including the administrat ion o f records centres,) but w o u l d also include the duty o f "establishing standards and procedures to assure efficient and effective records management." 2 ' 1 In l i s t ing such goals, the task force appeared to have l i t t le interest in the theoretical objectives of an integrated approach. Rather, it was proposing avenues by wh ich N A R S could improve its prestige (and thus pol i t ica l abil i ty to garner the support and resources it needed to survive) as an institution of national, cultural, and historical importance. B y so do ing , it hardly mentioned a l ink between the active records of government and the inactive ones of the Archives , and in the end this may have worked to N A R S ' s detriment. In the conflict between the G S A Adminis t ra tor and N A R S to determine which organization wou ld receive what records functions in the coming structural reorganizat ion, it is l ikely that the task force's emphasis on N A R S ' s historical objectives strengthened the G S A claim that records management was a function of economy, and thus belonged to the G S A . When the reorganization was formalized the fo l l owing year in the Na t iona l Arch ives and Records Admin i s t r a t ion A c t o f 1984. the A r c h i v i s t had once again become independent, but had to share records management responsibilities with the General Services Admin i s t r a to r : 2 ' 2 (a) The A r c h i v i s t shall p rovide guidance and assistance to Federal Agencies with respect to ensuring adequate and proper documentation o f the pol icies and transactions o f the Federal G o v e r n m e n t and ensuring proper records disposit ion. (b) The Adminis t ra tor shall provide guidance and assistance to Federal agencies to ensure economical and effective records management by-such agencies. 2 ' 5 25lIbid., 18-20. 252Ibid.y 89. 2 5 3 U n i t e d States, National Archives and Records Administration Act of 1984. United States Statutes at Large. Vol . 98 (1984) § 2904 (a)(b). 82 Although the new National Archives and Records Administration (NAR A) remained involved in the control of active records, both it and the G S A were organized in a way which could not allow for an entirely coordinated approach to the administration of records (and the information that they contained). T o put it another way, by not exploring the ideas which information resources management offered for records administration, and by continuing to follow their different paths, N A R A and the G SA failed to see, as Atherton apdy put it, "the many ways in which the records management and archives operations are interrelated, even intertwined."2'4 Despite this, many individuals in both Canada and the United States began to advocate the importance of administering the information in the records (as well as their physical manifestations) and saw the integrated approach as the way to do this. For example, in a particularly effective article, Taylor contended that the advent of automation had meant that archivists would have to become more than caretakers of archives, since providing access to the records both active and dormant would force them to become "information generalists."2" "I would like to suggest," he said, that there is in reality no break between the 'current' and 'archival' record and that this is a fiction of the historical method. There is a pressing need by government and public alike for more effective retrieval and for an archival training which recognizes this continuum and which could provide information specialists of appropriate calibre to work both in departments and archives .. . . This action would take the profession out of the 'historical shunt' and back into the administrative levels of departmental record keeping and among the policy makers where we belong. 2' 6 z : ) 4 Ather ton , "From Life Cycle to Continuum," 47. 2 5 5 H u g h A . Taylor, "Information Ecology and the Archives of the 1980's." Arch iva r i a 18 (Summer 1984): 30-32. 2 5 6/bid . , 34. Terry Cook of the Public Archives of Canada disagreed with this interpretation. His main contention was that in de-emphasizing the role of history and historians in archival institutions, Taylor "confuses administrative means with cultural ends." See Terry Cook, "From Informatic to Knowledge: An Intellectual Paradigm for Archives," A r c h i v a r i a 19 (Winter 1984-1985): 28-49. 83 In comparison, Richard Kesner suggested that archivists had "to take a broader view o f h o w informat ion is created and used in contemporary work settings," wh ich included an improvement in their endeavours to "reflect the overall mission and goals o f the parent ins t i tu t ion ." 2 '7 H e argued that archival reorientation was necessary because technological innovations had led to the explosion of information. W i t h the advent of machines which allowed abundant amounts of information to exist without ever leaving documentary traces, it was necessary for archivists to "involve themselves in records management and hence in the full life cycle of documents from their creation to their ultimate d ispos i t ion ." 2 ' 8 Kesner argued that i f archives were unwi l l ing to take such steps, then their parent inst i tut ions w o u l d l o o k elsewhere to have their information needs fulfilled. It thus became clear to many individuals that being able to provide for the information the records contained was the key objective. Th i s was a tangible and expansive issue: as the Paperwork Commiss ion recognized, the core o f the matter was being able to manage, provide, and indeed retain, the information which institutions and people demanded. J o h n Meisel 's predic t ion "a p ro found gu l f may develop between the informat ion rich and information poor" was indicative o f this, for he observed that information had become "one of the principal sources o f weal th ." 2 '9 This emphasis on the value of information was evidenced in the emergence of access to in fo rmat ion legis lat ion throughout N o r t h A m e r i c a . A r i s i n g f rom a 25 7 Richard M . Kesner, "Automated Information Management: Is There a Role for the Archivist in the Office of the Future?" A r c h i v a r i a 19 (Winter 1984-1985): 164. 25*Ibid., 170. 259john Meisel, "'Newspeak' and the Information Society," A r c h i v a r i a 19 (Winter 1984-1985): 178. This view was shared by Richard H. Lytic, who also claimed that there was "the growing perception of information as a salable commodity." See his "Information Resource Management: 1981-1986," in Martha E. Williams, ed.. Annual Review of Information Science Technology (New York: American Society for Information Science, 1986) 310, and 319-321. 84 breakdown of trust in government and the consequent demands for accountability and accessibility in the modern technological world, such legislation was at least pardy the result of the need to control, by law, what people and government could do with the information commodity. 2 6 0 In Canada, the federal Access to Information Act's objective continues to be .. . to extend the present laws of Canada to provide a right of access to information in [government] records . . . in accordance with the principles that government information should be available to the public, that necessary exceptions to the right of access should be limited and specific and that decisions on the disclosure of government information should be reviewed independently of government. 2 6 1 Canada was not alone in promulgating such legislation. Since the 1940's, the Americans, too, had launched various legislative endeavours to facilitate access to information, culminating in the Freedom of Information Act of 1974 and the Freedom of Information Reform Act of 19 86.262 A progressive policy was also seen in the the United States National Archives, where, unlike a few decades before, it was now accepted that equal access should be provided to all users, and that researchers had a right to know what records existed, whether they were restricted or not.2 6? 2 6 0 S e e M. D. Kirby, "Access to Information and Privacy: The Ten Information Commandments," Archivaria 23 (Winter 1986-1987): 4-15. 2 6 1Canada, Access to Information Act. S.C. 1980-81-82-83, c. I l l , Sch. I "1", s. 2(1). 2 6 2 See the United States, An Act to Amend Section 3 of the Administrative Procedure Act. Chapter 324. of the Act of June 11. 1946 (60 Stat. 328L to Clarify and Protect the Right of the Public to Information, and for Other Purposes-United States Statutes at Large Vol. 80 (1966); An Act to Amend Section 552 of Title 5. United States Code, to Codify the Provisions of Public Law 89-487. United States Statutes at Large Vol. 81 (1967); An Act to Amend Section 552 of Title 5. United States Code. Known as the Freedom of Information Act. United States Statutes at Large Vol. 88 (1974); and the Freedom of Information Reform Act. United States Statutes at Large Vol. 100 (1986). 2 6 3 T r u d y Huskamp Peterson, "The National Archives and the Archival Theorist Revisited, 1954-1984," American Archivist 49.2 (Spring 1986): 130-131. 85 O n e result of these initiatives was that it was evident that service to those requesting the informat ion in the records was a paramount concern. In the past, i n d i v i d u a l s such as R i d g e had discussed service as an ideal w h i c h records administrators should attempt to attain, but now, it was a reality because o f government legislation and because o f the value o f informat ion to all institutions. Th i s had led to an expanded role for records administrators. A s A n t h o n y Rees observed, Requirements concerning public access to the documents [the archivist] protects brings [him] into the broadest o f the contexts in which he lives: that o f publ ic service in the most direct and simple sense o f the phrase. B y publ ic service, . . . I refer . . . to a full spectrum of people — both corporate officials and members o f the general publ ic . The i r demands for information that is credible and comprehensive pushes the archivist beyond the field of the purely statutory public record . . . One must also be able to explain where that document came from, what caused its creat ion, h o w it has been amended and what effect it has had or continues to have. In short, one must be able to provide its context. 2 6 * Rees acknowledged that it was the "wish to know" which was the impetus behind internal records administration programs. 2 65 A s Tay lo r said, "departments should be prepared to hi re persons w i t h a rch iva l t r a in ing to func t ion p r i m a r i l y as communica to r s o f the record and its contents to adminis t ra tors in need o f information, even on a long-term basis ." 2 6 6 Z 0 4 A n t h o n y L . Rees, "Masters in our Own House?," A r c h i v a r i a 16 (Summer 1983): 55. 265Ibid. 2 6 6 T a v j o r i "Information Ecology," 31. Paulette Dozois has noted that access to information and protection of privacy legislation was one of the main motivations for the National Archives to develop their regional records centres program, since it was only in this manner that the Archives could respond promptly to records requests or privacy concerns. See Paulette Dozois, "Beyond Ottawa's Reach: The Federal Acquisition of Regional Government Records," Arch iva r ia 33 (Winter 1991-1992): 58-59. Various case studies indicated that such trends toward openness were also evident at the municipal level. In Albany, a combination of the closeness of municipal governments to the taxpayers who expected accountability, and small budgets which demanded both clear results and the efficient provision of information, meant that records administrators had to come to realize that "local government records management and archival programs are functions conspicuous only when 86 B y the mid-1980's, the o ld barriers which d iv ided archives and records management were therefore becoming irrelevant: economic efficiency versus historical preservation, active versus inactive, were overshadowed by a w o r l d o f raising information demands which did not dist inguish between different phases of the records' l ife. G o v e r n m e n t officials, w h o once had been satisfied w i th the information wi th in their reach, could now access the entire globe for the information needed, manipulate it in any way they wished, and quickly discard superfluous data wi th a touch of a computer key. Researchers, heretofore compelled to be content with accessing selected or censored inactive records, n o w discovered that new legislation al lowed them to v iew any material they desired, whether in an archival insti tution or still active. It was p r imar i l y the recogn i t ion o f the oppor tuni t ies w h i c h the new "information commodi ty" offered which led to a theoretical r e v a l u a t i o n o f the relationship between archives and records management. Records d id not s imply "begin" in the records management sphere and "end up" in the archival zone, but rather f lowed in an integrated pattern throughout their existence. The Amer ican records administrator Ira Penn made a convincing argument that archives are merely one part of records management: U n t i l recently records management was, organisationally, a part of the (Uni ted States) Archives . But functionally, archives is a part o f records management. A r c h i v a l preservation is but one of the elements of the disposit ion phase of the records life-cycle, and yet archives had agency status while records management was but an office wi th in that agency. 87 The entire arrangement was a textbook case of functional misalignment. The tail was wagging the dog. 2 6 ? Penn had an alternative v iew of the records management concept. Un l ike many other "records managers," he was not confined only to active records in his interpretation of the records management function. Instead, his assessment o f "the life cycle of records management" was more encompassing, since it dealt w i th the adminis t ra t ion o f information, rather than the medium it was on. "The essence of records management," he contended, "is that you can control the quantity and quality o f information that is created; that you can maintain that information in a manner that effectively serves vour needs; and, that you can efficiently dispose of the information when it is no longer necessary." 2 6 8 T h u s , l i k e A t h e r t o n , Penn had a g loba l unde r s t and ing o f records administration. The difference was the emphasis. Whi le Penn was p rov id ing more of a practical model for those who attempting to understand the intricacies of records adminis t rat ion, A the r ton was hoping to establish a theoretical model upon which further discussion could be based. Atherton's comment that Penn's contr ibut ions were "useful simply because they do look at things from a different v iewpoin t and, to that extent at least, suggest that traditional approaches need to be picked up and given they do not deliver." See Robert W. Arnold, "The Albany Answer: Pragmatic and Tactical Considerations in Local Records Legislative Efforts," A m e r i c a n Archivis t 51.4 (Fall 1988): 475-479; Richard J. Cox, "The Need for Comprehensive Records Programs in Local Government: Learning by Mistakes in Baltimore, 1947-1982," Provenance 1.2 (Fall 1983): 14-34; and John Daly, "State Archives and Metropolitan Records: The Case of Chicago," American Archivist 51.4 (Fall 1988): 470-474. 2 ^ 7 I r a A . Penn, "Federal Records Management in the 1980's -- Is Just Like It Was in the 1780's," Records Management Quarterly 18.3 (July 1984): 10. Attention was drawn to this article by Atherton, "From Life Cycle to Continuum," 46. 2 6 8 j r a A . Penn, "Understanding the Life Cycle Concept of Records Management," Records Management Quarterly 17.3 (July 1983): 5. Emphasi was in the original text. 8 8 a g o o d shaking every n o w and then" is too dismissive: bo th he and Penn were essentially a rgu ing for a more coordinated and comprehensive organizat ional approach which wou ld al low for the better control and access o f the information the records contained. z 6 9 It was essentially this concern which was the impetus behind Atherton's article. In the past, theories on the administrat ion o f records had been based on h o w to administer economically and effectively the media upon wh ich the information was contained, rather than the information itself. Concerns for economy and efficiency on one hand, and historical research and posterity on the other, were bv the 1980's still recognized as important , but also secondary to the concerns about the proper creation, con t ro l , organizat ion, availabil i ty, preservation, and destruction of the information i t se l f . 2 7 0 It was this realization o f the value o f information which was the key to why A t h e r t o n , and others l ike h i m , were able to construct integrated approaches to records administration. In Canada, the government was not unaware of the impact o f the changing informadon environment on its operations. A s an indication of this, Parliament finally replaced the Publ ic Archives A c t o f 1912 with the National Archives o f Canada A c t in 1987.2 7 1 This act broadened the powers and responsibilities of the Nat ional Arch iv i s t by specifying the Archivis t ' s competence, duties, and responsibilities. In addit ion to the traditional functions of having to store, conserve, and preserve its records, the National Archives now gained, for the first time, the legislated authority to "facilitate the management o f records of government institutions and o f ministerial r ecords . " 2 7 2 2 6 9 A t h e r t o n , "From Life Cycle to Continuum," 46. 210Ibid., 51. 2 7 1 Canada, National Archives of Canada Act. R.S.C. 1987, c. 1. This act provided for the replacement of the term "Public Archives" with "National Archives," and of "Dominion Archivist" by "National Archivist." (See s. 3.) 272Ibid., s. 4(1). 8 9 M o r e specifically, the Na t iona l A r c h i v i s t had the power to g ive advice to the departments on the management of records, provide storage facilities for semi-active records, and cont ro l the destruction and disposi t ion o f all records o f the federal government. 2?? A d d i t i o n a l l y , the A r c h i v i s t also had to ful f i l more recent requirements: facil i tat ing access to publ ic records, and p r o v i d i n g "information, consultation, research and other services related to archives." 274 Just as individuals such as Rees and T a y l o r had predicted, the demands by the publ ic for information were compel l ing archivists to provide not only the records, but also the contextual background which had led to the creation of the records. The Archivis t ' s role was slowly expanding from one of records caretaker to one of information provider. A s a result, the powers delegated to the Archiv is t by Parliament were both more substantial and expansive than any previous legislation. Howeve r , whi le the Nat ional Arch ives o f Canada A c t was useful in defining archival responsibilities, it did not entirely give a clear indication of how records were to be administered. The organizational structure of the National Arch ives showed that records were still seen to be 'crossing over' from records management to the archives branch. The problem was that this was increasingly unfeasible. W i t h the Access to Information A c t and the National Archives of Canada Ac t , records could be accessed whether they were active, semi-active, or inactive, and therefore, a complete or unified v iew of what was going on was necessary. In 1989, the Treasury Board published the Management o f G o v e r n m e n t Informat ion H o l d i n g s , to ensure the dual pol icy objectives o f "cost-effective and coordinated management of federal government information holdings." 27' T h i s 27^lbid., s. 4(2)(f), s. 4(2)(i), and s. 5(1). 21AIbid., s. 4(2)(c), and s. 4(2)(d). 2 7 ^Canada , Treasury Board, Management of Government Information Hold ings (Administrative Policy Branch, 1989) 3. 9 0 policy had four main components . 2 7 6 First ly, the Treasury Board took a stance similar to the Amer ican Paperwork Commiss ion , v iewing information holdings as a valuable "corporate resource" wh ich was needed to "support effective decis ion-making, meet operational requirements, and protect the legal financial and other interests of the government and public." Secondly, as a result o f the new emphasis on access, the Treasury B o a r d declared that it was necessary to "make the widest possible use o f information wi th in the government by ensuring that it is organized to facilitate access by those who require it." Th i rd ly , in the interests o f efficiency (and the public's right to p r ivacy , ) the gove rnmen t was to e l iminate the unnecessary c o l l e c t i o n and dissemination o f irrelevant information. Last ly , it was to "identify and conserve informat ion holdings that serve to reconstruct the evolut ion of pol icy and program decisions . . . and to ensure that such information is organized in a manner to be readily available " T h e last component w o u l d ensure bo th accountabi l i ty of the government to the publ ic , and the availabili ty for users o f informat ion wh ich the records contained. T o accomplish these goals, the Treasury Board supported a more integrated approach for the overall management of information. A s the clearest indication of this, two po l i cy requirements for government ins t i tu t ions were par t icular ly pertinent. 277 The first requirement stipulated that they had to "plan, direct, organize and control their information holdings throughout their life cycle, regardless of the form or medium in which the information is held;" the second one pronounced that they had to "maintain a current, comprehensive and structured identif icat ion or classification system or systems which provide an effective means for organizing and locat ing information . . . ." The Treasury Board advocated such coordinat ion because it v i ewed it as "necessary in the application o f information legislation and to meet 216lbid. 211Ibid., 4. 9 1 government-wide objectives."^ 8 In other words, it was only by such an approach that the precise information wou ld be organized and easily available by those who needed it, when they needed it. Signif icantly, the Treasury Board did not choose the Nat ional Arch iv i s t to oversee this program. Instead, Statistics Canada was given the responsibility . . . for making arrangements between institutions for the co-ordination o f information collection; for maintaining a government-wide register of collected informat ion; for p rov id ing advice on the use of existing informat ion and on methods and techniques for the co-ordinat ion o f informat ion collection planning, and for p r o v i d i n g guidelines, advice and training on the professional and technical aspects o f col lec t ing information to meet government information needs.2?9 Such a decision most l ikely resulted from the interpretation of the competence of the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v i s t , who was responsible for records in par t icu lar , but not informat ion as a whole. In this narrower scope; it was ordained that "in order to manage the life cycle o f information effectively," the A r c h i v i s t had to continue to administer the retention and disposi t ion of records. T h i s was to be done in "an integrated manner for all information holdings to which the Nat iona l Arch ives o f Canada A c t app l ies . " 2 8 ° It was therefore no coincidence that although the Arch iv i s t always had some responsibility for the management of government records, there was n o w a shift in emphasis in the G o v e r n m e n t Records B r a n c h f rom "Records Management and Mic rog raph i c Systems" to "Information Management Standards and Pract ices." 2 8 ' The latter term, which evoked a broader interpretation o f the Archivist 's objectives, was reflective of this new approach. 27*lbid., 9. 279Ibid., 12. 2*°Ibid., 18. 2 8 1 For examples of how the Archivist had some responsibility for the management of government records, see the National Archives of Canada's Annual Reports for the mid to late 1980's, which discuss the Archives' now traditional administrative role of "providing advisory and operational services in records management." See, for example, Canada, National Archives of 9 2 A s recent endeavours indicate, the Na t iona l A r c h i v e s o f Canada is st i l l adjusting to its more expansive role in the administrat ion o f records. In 1991, it launched its G o v e r n m e n t - W i d e Plan for the D i s p o s i t i o n o f Records , 1991-1996. w h i c h was intended to remedy many o f the problems st i l l encountered since the Corbet t -Frost Repor t of 1979. 2 8 2 A s Ra lph West ington pointed out, past records disposition practices did not fully include all o f the requisites necessary for an accurate "picture" o f the Federal Government , and a new program was required to fit the "context o f the sound and economic management and protect ion o f government in format ion ." 2 8 ' The new plan wou ld be more inclusive by covering a greater number o f government institutions, more regions, and records o f all media. Equa l ly as important, the Nat ional Arch iv i s t wou ld take on a role which was coordinat ive rather than participatory, so that the departments themselves wou ld become involved in appraisal while the Arch iv i s t had overall c o n t r o l . 2 8 4 The National Arch ives had moved from the sole issue of records disposit ion o f Corbett and Frost to the more encompassing issues of integrated information management. In effect, the plan indicated that the National Archives wished to move from the "present system of reviewing records submissions from departments on an ad hoc and passive basis" to an "active approach for disposit ion." The A r c h i v i s t wou ld consider the disposi t ion submission o f the Departments, thus a l lowing h im to gain control of the "disposition Canada, 1986-1987 Annual Report of the National Archives of Canada (Minister of Supply and Services, 1987): 58. To see the change in emphasis from records management to information standards and practices, compare Canada, National Archives of Canada, . 1989-1990 Annual Report (Minister of Supply and Services, 1990) and Canada, National Archives of Canada, 1988-1989 Annual Report of the National Archives of Canada (Minister of Supply and Services, 1989). 2 8 2 N a t i o n a l Archives of Canada, Government-Wide Plan for the Disposition of Records. 1991-1996 (Internal Report, November 1990). 2 8 3 R a l p h Westington, "Development and Application of Records Retention and Disposition Schedules," Archivum: International Review on Archives X X X I X (1994): 59. 2 8 4 / 6 / d . , 57-58. 93 agenda and funct ion ." 2 8 ' By so doing, the Arch iv i s t al lowed the departments to have direct input into how records were to be handled, but this d id not necessarily mean that there was less integration. Instead, what was intended was an orchestrated plan designed to con t ro l the overal l management o f the records th rough an "active, planned and strategic" administrative approach . 2 8 6 A s the Plan stated, Better archival appraisal w i l l be possible by adopting a planned, holistic, and comprehensive approach to all information in an inst i tut ion and between insti tutions before the formal scheduling o f parts of that in format ion takes place, rather than by the passive, reactive, and piecemeal approaches o f the past . 2 8 7 B y leaving the specific work to the Departments, it was anticipated that the vast quantities o f records n o w being created by the Federal G o v e r n m e n t cou ld be administered by the Arch ives through a more encompassing integrated records scheduling process. It was only in this manner that all the records could be properly be appraised while they retained their contextual l inks. A sense of the need to take the more encompassing view of records was now evident in Canada. Such a v iew is also emerging in the United States, but at a slower pace. N A R A continues to struggle wi th records administrat ion issues, but its progress is less notable than that o f Canada's National Archives. In fact, N A R A still receives criticism for its lack o f a "proactive" stance in the administration o f active records. It does approve the disposit ion schedules which Federal agencies must submit, but this is no longer e n o u g h . 2 8 8 N A R A ' s role in the affair over the potential destruct ion o f presidential electronic mail tapes in the early 1990's led to heavy cr i t ic ism of the 2 8 5 N a t i o n a l Archives of Canada, Governmeni-Wide Plan for the Disposition of Records. 1-2. n6Ibid., 3. 2*7Ibid., 2. 2 8 8 0 n approving schedules, see for example the National Archives and Records Administration, Annual Report for the Year Ended September 30. 1991 (Washington, D. C.) 23. 9 4 methods it has used to address electronics records i s sues . 2 8 9 D a v i d Bearman suggested that i f in the future archivists (and N A R A ) wished to continue to be viable, they had to lobby to gain the statutory authority necessary not only to administer active electronic records, but also participate in the design and implementat ion of electronic records creating systems. "The problems confront ing archivists in the management of electronic records," he contended, "wi l l not be solved by employing the techniques that were used to control paper records." 29° He added that Recently the recogni t ion that electronic records management may require new activity on the part o f archives has led to a discussion o f program strategies for archives, especially for electronic records. One impl ica t ion o f these discussions is the possibi l i ty they present for a radical redefinit ion o f the archival profession and a reintegration o f records management and archives. These two areas ... must be recombined i f electronic archival records are to be imagined. 2 9 ' Bearman's comments are indicative of how the technological changes of the last three or so decades were finally the catalysts which led to an increasingly common acceptance 2 8 9 x n e i s s u e j s complicated. A l the end of President Ronald Reagan's term in January, 1989, a coun challenge was launched to stop the Executive Branch of the United States Government from destroying its electronic mail tapes. N A R A ' s lack of attention to this issue and its apparent willingness to allow the Executive to have its way raised the concerns of those who thought that N A R A should be at the forefront of advocating the independent administration and preservation of presidential records. See David Bearman, "The Implications of Armstrong v. Executive of the President for the Archival Management of Electronic Records," American Archivist 56.4 (Fall 1993): 688-689. 2 9 u B e a r m a n , "Implications of Armstrong v. Executive of the President." 688. In 1992, such paper-controlling techniques were still in evidence at N A R A . The institution operated along the traditional lines of the life cycle model. While the Office of Records Administration had responsibility for supervising departments in active records administration, including records management, the Office of the National Archives was responsible lor inactive records and the preservation of the nation's documentary heritage. A clear break was thus evident between the active records of the Federal Government, and the inactive records of the Archives. Since it is not possible lo make these distinctions, this reality seemed to be a contributing factor to Bearman's complaints. See the National Archives and Records Administration, A n n u a l Report for the Year Ended September 30. 1992 (Washington, D. C) 20 and 50. 2 9 1 B e a r m a n , "Implications of Armstrong v. Executive of the President." 688. 9 5 o f a c o m m o n record adminiscrat ion ph i losophy for all records managers and archivists, as iterated by Ather ton. A s Bruce Ambacher noted, The computer has revolut ionized the historical record by altering the ways i n w h i c h personal , corporate, and governmenta l records are created, used, maintained, and destroyed or preserved . . . . Arch iv i s t s and records managers are being required to accept and care for the data bases, techniques, and systems adopted by their sponsoring agencies, archival clients, and other records creators . . . . H e goes on to argue that In the past, most archivists were not part of the computer generation . . . . Th i s , o f course, has changed significantly. N o w they must become computer literate. They must understand what machine-readable records and automated techniques are, h o w they are created, and h o w they are used. They must be able to communicate wi th the records creators and custodians o f machine-readable records, to instruct them in scheduling their data bases, to determine the archival value of their automated creations, and to guide them on the maintenance and use of both machine-readable records and automated techniques. 2? 2 Thi s scenario resulted in a fundamental reassessment o f tradit ional archival and records managerial roles. This is not to state that an integrated approach was suddenly and completely embraced by the records administration communities in both Canada and the Uni ted States, far from it, but there were discussions about this elemental issue. 2 93 292B ruce I. Ambacher, "Managing Machine-Readable Archives," M a n a g i n g Archives and Archival Institutions, ed. James Gregory Bradsher (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989): 121-122. 2 9 3 I n the event, some have fell that the result wil l be the severing of the relationship between archivists and records managers. Robert L . Sanders, for instance, contended that records scheduling, which provides the common link between archivists and records managers, has been undermined by electronic records. This has happened, he contends, because the "interactive reporting and decision-making" which the current information technology allows for does not support the practice of retaining archival material. Instead, records are frequently altered and disposed of with the support of records managerial efficiency, but with little thought to their long term value. See his "Archivists and Records Managers: Another Marriage in Trouble?" Records Management Quarterly 23.2 (April 1989): 16-17. 96 The evidence suggests that the days o f the "two solitudes" w i l l come to an end. Initiatives in both Canada and the Uni ted States, while not always successful, indicate that records administrators are endeavouring to implement processes which wi l l al low for the smooth transition o f records from the time from before the are created to the moment they are either discarded or permanently stored. A s has been shown, records are n o w considered a commodi ty — indeed, as a tool o f power — and attempts to improve their management has led to a more integrated and control led approach. Atherton's cont inuum theory, which was the product of the slow evolut ion towards this viewpoint , is the most succinct commentary on this trend. 9 7 C O N C L U S I O N S It is apparent that it is not effective to implement records administrat ion programs based on the life cycle model . In the past, the d iv i s ion of labour amongst different groups based on the status o f the records was, whi le convenient , not reflective o f the singular nature of the records. Atherton's article makes it clear that records adminis t ra tors must cont inue to eschew any approach based on a Schellenbergian dichotomy which distinguishes between records and archives, and that they must adopt a ph i losophy o f integrated records adminis t ra t ion which advocates continual and uninterrupted management. However , while Ather ton was specific in showing why the life cycle model did not work , he d id not give details of a program based on the continuum model which would replace it. It is now necessary, therefore, to take the ideas of a unified records administration theory and apply them to a model so that they can be practically implemented in organizations throughout N o r t h America . If records administrators wish to achieve the effective management of their insdtution's records, they must fulfil two main objectives. First, they must understand that when records are generated they are almost invariably intended to accomplish some operational or administrative intention of the organization, and they must work towards these ends. A s Atherton said, Records are not generated to serve the interests of some future archivist or h is tor ian , or even to document for posterity some significant decis ion or operat ion. They are created and managed to serve immediate operational needs. 294 This must be the main objective of records administrators. They must work for their organizations by advocat ing the importance o f ensuring that the records do meet immediate operational or administrative needs. Indeed, it is a truism that the only time 2 9 4 A t h e r t o n , "From Life Cycle to Continuum," 49. 98 organizations notice the real importance of their records is when they need them for some operational, administrative, evidential, or other purpose, and yet cannot find them, or cannot produce them in a form which is acceptable to the circumstances in which they are required. It is the records administrator's job to ensure that this event occurs as rarely as is possible. Th i s leads to the second objective for records administrators. Af ter records have served the immediate needs of the organization, they must then act as the effective memory o f the activities wh ich led to their generation, obv ious ly for any or all purposes for w h i c h they may be used. These records must funct ion as the documentat ion of the organization by indicating its actions and transactions. The records administrator has an important role in ensuring that this occurs. H e or she must work to make sure that the records which are retained as the organization's memory cont inue to serve the pr imary funct ion o f fu l f i l l ing the organization's immediate operational and administrative needs. Th i s can only be accomplished satisfactorily i f records administrators have a comprehensive knowledge o f h o w the organization operates and what the records are used for. Thus , all records administrators have these two goals in common . Firs t and foremost , they must serve their o rganiza t ion by ensur ing that records meet satisfactorily the organization's needs. Second, they must reduce the records to only those wh ich w i l l continue to be required by the organizat ion and all other users as evidence o f its actions and transactions. There is no functional separation between these two goals: both deal wi th servicing the various needs o f the records' numerous users. A s A t h e r t o n has said, this service funct ion can on ly be fulf i l led i f it is understood that Records are created to serve an administrat ive purpose, usually to document a transaction or decision. The i r value is directly related to their availability to those requiring them. Hence the need for effective 9 9 systems o f classification, f i l ing , and retrieval — and the need to ensure that records o f permanent value are preserved and made available when required.295 Service is what unifies all records administrators, and ensures that their purpose of an integrated records system may be attained. H a v i n g now idendfied the objectives of records administrators, it is important to articulate the main elements that are required in such a integrated approach. First, an organization must have in place an institution-wide pol icy wh ich recognizes not only the importance o f its records, but also that they must be managed in a coherent, comprehensive, and integrated manner. Such policy must of necessity contain a broad defini t ion of the records administrator 's function. Records administrators cannot s imply be v i e w e d as file c lerks , but must be unders tood to have broader responsibilities which al low them to participate in every manner in which records are created, used, stored, preserved, and destroyed. They must move beyond the physical aspects o f file management, such as cont ro l l ing file size or paper disposal, into the wider sphere of of how their work can (and does) affect their institution's operational and administrative needs. - Th i s cannot be achieved, however, wi thout the second element required in an integrated approach, and that is the successful achievement o f the unity o f cont ro l , or unity o f management, o f the records administration program. This factor is crucial for the success o f an unified approach, for it recognizes the records' global nature bv assuming that a l though several different persons may be pe r fo rming various "archival" or "records managerial" funct ions, they are all con t ro l l ed by one management phi losophy. The conflict between the administrative roles which is so prevalent in the life cycle proposi t ion therefore never occurs wi th this approach: the 295/bid., 48. 1 0 0 singular nature of the records themselves and the unifying approach of service to the users becomes the overall policy. This unity o f control approach necessitates that the manager of an institution's records administrat ion program be given the ability or competence to get the job done. What is meant by this is that the manager must have the authority to articulate, enforce, and implement an integrated and coherent approach not only amongst the organization's records administrators, but also wi th in the organization as a whole. It is easy for a p r o m i s i n g records p rogram to fail i f it does not have f rom the organization the support it needs to work. A policy which looks excellent in theory-wi l l never succeed if the manager of the the records administration program is not given the ability to implement it effectively, or to control those in the program who may have agendas of their own. Such unity o f control speaks from the very nature of the integrated conceptualization. A n approach which advocates the primary objective o f service to the users — through a management policy wh ich advocates the unified administration o f records which allows the records to facilitate the purposes for which they were created and then to be reduced in a timely fashion to act as the institution's memory -- cannot have it any other way. B o t h the insti tution-wide policy and the unity o f control elements have been comprehensively detailed by Kathleen Carney. She suggested that a successful approach for an "integrated records management p rogram" w o u l d need four objectives. It w o u l d need to be: 1 ) applied on an organiza t ion-wide basis, 2 ) control led by policies and procedures, 3) standardized, and 4) integrated through coordina t ion (that is, the records administrat ion program should work along the same organizational lines as its parent organization, which inherently is an integrated whole i n w h i c h all o f its parts must be coordinated to fulf i l the organization's 10 1 mandate). 2? 6 Carney's first two objectives could be facilitated under the institutional pol icy element; the last two could be accomplished through unity o f control . Carney stated that the objectives o f an integrated records management p r o g r a m c o u l d be successfully achieved wi th the inc lus ion o f certain main components. These were: i ) the off icialassignment o f responsibil i ty for records wi th in organizations by delegating the office of pr imary responsibi l i ty, inc luding assigning responsibi l i ty to ind iv idua l workers , 2) a classification system based on intellectual access to the records, rather than based on their physical cont ro l , and 3) a retention and disposit ion plan integrated with the classification scheme. 297 Th i s plan wou ld be most successful, she added, if the institution accepted responsibility for the care, storage, and preservation o f its records, and i f it maintained documentat ion indicating h o w the records system worked and was to be administered. 2 ? 8 Carney's plan is commendable and should be adopted as a pragmatic and functional model for records administrators and insti tutions wh ich advocate an integrated approach. One more component is needed, however , which is not so concrete. There is little doubt that as N o r t h Amer ica approaches the 21st Century and beyond, it wi l l experience even more radical technological changes which now can only be dreamed about. In this environment , cont inued awareness and vigi lance is necessary i f records administrators wish to stay abreast o f how changing information technologies wi l l affect the management of the records. This is necessary i f records administrators wish to continue with the effective control of records. W i t h the so-called convergence of information technologies, in which different office technologies 2 9 6Kath leen Carney, "Managing Integrated Records Systems" (Master of Archival Studies Thesis, University of British Columbia, 1995) 127-133. Carney's "records management program" includes the control of "all aspects of recordmaking and the manner of recordkeeping, including the custody and preservation of accumulated records." See p. 122. 291Ibid., 135-140. 29S/bid., 140-143. 1 0 2 related to te lecommunicat ions, office machines, and computers w i l l be further combined and integrated, new uses and demands w i l l be made not only of the records, but the information they contain. 299 It is this factor, more than any other, which wi l l be the concern of future records administrators. In the last two decades, records administrators have had to adapt to new-demands and rising expectations. This w i l l continue. A s before, the impetus behind a more unified records administration strategy w i l l be based o n the p rov i s ion of service to the user. H o w e v e r , the type o f service w h i c h is expected o f the records administrator is changing. W i t h the gradual move f rom the paper to the electronic media , records adminis t ra t ion has been in the midst o f "a lengthy transit ional p e r i o d . " ' 0 0 A s insti tutional hierarchies "downsize" or "flatten," the general office employee has had to take up the roles once held by "middle management" by being able to manage the information resource and contribute to its product ion . In this new scenario, the end objective "is to empower the end user and to put this person in touch with the appropriate data to compete today and plan for tomor row." ' 0 1 Furnishing access to the paper record has always been the ultimate concern, but that in itself is not enough now. Frank Burke observed that the computer replaces functions previously performed by other personnel, and also provides communicat ions and access [directly] to informat ion [and records] produced by others. In many ways, the computer is the file, and information can be accessed without informing anyone, including a z y y A n g e l i k a Menne-Haritz, "The Impact of Convergence on the Life Cycle of Records," Management of Recorded Information: Converging Disciplines (Proceedings of the International Council on Archives Symposium on Current Records, National Archives of Canada, Ottawa May 15-17. 1989), compiled by Cynthia J. Durance (New York: K. G. Saur, 1990) 122. 123. 3 0 1 Richard M . Kesner, "The Changing Face of Office Documentation: Electronic / Optical Information Technologies (IT): An Analytical Framework for the Review of Trends in Office Automation and its Implications for Archives and Records Management," Information Handling in Offices and Arch ives , ed. Angelika Menne-Haritz (Munich: K. G. Saur, 1993) 117-118. 1 0 3 secretary, what it is that one wishes to look at . . . . A n y o n e who has the equipment, or access it, and proper authorization for access to a file, can use it. Therefore, information available to one is available to all. ?° 2 The new records administrator, therefore, has a different concern: in the past, it was adequate for records administrators to be concerned only wi th the preservation of the physical item of the record itself, but now they must also ensure that the information which the records contain is also available. Records administrators must come to realize that the importance o f their jobs lies as much in the development o f new methods so that they may capture and administer the information as it is created and used in the course of activity as it does in storing and retrieving the records it is on. It is this concern which must be behind their approach in the administration of records. T h i s t rend is un l ike ly to stop. T h r e e factors w i l l c o m p e l records administrators to continue in their roles as "information facilitators". First , there is a g r o w i n g acceptance that people have the right to see the information and / or records which publ ic bodies generate. Th i s has been brought about by the ideals of openness and accountability in public bodies. However , such openness is also balanced by the fact that information about an indiv idual person is considered that person's private property, and may only be used or manipulated in ways that respect this fact. Th i s approach has been fostered and strengthened by the advent of access to information and protection o f privacy laws. Such laws are compell ing public institutions to alter or "tidy up" their processes for handling information, and for this reason they have also placed new emphasis on the importance of the records administrator's role. Second, people expect expertise on system management and record or information retrieval. In a wor ld where data crosses the globe in a matter of seconds, 3 u 2Frank G Burke, "Chaos through Communications: Archivists, Records Managers, and the Communications Phenomenon," The Archival Imagination: Essays in Honour of Hugh A. Taylor, ed. Barbara L. Craig (Ottawa: Association of Canadian Archivists, 1992) 165. 1 0 4 and where m u l t i - m i l l i o n dollar cross-border transactions can occur momentar i ly , retrieval must occur instantly, completely, and effectively. In this new wor ld , records adminis t ra tors must par t ic ipate in c o n t i n u i n g educat ion p rograms on new technological innovat ions , by learning h o w such changes affect their profession. The i r knowledge must be fortified by their w o r k i n g wi th computer or information systems experts, whose functions are unmistakably becoming more closely aligned wi th those o f records administrators. F ina l ly , people expect the control , regulation, and protect ion of information and records. Such control is required because the quality of the content and structure of data has a direct impact on the effectiveness and completeness o f the transactions which are recorded. The common computer cliche "garbage in results in garbage out" succinctly illuminates this point. A s Burke has contended, "developing techniques for handl ing mil l ions of bits of data streaming from one location to another by passing through microwave relay satellites presents a considerably different problem [from] determining the f low o f documents from outbox to file cabinet or mail room." It is, he said, "time to begin educating a new generation o f records managers and archivists in the mysteries o f the new age." ' ° 3 This emphasis on information does not mean that adherence to the principles of records administration should fall by the wayside. O n the contrary, the opposite is true. Bearman notes that the fundamental principles o f archival practice, [with] its tradit ional emphasis on respect des fonds, provenance and original order, reflect the evidential value of the context of creation and use. In electronic records management these principles are o f even greater importance since randomly stored data are otherwise devo id o f context and only 303Ibid., 172. 105 knowledge of the business applicat ion, or provenance, o f the system provides guidance for re ten t ion . ' 0 4 Records administrators must therefore continue to understand that records are evidence o f actions and transactions, o f practical activity wh ich gives them their intr insic and sometimes extrinsic values. It is this recogni t ion which has removed records administrators from Taylor 's "historical shunt" and placed them within the realm o f in format ion providers — but the cost has worked to the detriment of traditional cultural interests.}° ' Despite the fact that it is more essential than ever that records administrators adhere to archival principles, they must realize that the time may come when they wi l l have to step outside the bounds of the traditional records specialist. They may have to participate wi th other information professions, such as computer systems specialists, in the broader doma in o f in format ion management. T o date, most records administrators neither have the training nor the inclination to handle knowledgeably the multi tude o f new records-creating technologies. This attitude must change. It is folly to assume that to do their jobs, archivists do not need to consult these other information professionals. A movement toward an alliance with systems specialists is vi ta l for the proper care of information that these individuals , as much as records administrators, have to manage. In fact, the ability of records administrators to discuss technical matters with these systems specialists allows for the greater understanding o f the needs of both 3 u 4 D a v i d Bearman, "Archival Data Management to Achieve Organizational Accountibility for Electronic Records," Archival Documents: Providing Accountibi l i tv through Recordkeeping, ed. Sue McKemmish and Frank Upward (Melbourne, Australia: Ancora Press, 1993) 225. 3 ^^The problem of the diminishing commitment of archival institutions to collect private records is debated between Robert A . J. MacDonald and Christopher Hives, in "Acquiring and Preserving Archival Records - A Debate," Archivar ia 38 (Fall 1994): 155-163. 106 groups: cooperation only enhances the quality and effectiveness of the records which are produced on electronic systems. T o use an analogy, a race car dr iver mav be the expert at d r iv ing automobiles, but knows better than to attempt the maintenance and care o f the car's engine, instead leaving this to the mechanic. The mechanic, on the other hand, wou ld never presume to tell the driver how to win a race. Nonetheless, for both the mechanic and the dr iver to have the fastest car, they must not only have technical knowledge of each others' field of expertise, but they must also communicate. The same idea could be applied to records administrators and other information specialists. The most effective service can only be given to the information user i f both work together. The records administrator has the better knowledge o f the physical and intellectual forms which together wi th content comprise a record, whi le the systems specialist knows more about h o w the information system can be configured to accommodate this. What this means is that both must work as a team to achieve a level of success that neither could achieve individually. Th i s , then, is the point which has to be made. Records administrators, while implementing and using the integrated model , should realize that they do not perform their funct ions in i so la t ion f rom other in format ion professions. ]. M i c h a e l P e m b e r t o n , in d iscuss ing the " informat ion solar system" o f wh ich records administrators fo rm a part, noted the slow evolu t ion o f c o m m o n denominators between all information professions. He noted that all o f them had the fo l l owing concerns in common: 1 . acquiring information in some recorded [and prescribed] form, 2. storing it in a mode optimal for retrieval [and preservation], and 3. recalling it for use as needed [and as people have the right to see i t ] . J ° 6 3 0 6 J . Michael Pemberton, "Records Management: Planet in an Information Solar System," Proceedings of the A R M A International 35th Annual Conference, November 5-8. 1990. San Francisco. California (Association of Records Managers and Administrators) 828. 107 It is the guardianship o f the information which is now, and w i l l continue to be, the records administrators' and other information professionals' concern. That records administrators specialize in the administration of records does not alter this fact: after al l , as agents responsible for their institutions' memory, they are acting to preserve informat ion about the actions and transactions in wh ich their institutions partook. N o w , however , records professionals must l o o k beyond the bounds o f records administration, and into the wider realm of the common information universe. The danger o f course is that records professionals could simply be swallowed up or overwhelmed by the other specialists who have more prestigious or glamorous jobs. It is no secret that royal battles are sometimes fought between records professionals and other groups such as computer systems specialists, w h o often seem to have more immediate needs or are able to produce more readily apparent benefits which the seemingly more pedestrian functions of proper records management or records preservation cannot hope to match. A d d i t i o n a l l y , records professionals could become so overwhelmed by their newly acquired information administration ski l ls that the specific needs for the nar rower realm o f appropriate records admin i s t r a t i on are forgot ten . Wha t is requ i red , therefore, is for records administrators to cont inue acqui r ing a broader knowledge o f the in format ion universe, while not forgett ing that their ultimate task is the management of the records. They must move forward and partake in this new information exploration enterprise. The alternative is to look to their past role as cultural caretakers, and risk, l ike the clay tablet and maybe one day the paper record, being rendered obsolete. It is handl ing this double-jeopardy of obsolescence on the one hand, and absorption by other groups on the other, which wi l l be their biggest challenge for many years to come. It is always better for records administrators to move forward and face the risks 108 than to look back and be overwhelmed by changes in information technology that they could not, or would not, accept. J°7 North American records professionals have accomplished much in the modern era which began with the French Revolution. Through the years, many have come to understand that their tasks were so interrelated as to be inseparable. The catalyst for a reexamination of their roles has been information technology, and their ultimate objective has always been the preservation of the institutional memory and the provision of service to the users of the records. But in this progression, another transition has also been occurring, and that is the inexorable movement towards closer working ties with other information professions. 3 u 7 Sam Kula recently lamented the apparent coming end of the "traditional archivist", who is "increasingly marginalized by a world that is process-oriented and intolerant of any data / information that is not instantaneously available." He implied that they would soon be stifled by "those who regard information as a resource and expect to manage it just as long as it generates revenue or meets business operational requirements, and not a second longer." 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