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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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CONCEIVING T H E RECORDS CONTINUUM IN C A N A D A A N DT H E UNITED STATES by JASON CHRISTOPHER EAMER-GOULT B . A . , University o f V i c t o r i a , 1992  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL F U L F I L L M E N T OF THE REQUIREMENTS  FORT H EDEGREE OF  MASTER OF ARCHIVAL STUDIES in T H E F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (School o f L i b r a r y , A r c h i v a l and Information Studies) W e accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  T H E UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA N o v e m b e r 1995 © Jason Christopher E a m e r - G o u l t , 199 5  In  presenting this  degree at the  thesis  in  University  of  partial  fulfilment  British Columbia,  of  the  requirements  for  permission for extensive  copying of  this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the  department  or  his  or  her  representatives.  It  is  understood  that  publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without permission.  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  DE-6 (2/88)  advanced  I agree that the Library shall make it  freely available for reference and study. I further agree that by  an  head of my copying  or  my written  11 ABSTRACT 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.  Ill  T h e thesis concludes by examining what is required for the integrated ideas to be implemented as part o f 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 w o r k with others i n related i n f o r m a t i o n professions, o r risk l o s i n g the ability to make v a l i d contributions i n the m o d e r n information age.  iv  TABLE OF CONTENTS  ABSTRACT  .'  ii  TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  iv •  .v  INTRODUCTION  i  CHAPTER ONE T h e O r i g i n s of the N o r t h A m e r i c a n Separation o f Records Management from A r c h i v e s  6  CHAPTER TWO T h e Post W a r Relationship Between N o r t h A m e r i c a n Records Managers and Archivists  32  CHAPTER  THREE  C o n t e m p o r a r y Records A d m i n i s t r a t i o n i n N o r t h A m e r i c a CONCLUSIONS BIBLIOGRAPHY Articles B o o k s and Theses G o v e r n m e n t Legislation, Orders, Manuals, and Reports Canada United States Miscellaneous  68 97 109 109 116 117 117 118 120  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I w o u l d like to thank the countless friends and family w h o have g i v e n me advice, support, and asssistance i n this endeavour.  P a r t i c u l a r l y , I o w e a debt o f  gratitude to Professor T e r r y E a s t w o o d , w h o p r o v i d e d insightful guidance for this paper.  1  INTRODUCTION 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. Ibid., 43. 2  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. Atherton, "From several variations separate the roles 5Atherton, "From  4  Life Cycle to Continuum," 44. Emphasis added. There are of the life cycle concept. However, they all distinctly of the archivist and the records manager. 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  H o w 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." As he puts it, 8  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.  10  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. Letter from Jay Atherton, Wakefield, Quebec, to the Author, Vancouver, 23 December 1994. Atherton, "From Life Cycle to Continuum," 47. Ibid., 47. Ibid., 48.  7  8  9  l0  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.  11  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.  Atherton's concept  of continual and integrated  12  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." 5 Thus, this thesis will look at the history of the question, for in it may lie 1  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 Ibid. Ibid. Letter from Atherton to the Author, 23 December 1994.  n  l2  13  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.  W h i l e some scenarios will also apply to private organizations, this thesis will not attempt to address their issues or what they should do. 14  6 CHAPTER ONE: T h e O r i g i n s o f the N o r t h A m e r i c a n Separation o f Records Management from Archives  C o n t e m p o r a r y a r c h i v a l and records management practice has its o r i g i n s i n times far before the b e g i n n i n g o f this century. L u c i a n a D u r a n t i has observed that the r o o t s o f m o d e r n records m a n a g e m e n t lie i n M e s o p a t a m i a and other c i v i l i z a t i o n s a r o u n d the w o r l d . ' 1  ancient  T r a c i n g the "Odyssey o f R e c o r d s Managers", she  contended that even i n South America's Inca civilization there were individuals whose responsibility was "preserving i n f o r m a t i o n about actions and transactions for the interests o f their creators and the f u n c t i o n i n g and development o f their s o c i e t y . " '  6  W h i l e there is some debate whether these i n d i v i d u a l s were archivists or records managers, or some c o m b i n a t i o n thereof, it is clear that since ancient times societies o f all k i n d have actively administered archives. ? 1  It was not until the b e g i n n i n g o f the m o d e r n era, h o w e v e r , that a r c h i v a l administration as we k n o w it began to emerge. E r n s t Posner, i n his influential w o r k about the effects o f the F r e n c h R e v o l u t i o n o n archival development, argued that this event had ramifications for today's archival i n s t i t u t i o n s .  18  T h e facts are well k n o w n .  T h e F r e n c h revolutionary government implemented three principles w h i c h 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  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. 1 5  ^ D u r a n t i , "The Odyssey of Records Managers -- Part I," 3. Ibid., 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. 17  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.  20  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."  21  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.  22  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. 5 2  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. 4 2  lbid.,  161-162.  x9  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. 20  Ibid. Ibid.,  21  22  23  Posner,  lbid.,  24  819. "Archival Development  167.  Since the  French  Revolution,"  166.  8 W h e n in N o r t h A m e r i c a archivists became separated from the records-creating bodies, others w h o wanted to take o n the challenges w h i c h active p u b l i c records p r o v i d e d filled their place. These i n d i v i d u a l s , w h o eventually became k n o w n as records managers, learned their trade from sources other than archival. Especially i n the U n i t e d States, they advocated the ideas o f "scientific management," w h i c h , borne o f the progressive m o v e m e n t o f the first decade o f the 20th Century, was not so m u c h a specific practice as a general p h i l o s o p h y based o n "scientifically ascertained laws and principles, translated effectively into industrial a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . " ' T h o s e w h o applied 2  scientific management to records were called "efficiency experts," and i n contrast to archivists, they were not interested in retaining records as the permanent memory o f the actions, transactions, and functions o f the creating body. Instead, their hallmark was the i m p r o v e m e n t o f the economy o f the office environment, whether this meant the destruction o f archives o r n o t .  26  T h e stage had been set in Canada and the U n i t e d States for the d i v i s i o n between m o d e r n archives and records management.  A s shall be seen, records professionals  w o u l d polarize into t w o solitudes: records managers w o u l d administer active p u b l i c records, and archivists w o u l d concentrate on a c q u i r i n g the historical material o f past years. T h e f o l l o w i n g discusses these developments for each country.  A national p u b l i c archival i n s t i t u t i o n emerged i n Canada l o n g before its counterpart was created in the U n i t e d States. Established in 1 872, Canada's A r c h i v e s d i d not result from the internal impetus o f a government a r g u i n g for its o w n p u b l i c  C. Bertrand Thompson, The Tavlor System of Scientific Management York: A. W. Shaw Company, 1917) 5. Z5  A r t e l Ricks, "Records Management as an Archival Function," Management Quarterly 11.2 (April 1977): 13. 26  (New  Records  9 records office. " 2  Instead, the federal g o v e r n m e n t responded to a p e t i t i o n from the  7  L i t e r a r y and H i s t o r i c a l Society o f Q u e b e c , w h i c h was c a l l i n g for a national p u b l i c archival institution to preserve the sources o f a c o m m o n history needed to unify the country's c o m p o n e n t colonies and disparate p e o p l e s .  28  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 s e a r c h . 9 F o r this reason, the new A r c h i v e s gave scant 2  attention to the p u b l i c records question. Instead, it focussed o n the a c q u i s i t i o n o f historical material. T h e first significant accession o f the new D o m i n i o n A r c h i v i s t , D o u g l a s B r y m n e r , was the 400,000 records o f the British A r m y created in Canada since 1759. It was to be followed by an extensive p r o g r a m to copy historical records relating to Canada i n L o n d o n and Paris. 3 °  M e a n w h i l e , the Department o f the Secretary o f State, w h i c h had j u r i s d i c t i o n o v e r p u b l i c records, p e r c e i v e d B r y m n e r as a threat to its p o s i t i o n , and in 1874 a p p o i n t e d a n o t h e r i n d i v i d u a l to supervise g o v e r n m e n t records p e r t a i n i n g to administrative or legal functions. 3 ' I m p o r t a n d y , these p u b l i c records were v i e w e d as entities apart f r o m historical records, to be dealt w i t h by a different administration and under the c o n t r o l o f someone other than the D o m i n i o n A r c h i v i s t . 3  2  A l t h o u g h this  was a set-back for B r y m n e r , he conceded that his interests lay in the a c q u i s i t i o n o f historical material: "the special object o f the office is to obtain from all sources, private  I a n E. Wilson, '"A Noble Dream': The Origins of the Public Archives of Canada," Archivaria 1 5 (Winter 1 9 8 2 - 1 9 8 3 ) : 16. Z/  Bernard 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 ) : 1 0 1 , and Wilson, '"A Noble Dream,'" 17. 28  H u g h A. Taylor, "Canadian Archives: Archivaria 1.2 ( 1 9 7 6 ) : 4 - 5 . 29  Wilfred I. Smith, "Total Archives': Bibliotheques de Belsique 5 7 ( 1 9 8 6 ) : Wilson, '"A Noble Dream,'" 2 2 . 3u  Patterns from a Federal Perspective,"  The Canadian Experience,"  Archives  328.  3 1  32  Jay  1956,"  Atherton,  "The Origins of the Public Archives Records Centre, 1 8 9 7 -  Archivaria  8  (Summer 1979):  36.  el  1  0  as well as p u b l i c , such documents as may t h r o w light on social c o m m e r c i a l , m u n i c i p a l , as well as purely political history."35  T h i s d i v i s i o n between the t w o records administration bodies was not to last. F o l l o w i n g an i 897 Departmental C o m m i s s i o n report w h i c h argued that "it is not too m u c h to say that the r i v a l r y existing between (the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s and R e c o r d s B r a n c h ) has l o n g been an obstacle to the attainment o f that unity of responsibility and control essential to the i n t r o d u c t i o n o f a perfect system," the t w o offices were amalgamated by O r d e r in C o u n c i l in 1903.34 T h i s , however, d i d not sway the A r c h i v e s from its historical objectives. A s A t h e r t o n sees it, the O r d e r i n C o u n c i l r e c o g n i z e d the records k e e p i n g r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s o f the D o m i n i o n A r c h i v i s t , but still saw h i m as serving essentially a cultural need [It was] based solely o n the need to preserve records f o r their v a l u e as historical evidence, w i t h no r e c o g n i t i o n o f 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 p r o t e c t l e g a l r i g h t s . F u r t h e r m o r e , it i g n o r e d s e v e r a l key ' r e c o r d s m a n a g e m e n t ' recommendations o f the 1897 C o m m i s s i o n , namely a mechanism for i m m e d i a t e d e s t r u c t i o n a n d p e r i o d i c future d i s p o s a l o f useless documents, a standard retention period for routine financial records, a r e v i e w o f filing systems i n departments, and a fixed age for transfer o f records to the Archives.35  A r t h u r G . D o u g h t y , w h o became D o m i n i o n A r c h i v i s t i n 1904, c o n t i n u e d the orientation o f his predecessor. H e believed that historical study was imperative for the g r o w t h o f the Canadian nation, and emphasized the importance o f the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s i n this process. 3 L i k e B r y m n e r , D o u g h t y was not greatly concerned by the g r o w i n g 6  v o l u m e o f unsorted and disorganized records dispersed i n many g o v e r n m e n t offices. Rather, he was mainly interested in preserving and p u b l i s h i n g what he considered to  •"As quoted in Smith,  "Total Archives,'"  328.  As quoted in Atherton, "Public Archives Records Centre," 40. Emphasis added. See also Weilbrcnner, "Public Archives of Canada, 1871-1958," 104. Atherton, "Public Archives Records Centre," 42. 3  4  35  I a n E . Wilson, "Shorn and Doughty: The Cultural Role of the Public Archives of Canada," Canadian Archivist 2.4 (1973): 12. 3 6  11 be documents o f historical v a l u e . ' 7 H e never seriously pursued the w i d e r issue o f systematic records c o n t r o l and disposition.  T h e A r c h i v e s ' first legislated mandate d i d not satisfactorily address the active records issue either. I n the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s A c t o f 1912, the A r c h i v i s t was granted guardianship o f "public records, documents, and other historical material," and n o w had  the p o w e r to "acquire for the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s all such o r i g i n a l  records,  documents, and other material as he deem(ed) necessary o r desirable to secure .  ..."3  8  H o w e v e r , these terms were n o t defined, n o r was their a p p l i c a t i o n to different departments explained satisfactorily. T h u s , there were not any effective processes for the transfer o f records to the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s , unless the departments chose to forfeit their records v o l u n t a r i l y .  W h i l e the "potential f o r a serious p u b l i c r e c o r d office  o p e r a t i o n h a d been created", the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s lacked the authority to i m p l e m e n t systematic records c o n t r o l and d i s p o s i t i o n . 39 T h e s h o r t c o m i n g s o f the 1912 act revealed that b o t h government officials and the D o m i n i o n A r c h i v i s t had yet to realize the full d i m e n s i o n s o f the p r o b l e m .  A s i d e f r o m the crucial fact that D o u g h t y ' s  interests lay in accumulating historical material, the reality was that the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s was still largely viewed as a cultural and historical institution.  In fact, little thought was given to its role i n m a n a g i n g p u b l i c records until a royal c o m m i s s i o n to investigate the care and c o n t r o l o f departmental records was c o n v e n e d i n 1912. T h i s C o m m i s s i o n f o u n d that g o v e r n m e n t records, rarely used more than five years after their creation, were badly o r g a n i z e d , p o o r l y treated, and difficult to locate. Its report, released i n 1914, blankly stated that "one fact, everywhere observable, is that the preservation and care o f the older records is the last thought o f  3/  Weilbrenner, "Public Archives of Canada, 1871-1958," 106-107. Canada, Public Archives Act. R.S.C. 1912, c. 222, s. 6, and s. 8. Atherton, "Public Archives Records Centre," 44.  38  39  1 2 anybody."  40  T h e C o m m i s s i o n therefore recommended that a P u b l i c R e c o r d Office be  established, w i t h i n w h i c h inactive records c o u l d be stored under the c o n t r o l o f the departments, destroyed when useless, or transferred "to the A r c h i v e s p r o p e r in the P u b l i c R e c o r d Office." It also suggested that records twenty five years o f age or older be sent to the records office, and that authority had to be granted by the Treasury B o a r d for the destruction o f useless d o c u m e n t s .  41  W i t h the onset o f war in 1914, these  recommendations were never implemented.  It is questionable anyway whether the Commission's recommendations w o u l d have b r o u g h t the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s closer to the field o f active records administration. T h e C o m m i s s i o n d i d not call for the A r c h i v e s to advise the departments o n the administration o f p u b l i c records, and there is little doubt that the A r c h i v i s t and at least some o f his staff lacked the inclination to take o n a larger role for the A r c h i v e s . A s Ian W i l s o n makes clear, "by temperament as m u c h as by c i r c u m s t a n c e , [ D o u g h t y ] emphasized the cultural rather than the record-keeping role o f archives."  42  D u r i n g the inter-war p e r i o d , several attempts were made to deal w i t h the p r o b l e m o f o r d e r l y d i s p o s i t i o n o f records. O f t e n , the matter was pushed aside by more pressing economic o r political problems. O n e initiative d i d get off the g r o u n d , briefly. In 1933, the Department o f P u b l i c W o r k s set out to create a cheap storage facility for semi-active g o v e r n m e n t records. I m p o r t a n t l y , while the P u b l i c W o r k s D e p a r t m e n t w o u l d m a i n t a i n the b u i l d i n g , i n d i v i d u a l departments w o u l d retain c o n t r o l and custody over their p u b l i c records stored there. 3 B y 1938, the b u i l d i n g 4  C a n a d a , 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. Ibid., 13. W i l s o n , ' " A Noble Dream,'" 32. 4U  4l  4 2  A . M . Willms, 1956): 322.  4 3  "Canada's New Records Centre,"  American  Archivist  19.4 (Oct.  13 was c o m p l e t e d , and the records transfers began. H o w e v e r , as the b u i l d i n g was s o o n needed for the war effort, the departments were forced to take back their material. In the short p e r i o d the facility had existed, nonetheless, it had been f o u n d that h a v i n g each department supervise its o w n records d i d not w o r k . T h e single P u b l i c W o r k s clerk in the b u i l d i n g was unable to p r o v i d e 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 W a r , the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s was sixty seven years o l d , yet no s o l u t i o n for the question o f its role i n m a n a g i n g the p u b l i c records o f the federal g o v e r n m e n t had been f o u n d . A s the latest thrust o f the P u b l i c W o r k s Department revealed, there was always a chance that some other agency w o u l d seize the initiative, leaving the A r c h i v e s to its traditional cultural role, w i t h w h i c h for the most part it was content.  T h i s was not the only p r o b l e m . T h e demands o f war had caused a bureaucratic b o o m w h i c h naturally led to an increase in the amount o f p u b l i c records produced. A t the same time, the Public Archives ... suffered severely. Its appropriations were severely reduced, some members o f the staff entered the armed forces and activity i n general ... was reduced to a m i n i m u m . T h e institution thus emerged from the war in a weakened c o n d i t i o n . A t the same time, the p r o b l e m o f g o v e r n m e n t records had become more pressing than ever before.45  T h e s e difficulties d i d not g o u n n o t i c e d . A b o u t a year before the w a r ended, the h i s t o r i a n G e o r g e B r o w n w r o t e "the s i t u a t i o n [of p u b l i c records] as a w h o l e is deplorable, that i n some respects it is scandalous, and that it is contrary to the p u b l i c interest, since h i s t o r y . . . must be a l l o w e d to play its part i f we have any s o u n d c o n c e p t i o n o f the national development."  46  Ibid.  44  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. G e o r g e W. Brown, "The Problem of Public and Historical Records in Canada," Canadian Historical Review 25.1 (March 1949): 1. Like other contemporary  4 5  46  1  4  Brown recognized that the purpose of records in an archival institution should not be misinterpreted as serving only the needs of historians . O n 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. "4 Predicting that the number of 8  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. Ibid., 1-2. %lbid., 3.  41 4  ^ B r o w n ' 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. 4  1 5 g o v e r n m e n t recognize their primary responsibility for the care o f their records, that senior departmental officers be assigned responsibility for those records, and that the feasibility o f creating a p u b l i c r e c o r d office as r e c o m m e n d e d b y the 1912 R o y a l C o m m i s s i o n be c o n s i d e r e d . '  0  In the a u t u m n o f 1945, Cabinet responded by passing the O r d e r in C o u n c i l P . C . 617s. e s t a b l i s h i n g the P u b l i c R e c o r d s C o m m i t t e e .  A m o n g s t others,  its  membership included the Secretary o f State, the D o m i n i o n A r c h i v i s t , members from the C a n a d i a n H i s t o r i c a l A s s o c i a t i o n , and v a r i o u s representatives departments.'  1  f r o m assorted  T h e Committee's main concern was "to keep under constant review  the state o f the p u b l i c records and to consider, advise, and concert w i t h departments and agencies o f g o v e r n m e n t o n the o r g a n i z a t i o n , care, h o u s i n g , and destruction o f p u b l i c records."'  2  T h i s C o m m i t t e e w o u l d address records management  concerns w i t h an  organized plan for the disposition o f records. T w o principles were instituted: firstly, responsibility was g i v e n to departments for their o w n records' supervision; secondly, the departments had to appoint individuals whose role was oversight o f the records.' i R e p o r t i n g directly to the Treasury B o a r d , ( w h i c h was the a r m o f the Canadian government w h i c h regulated federal management procedures,) and responding to the policy it set, the Committee persuaded the Secretary o f State that "the first function o f a national archives should be to preserve the non-active records o f the g o v e r n m e n t . " '  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.) 5 0  ^ Halliday, "Recent Developments in Control and Management," 105. P . C . 6175, s. 3, 20 September 1945, as quoted in Atherton, "Public Archives Records Centre," 50. 53Atherton, "Public Archives Records Centre," 51. $ Ibid., 52. Emphasis in the original text was removed. 1  5 2  4  4  1 6 T h e P u b l i c A r c h i v e s w o u l d have a role o n l y in g i v i n g advice to the departments i n support o f Treasury B o a r d policy; it had no desire to become physically i n v o l v e d w i t h the records.  W i t h this O r d e r , the Canadian g o v e r n m e n t came closer to the era o f m o d e r n records a d m i n i s t r a t i o n .  B u t such an advance was not as p r o g r e s s i v e as first  appearances indicate. Since the Committee reported to the Treasury B o a r d , the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s o n l y had an advisory role in the administration o f p u b l i c records. A s has been the case ever since, the Treasury B o a r d issued records policies and directives to departments and agencies. T h e A r c h i v e s only advised what those s h o u l d be, and h o w they s h o u l d be implemented. T h e A r c h i v i s t ' s powers therefore were not augmented; instead, a committee o f oversight was established. A s shall be seen, only with the 1966 P u b l i c R e c o r d s O r d e r w o u l d new powers d e v o l v e , t h r o u g h r e g u l a t i o n , to the D o m i n i o n A r c h i v i s t . T h u s , while the O r d e r in C o u n c i l P . C . 6 1 7 s may have showed some p r o g r e s s i o n o f Canadian records administration policies, in practice it was not entirely successful, even to its contemporaries. "I must confess  said H a l l i d a y , that  "... we have been unable to carry out ... the establishment o f a P u b l i c R e c o r d s Office."'5  W h i l e Canada's P u b l i c A r c h i v e s pondered the records administration issue, its counterpart to the south was also h a v i n g to come to grips w i t h the same p r o b l e m . T h e A m e r i c a n N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s had some catching up to do, however. In contrast to Canada's national archival institution, the A m e r i c a n N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s had relatively late b e g i n n i n g s , and was conceived in response to different needs. W h i l e Canada's national archival institution 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 c o u n t r y , the U n i t e d States' N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s was created because o f the acute need to rectify the sorry state o f g o v e r n m e n t records. A s i n Canada, pressure f r o m a r c h i v a l , p a t r i o t i c , and h i s t o r i c a l g r o u p s m o t i v a t e d the President and Congress to take action to preserve the historically valuable records o f the federal government. Consequently, the cornerstone o f the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s was l a i d i n 1933.  56  T h e U n i t e d States' N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s formally came into existence on J une 19, 1934. T h e A c t to E s t a b l i s h a N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s o f the U n i t e d States G o v e r n m e n t , w h i c h was the enabling legislation o f this new institution, allowed the new A r c h i v 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 w h a t s o e v e r a n d w h e r e s o e v e r l o c a t e d , ... a n d to r e q u i s i t i o n for transfer to the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s E s t a b l i s h m e n t such archives, or records as the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s C o u n c i l . . . shall approve for such transfer, and he shall have authority to make regulations for the arrangement, custody, use and withdrawal o f material deposited in the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s B u i l d i n g . . . . ' 7  Compared w i t h the Canadian archives act, this legislation seemed to grant the National A r c h i v i s t , together w i t h N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s C o u n c i l ( c o n s i s t i n g o f himself, the E x e c u t i v e Heads o f D e p a r t m e n t , and others), a m u c h broader authority manage federal r e c o r d s . '  8  P r o b l e m s , h o w e v e r , were soon apparent.  T h e r e were as yet no  federal procedures to assist the A r c h i v i s t in c a r r y i n g out his responsibilities, and especially n o means to identify w h i c h records s h o u l d be transferred to the A r c h i v e s . A d d i t i o n a l l y , for "limited periods", any head o f an agency o r department c o u l d "exempt from examination and consultation" those records w h i c h were deemed to be  Donald R. McCoy, 1934 - 1968 (Chapel ^ United States, An Government, and for (1933-1934) s. 3. 5()  7  %Ibid.,  5  s. 6.  The National Archives: America's Ministry of Documents, Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1978) 5-6. Act to Establish a National Archives of the United States Other Purposes. United States Statutes at Large Vol. 48  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." ' Luke Gilliland-Swetland gives a summary of her views: 6  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  Ibid.,  59  s. 3.  6 McCoy, u  National  Archives.  10.  T h o r n t o n 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. 61  19 N o r t o n therefore contended that records in archival institutions were important for tracing the administrative functions o f w h i c h they are by-products, and anv historical i m p o r t a n c e the d o c u m e n t s possessed was "so m u c h ' v e l v e t . ' " ' 6  A n "archives  department", she c l a i m e d , "is the g o v e r n m e n t a l agency charged w i t h the duty o f p l a n n i n g a n d s u p e r v i s i n g the p r e s e r v a t i o n o f all those records o f the business transactions o f its g o v e r n m e n t r e q u i r e d by l a w o r other legal i m p l i c a t i o n t o be preserved indefinitely.  1164  O n e reason for this preservation was that it maintained the  authenticity o f the records necessary to convey the legal privileges and prerogatives o f the government and its citizens. ' 6  In ideas such as these were the beginnings o f the concern to articulate a role for archivists and archival institutions w i t h i n g o v e r n m e n t circles.  N o r t o n felt that  archivists h a d responsibilities other than to the historical c o m m u n i t y ; they h a d to become more than passive individuals w a i t i n g for the departments at the w h i m o f officials to pass p u b l i c records to them. A r c h i v i s t s w o u l d have to m o v e beyond their traditional bounds o f historical acquisition into a more active place i n the supervision o f government records; they w o u l d have to become administrators as well as scholars.  W h i l e i n d i v i d u a l s such as N o r t o n argued that archivists were custodians o f peoples' rights and p r i v i l e g e s , many others felt that they had to partake in the administration o f 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 o f excess records, and the p r o b l e m was only getting w o r s e .  66  W i t h the N e w D e a l policies o f  63Mitchell, ed., Norton / on Archives. 251. lbid., 13. Ibid., 25-26. See also pp. 250-251 64  65  E m m e t 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. 66  20 F r a n k l i n D . R o o s e v e l t and the expansion o f government d u r i n g the Second W o r l d W a r , a crisis seemed to be approaching. A s Robert H . Bahmer commented, W h o e v e r was acquainted w i t h the rate o f records accumulation p r i o r to the war was rightfully concerned lest the f l o o d o f records o v e r w h e l m e v e r y t h i n g and everybody in its path. T o d a y this apprehension has become outright fear. "? 6  T h e solution was not, however, easy to find: F e w greater dangers threaten the c o m p a r a t i v e l y small quantity o f v a l u a b l e records that accumulate i n g o v e r n m e n t offices than the i n t e r m i n g l i n g w i t h 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 g o o d chance o f being buried so deeply that the task o f the a r c h i v i s t w h o must appraise and administer them is made d o u b l y difficult i f not i m p o s s i b l e . 68  F o r purely practical reasons, the archivist was therefore being compelled to administer active p u b l i c records.  B u t what was the nature o f this new role for the N a t i o n a l  Archives?  Some indication o f its future direction had been p r o v i d e d in 1939, w i t h A n A c t to P r o v i d e for the D i s p o s i t i o n o f Certain Records of the U n i t e d States G o v e r n m e n t . ? 6  This included a mandatory  r e p o r t i n g m e c h a n i s m by w h i c h the heads o f the  departments w o u l d report their non-active public records to the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v i s t , and it p r o v i d e d for the establishment o f a joint committee o f Congress to determine w h i c h records w o u l d be retained.  T h e act was important, E m m e t t J . Leahy said,  because it was "easily the most significant attempt by l e g i s l a t i o n to insure and safeguard the reduction o f federal records."?  0  R o b e r t H . Bahmer, "Current Aspects of Records Administration: Scheduling the Disposition of Records," American Archivist 6.3 (July 1943): 169. ^lbid., 170. 67  69united States, A n Act to Provide for the Disposition of Certain Records of the United States Government. United States Statutes at Large V o l . 53 (1939). E m m e t t J. Leahy, "Reduction of Public Records," .29.  70  21 It was also s y m b o l i c o f the more active participation o f some archivists i n the acquisition o f active government records. T h i s g r o u p was perhaps best represented by P h i l i p B r o o k s . "The selection o f records for preservation and the consequent choice o f those to be disposed o f are", he said, "the obverse and converse o f the same p r o b l e m and cannot properly be separated."?' H i s o p i n i o n was that because there were n o w so many records, selection for d i s p o s i t i o n had to c o n t i n u e at all times.  As a  p r o p o n e n t o f the life cycle concept, he argued that ideally the archivist should first become i n v o l v e d i n the supervision o f records when they ceased to be o f use to the government officials.  72  Nonetheless, w i t h i n the bounds o f what an archivist c o u l d d o  a c c o r d i n g to this conflict, he recognized that archivists had a "valid interest" i n records before they came into their custody, because the "archivist l o o k s u p o n current records as future archives, and it is a legitimate part o f his function to make available counsel o n h o w they can best be handled."7}  Brooks's approach therefore reflected the g r o w i n g concern with active records acquisition. H e decided that since it was the administrators w h o created and used the records, it was also they w h o were best equipped to decide what was "susceptible o f b e c o m i n g a r c h i v a l material" ( i n the traditional life cycle sense o f w h a t was to be transferred to archival i n s t i t u t i o n s ) .  74  H e 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 i n the life history o f 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 o f o r i g i n and the archivist can be established, the easier will be the w o r k o f all. 75 Philip Coolidge Brooks, "The Selection of Records for Preservation," American Archivist 3.4 (Oct. 1940): 221. Ibid., 222. ™lbid., 223. Ibid., 224. Ibid., 226. 7  72  14  15  1  22 In matters p e r t a i n i n g to active p u b l i c records, B r o o k s appeared to e n v i s i o n a responsive advisory role for the archivist. In keeping w i t h the life cycle concept, he d i d not indicate that the archivist should become i n v o l v e d i n the supervision o f active records  so m u c h  as g u i d e  b u r e a u c r a t s i n the  right directions  of  records  administration.  T h e difficulty w i t h h a v i n g the archivist as only an adviser o n records matters was that this disregarded the issue o f w h o had wider authority to impose governmentw i d e standards for records classification, c o n t r o l , and d i s p o s i t i o n . M e r e l y to g i v e advice is not to exercise authority or c o n t r o l , and B r o o k s , being an advocate o f the life cycle, was l i m i t e d by the constraints o f a conceptualization w h i c h d i d not endorse archival jurisdiction over h o w records were to be created, processed, filed, and the like. A r c h i v i s t s , as opposed to those w h o were intended to administer active records, were restricted to matters in the active records sphere w h i c h directly bore on acquisition. T h e r e was no recognition o f the exact responsibilities and roles the archivist s h o u l d assume. A t this time, the records management profession still had to emerge as an identifiable g r o u p .  T h u s , the real issue o f h o w to exercise a u t h o r i t y o v e r the  management o f records was still being submerged i n the d i s c u s s i o n o v e r what advisory role, i f any, that the archivist should have in the acquisition o f active records, and opinions o n this varied. Some were u n w i l l i n g to accept any participation at all by archival institutions in the early stages o f the life c y c l e .  7 6  Some, in contrast, were  resentful o f any d i s p o s i t i o n decisions made by office managers w i t h o u t archival  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. / b  23 input.77 Others believed that the archivist had at lease some part i n the administration of active records, i f for reasons o f acquisition o n l y . 7  8  T h e question o f the archivist's participation in the active stages o f the life cycle was at least partly resolved by the realities o f the times. "The advent o f W o r l d W a r II", R o b e r t K r a u s k o p f claimed, r e d o u b l e d the need for effective r e c o r d management p r o g r a m s , as emergency agencies again began to proliferate and to create v o l u m i n o u s records, w i t h no o r g a n i z e d p l a n o f d i s p o s i t i o n and n o restraint u p o n quantity. In this difficult situation the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s abandoned the traditionally conservative and passive attitude o f [public] archival institutions and plunged into the field o f current administration. A s the central agency with major responsibility for the welfare o f G o v e r n m e n t records, it took the initiative in e n c o u r a g i n g and c o l l a b o r a t i n g w i t h o t h e r agencies i n the e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f r e c o r d s a d m i n i s t r a t i o n p r o g r a m s . 79  E v e n still, no one was exactly certain o f h o w such endeavours s h o u l d be w o r k e d w i t h i n the structure o f government. A r c h i v a l participation in the field o f active public records came about as a pragmatic response to a desperate situation. It was p r i m a r i l y in this context that the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s chose to act, and not because o f a ' ' R o b e r 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. 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 w i 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 will become the nations' experts who must be consulted in all questions of public record making and record keeping and likewise become the trustees who will 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 8  R o b e r t W . Krauskopf, "The Hoover Commissions and Federal Recordkeeping," American Archivist 21.4 (Oct. 1958): 372-373. 79  24 fundamental shift from l o n g - h e l d conceptualizations. S t r u g g l i n g to discover their proper role, archivists were responding to situational stimuli, not theoretical tenets.  T h e most significant example o f this trend can be seen in one o f the programs w h i c h emerged d u r i n g this period. In 1941, an acute need for space i n the Department o f the N a v y led to the creation o f the U n i t e d States' first records centre by Leahy and Robert B a h m e r .  8 0  These "depositories", said the A m e r i c a n A r c h i v i s t , "will serve as  intermediate steps i n the process o f transfer [to the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s ] , offering facilities f o r the segregation o f useless and ephemeral material f r o m  records  collections." I m p o r t a n d y , both current and noncurrent records w o u l d be managed according to "accepted archival p r i n c i p l e s . " ' These records centres' impact o n future 8  A m e r i c a n a r c h i v a l practices cannot be underestimated.  "It is fair to say", said the  archivist Herbert A n g e l in 1968, that a large p r o p o r t i o n o f the Federal, State, m u n i c i p a l , corporate, and commercial records centers i n this country e v o l v e d 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 o r were trained by others w h o d i d have such experience. 82  T h e importance o f o f these records centres was at the time noted. In various articles, emphasis was placed o n the p r o p e r administration o f p u b l i c records, whether they were i n archival institutions or still active. F o r example, the records administrator W i l l a r d F . M c C o r m i c k emphasized the necessity for c o n t r o l l i n g public records d u r i n g the process o f their creation, partly by "eliminating nonessential paper w o r k once it  H e r b e r t 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 A r c h i v i s t 31 [Jan. 1968]: 5-12) 47. 8U  Karl L . Trever, ed., "News Notes: A r c h i v i s t 5.3 (July 1942): 200-201. S^Angel, "Archival Janus," 48. 8 1  Naval Records Depositories,"  American  25 gets i n t o the w o r k f l o w . " "majority  of paperwork  In c o m p a r i s o n , L e a h y v o i c e d his concerns about the and records  [ w h i c h ] are b y - p r o d u c t s  o f inefficient  p e r f o r m a n c e o f essential functions o r unessential d u p l i c a t i o n o r o v e r l a p p i n g o f f u n c t i o n s . " ' B o t h o f these individuals saw that p u b l i c records were often the product 8  o f inefficient processes, unnecessary d u p l i c a t i o n , o r other p o o r records practices w h i c h were h a v i n g o b v i o u s consequences for management, b o t h i n the short and l o n g term.  D i s t i n c t i o n s , h o w e v e r , were maintained between those s h o u l d administer active p u b l i c records and those w h o should care for them in the archival institution. B r o o k s , for example, realized that the functions o f records manager and archivist were deeply interrelated, but as before maintained that archivists had responsibilities separate from those w h o dealt w i t h the administration o f active p u b l i c records. H e felt that archivists were mutual participants w i t h records managers o n l y at the p o i n t i n the life cycle where active records were acquired for the a r c h i v e s .  84  T h u s , current records  c o u l d best be served by a records officer with "adequate authority and staff", and not by the archivist. 5 8  A m o n g s t the writers o f his era, B r o o k s was one w h o c o m p r e h e n d e d  the  c o m p l e x i t y the relationships between the v a r i o u s stages o f the life o f a r e c o r d .  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 A r c h i v i s t 6.3 (July 1943): 158-159. 8 3  8 4  Brooks,  ^Ibid.  "The Archivist's Concern in Records Administration,"  162.  26 S u r p r i s i n g l y , he even stated that "the whole life history o f records is an integrated continuous entity", and that the functions o f those responsible for various stages o f the existence o f the records c o u l d not be v i e w e d or conceptualized i n i s o l a t i o n .  86  T h o u g h he may have conceived o f the essence o f what w o u l d later become Atherton's concept, he never made the intellectual connection w h i c h placed archivists and those other individuals w h o watched o v e r those records w i t h i n the appropriate theoretical perspective. It seems that B r o o k s c o u l d see the importance o f such ideas, but was either u n w i l l i n g o r unable to set out a practical scheme o n that basis.  It was therefore only in the acquisition aspect that archivists were d r a w n into earlier phases i n the management o f records, w h i c h 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 o v e r after the g o v e r n m e n t departments had finished w i t h them was i m p r a c t i c a l . N o n e t h e l e s s , because there was no o v e r a r c h i n g concept o f service, such as that envisioned by A t h e r t o n , the t w o e m e r g i n g groups o f records managers and archivists were unable to escape from a mind-set which saw them serving different needs, one o f office efficiency, the other o f posterity. T h e outcome was the gradual separation o f records managers from archivists. B y 1941, the Society o f A m e r i c a n A r c h i v i s t s ( S A A ) h a d already officially recognized records management as a "professional activity o f g o v e r n m e n t archivists" w h e n it renamed its C o m m i t t e e o n the R e d u c t i o n o f A r c h i v a l M a t e r i a l , chaired by Leahy, the C o m m i t t e e o f R e c o r d A d m i n i s t r a t i o n . ? D u r i n g the 8  war, the f o r m u l a t i o n by the A m e r i c a n National A r c h i v e s o f a records administration p r o g r a m , i n c l u d i n g records centres, created the impetus necessary for the eventual  % Ibid., 6  164.  F r a n k B . Evans, American Archivist 8 7  " A r c h i v i s t s and Records Managers: 30.1 (Jan. 1967): 45.  V a r i a t i o n s on a T h e m e ,  27 emergence of the records management profession.  88  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. 9 8  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  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 8  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. 8 9  2 8 it had set in m o t i o n . " 9 ° S o o n , records management w o u l d drift beyond the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s ' paternal s u p e r v i s i o n . A n y o p p o r t u n i t i e s for a unified approach to the administration o f records w o u l d soon disappear.  I n fact, a n e w emphasis o n defining a relationship between the t w o g r o u p s soon emerged. W i t h official r e c o g n i t i o n o f records management in 1941, it became necessary to iterate the archivist's responsibilities in the administration o f active public records. S o l o n J . B u c k was one person w h o b r o u g h t the issue to the fore. B u c k , w h o was N a t i o n a l A r c h i v i s t , was a well k n o w n supporter o f initiatives to i m p r o v e federal g o v e r n m e n t management, a n d often e n d e a v o u r e d to f o r w a r d his cause.9  1  He  dismissed those w h o equated '"archives'" w i t h '"historical manuscripts'", or w h o thought that "archives are preserved solely for use by historians as source materials." In his v i e w , "archival documents may be o l d or very recent, current or n o n c u r r e n t from the point o f v i e w o f administration, active or inactive f r o m the p o i n t o f v i e w o f use . . . . " T h u s , he contended that it was only l o g i c a l that the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s participate not only i n d e v e l o p i n g procedures for the disposal o f records but also by starting to l o o k at "birth c o n t r o l in record m a k i n g . " 9  2  B u c k was not the only one to articulate this v i e w . B r o o k s noted in 1942 that records management and archives "cannot help affecting each other, and they can w o r k together to mutual advantage." Because o f this, he argued that it was important to "emphasize the closeness o f the t w o functions and the need for cooperation."93 In this c o m m e n t , B r o o k s may have inadvertently discovered the root o f the matter. T h e  9 McCoy, u  9 1  Ibid.,  National  Archives.  162.  195.  9 S o l o n 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 Brooks, "The Archivist's Concern in Records Administration," 161 and 163. 2  3  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. T h e 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  94  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 l u m i n a t e d the need for the regulated c o n t r o l , classification, and disposition o f all g o v e r n m e n t records. O n the other h a n d , it accelerated and magnified the professional differences o f those w h o administered active records and those w h o managed inactive ones. M o s t o f all, it left questions w h i c h had not been satisfactorily answered: c o u l d archivists be happy w i t h p a r t i c i p a t i n g in the management o f active records o n l y insofar as it affected their institutions' a c q u i s i t i o n strategy?  S h o u l d archivists be g i v i n g advice b e v o n d the  bounds o f this limited realm? M o s t importantly, as B r o o k s had hinted at, what was the nature o f the records p r o g r a m that everyone was attempting to administer? In other words, h o w c o u l d archivists only restrict their activities to the inactive stages o f the life cycle c o n c e p t w h e n there were i n d i c a t i o n s that w h a t was needed was a m o r e comprehensive approach to the administration o f records?  It is clear that the national archival institutions o f b o t h Canada and the U n i t e d States had therefore undergone significant changes. T h e future development o f both institutions w o u l d , to a large degree, depend o n h o w they had been affected by the demands and disruptions o f W o r l d W a r II. T h e N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s o f the U n i t e d States, w h i c h w o u l d emerge from the war with new responsibilities, had fostered the g r o w t h o f what w o u l d be in future years an identifiable, strong, and a u t o n o m o u s profession o f records managers. encouraging.  T h o u g h strained by the war, its prospects were  O n the other h a n d , the demands o f w a r had left Canada's P u b l i c  A r c h i v e s i n a relatively weaker p o s i t i o n , and thus at first it w o u l d a p p r o a c h its problems from what seemed to be a weaker vantage point.  T h e next chapter w i l l examine h o w the situations o f both institutions w o u l d affect h o w each one w o u l d identify their roles they renewed their efforts to tame the "paper tiger." A s shall be seen, a c o m b i n a t i o n o f committees, task forces, legislative initiatives, executive orders, and institutional restructuring w o u l d all have an effect o n  31 the approaches Canada's and the United States' records professions w o u l d t a k e in the administration o f public records.  32 CHAPTER TWO: T h e Post W a r R e l a t i o n s h i p B e t w e e n N o r t h A m e r i c a n R e c o r d s Managers and A r c h i v i s t s  T h e previous chapter explored h o w unprecedented records proliferation had led to the development o f a practical relationship between those w h o oversaw active records and those w h o were responsible for inactive ones.  T h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p was  neither a comfortable one, nor was it completely understood or accepted. In fact, after the Second W o r l d W a r , it became clear that the endeavours o f various public archival institutions to cope w i t h the monumental amounts o f records w o u l d not be easv, and w o u l d be characterized by debate over what the respective roles o f those w h o dealt w i t h the records at different stages o f the records' existence should be.  T h e issue n o w to be determined was w h o should perform w h i c h functions at different life cycle phases o f the records' existence. Some archivists were c o n v i n c e d that their institutions had no business dealing w i t h 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 v a r y i n g degrees) that it was only natural for archivists to become i n v o l v e d w i t h 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, w h i c h w o u l d 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. A f t e r the war, the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s was i n dire need o f g o v e r n m e n t support in this area. W i t h o u t semi-active records storage facilities, the A r c h i v e s was unable to make any further advances in g o v e r n m e n t records administration.9  6  T h i s 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 n e w D o m i n i o n A r c h i v i s t , W . K a y e L a m b , w h o shortly after assuming his a p p o i n t m e n t i n 1949, was consulted by the R o y a l C o m m i s s i o n o n N a t i o n a l D e v e l o p m e n t in the A r t s , Letters and Sciences (the Massey C o m m i s s i o n ) . 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 P u b l i c A r c h i v e s staff, he came to believe that the main obstacle for the A r c h i v e s was the shortage o f adequate semi-active records storage space.97 H e therefore p r o p o s e d to the C o m m i s s i o n "the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f a large half-way house for departmental files, controlled and staffed by the Public Archives .... "9  8  I n its investigation o f p u b l i c records, the Massey C o m m i s s i o n contended that the w o r k o f the 1912 R o y a l C o m m i s s i o n had been "almost i f not altogether i n vain." T h o u g h it a c k n o w l e d g e d that the O r d e r i n C o u n c i l o f 1945 had been a m o v e in the right direction for dealing w i t h the b a c k l o g o f active records, it charged that thirty-six years after the blunt comments o f the R o y a l C o m m i s s i o n o n the P u b l i c R e c o r d s , fifty-two years after it was decided to maintain o u r p u b l i c records i n one central place under the custody o f the D o m i n i o n A r c h i v i s t , and seventy-eight years after P a r l i a m e n t first n o t e d "the unsatisfactory state o f the A r c h i v e s " , the truth about Canada's p u b l i c records system must still be a cause o f embarrassment to all Canadians.99  C r i t i c a l o f the indefinite retention o f records by g o v e r n m e n t departments and o f the inadequate f u n d i n g for the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s , the report contended that p u b l i c records difficulties could not be addressed until the Archives had the space and staff it required to handle the v o l u m e o f r e c o r d s .  100  T h e h i s t o r i a n C . P . Stacey advocated a different approach. I n a study for the R o y a l C o m m i s s i o n , he argued that the "crux o f the p r o b l e m " was that there was no 9 Atherton, 7  "Public Archives Records Centre,"  53.  A s quoted in Atherton, "Public Archives Records Centre," Stacey, "Canadian Archives," 244. Emphasis added.  9 8  54.  Also quoted in  99canada, Report of the Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts. Letters and Sciences: 1949 - 1951 (Ottawa: Edmond Cloulier, 1951) 113. lbid., 113-114. l00  34 mechanism for the systematic transfer o f records to the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s . '  Rather  1 0  than create a p u b l i c records office separate from the A r c h i v e s to achieve this, however, he felt it was o n l y necessary to strengthen the existing capabilities o f the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s . C i t i n g the 1912 R o y a l C o m m i s s i o n , he stated that a sound p u b l i c records policy ... must d o t w o difficult things: it must ensure that records o f n o permanent value are n o t preserved after their temporary usefulness is past; and (even more important) it must ensure that records w h i c h d o possess permanent value are preserved a n d are kept available f o r governmental purposes and for the use o f h i s t o r i a n s . 102  A s a h i s t o r i a n , Stacey naturally seized o n the question o f a c q u i s i t i o n 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. W h a t was needed, he said, was "a plan w h i c h w i l l p r o v i d e for and enforce the constant and systematic screening o f the obsolete records o f government." 3 Unfortunately, he did i o  not give details o f the plan, only o f its objectives.  In the end, the Massey C o m m i s s i o n recommended that the P u b l i c R e c o r d s C o m m i t t e e be strengthened to support traditional archival functions, and that it have o v e r a l l c o n t r o l o f g o v e r n m e n t 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 P u b l i c A r c h i v e s . '  0 4  A s to w h o was to make d i s p o s i t i o n  decisions regarding the records, A t h e r t o n claimed that the C o m m i s s i o n saw only a m i n o r role for archivists, since it was suggested that  Stacey, "Canadian Archives," Ibid., 239. 1bid., 248.  1 0  234.  l02  103  C a n a d a , Royal Commission nn National Developmeni in the A n s . Letters and Sciences. 337-340. 104  35 ... decisions o n the retention o r disposal o f p u b l i c records s h o u l d be made while the records were still i n the departments [by a qualified records officer], w i t h records o f historical value [as a c c o r d i n g to the parameters set by the P u b l i c Records Committee] b e i n g transferred to the archives. T h i s was very similar to B r i t i s h practice; initiative for transfer lay with the departments, not the Archives. s 10  T h e M a s s e y C o m m i s s i o n therefore d i d n o t advocate the A m e r i c a n practice o f archivists directly m a k i n g decisions regarding records d i s p o s i t i o n while the records were i n records centres, but rather supported a system where such decisions w o u l d be left to the departments.  106  In contrast, K a y e L a m b supported the A m e r i c a n m o d e l . H e claimed that a r c h i v i s t s were better a d m i n i s t r a t o r s o f records centres  than  departmental  bureaucrats, w h o i n the 1930's had failed to r u n a records centre w h i c h was costeffective and reliable. B y 1950, he managed to c o n v i n c e the Treasury B o a r d o f this, and i n 1956, a records centre, under the c o n t r o l o f the D o m i n i o n A r c h i v i s t , was opened at T u n n e y ' s Pasture i n O t t a w a . T h i s w o u l d be the first o f many records centres which w o u l d later be established across the c o u n t r y .  107  F o r Canadian p u b l i c records a d m i n i s t r a t i o n , this was a banner event. T h e departments w o u l d use the records centres, c o n t r o l l e d by the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s , for semi-active storage, reference, and disposition. K a y e Lamb's insistence that the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s take an active part i n the r u n n i n g o f the records centres created the impetus necessary to assume this function from the departments. What was still required was some clearer definition o f the role o f the archivist in b o t h scheduling and records  Atherton, "Public Archives Records Centre," 55. "^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. Atherton, "Public Archives Records Centre," 55-57. 1U3  1  lu7  3 6 creation. T h i s was soon to come. In 1959, the R o y a l C o m m i s s i o n o n G o v e r n m e n t Organization  (the  Glassco Commission) acknowledged  the  importance  of  participation o f b o t h archivists and records managers, but perceived their roles to be separate as according to the phases in the life cycle: T h e disposal and custody o f p u b l i c records should be securely founded o n clearly formulated p r o g r a m s for records s c h e d u l i n g and records disposal. Records s c h e d u l i n g , w h i c h provides for the flow o f records f r o m o r i g i n to final d i s p o s i t i o n , is a p r o p e r f u n c t i o n o f departmental management; appraisal o f records is a task for the archivist. B e t w e e n these separate but closely related functions, there is the intermediate task o f records s t o r a g e . 108  T h o u g h records management and archives were to remain as t w o solitudes, G l a s s c o r e c o g n i z e d that the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s had to be able to g i v e advice o n p u b l i c records policies, as set by the Treasury B o a r d . T h e "process o f final disposal", the report said, was "essentially an archival and not a managerial responsibility, and has to be effectual at all p o i n t s i n the process." departmental  T h i s i n c l u d e d the right o f the A r c h i v e s to scrutinize  schedules, w i t h the r i g h t o f final d e c i s i o n s r e g a r d i n g  records  disposition.'°9  F o l l o w i n g the Glassco C o m m i s s i o n , Cabinet passed the P u b l i c Records O r d e r o f 1966, w h i c h p r o v i d e d the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s w i t h new responsibilities and enhanced authority.  G o v e r n m e n t departments and agencies  (in t h e o r y , i f not  always  successfully i n practice,) had to set and implement records retention and d i s p o s i t i o n schedules a p p r o v e d by the D o m i n i o n A r c h i v i s t , and they had to have p e r m i s s i o n o f the A r c h i v i s t to destroy r e c o r d s . '  10  E v e r y department also had to appoint a "records  c o o r d i n a t o r " w i t h a t h o r o u g h k n o w l e d g e o f records m a n a g e m e n t . '  A s w e l l , the  Canada, 1959 Roval Commission on Government Organization: of the Public Service, vol. 1, (Ottawa: Roger Duhamel, 1962) 562. Ibid., 571.  Management  11  108  l09  C a n a d a , Public Records Order Ibid., s. 8(l)(a).  110  ul  P.C. 1966 - 1749,  s. 8(1 )(b) and (c).  37 P u b l i c Records Committee was replaced with an A d v i s o r y C o u n c i l o n P u b l i c Records, w h i c h , as its name implies, had the ability to "consider and make recommendations to the D o m i n i o n A r c h i v i s t concerning all matters respecting p u b l i c records referred to it by any member o f the C o u n c i l or the Treasury B o a r d . "  1 1 2  B u t this d i d n o t mean there was a r e v o l u t i o n a r y shift i n attitudes i n the administration o f records. T h e main thrust o f the O r d e r was to i m p r o v e the economy a n d efficiency o f g o v e r n m e n t r e c o r d s - k e e p i n g practices i n o r d e r t o safeguard i m p o r t a n t p u b l i c records from accidental destruction, for future reference, and from deterioration o r destructive agents. M i c r o f i l m i n g i n particular was thought to be a m e t h o d by w h i c h this concept m i g h t be advanced.' '3  A d d i t i o n a l l y , the Treasury-  B o a r d c a t e g o r i c a l l y retained its right to set records management procedures f o r the p u b l i c s e r v i c e . ' 1  4  policies and  T h i s meant that a l t h o u g h the D o m i n i o n  A r c h i v i s t had received some authority over records disposition, it was granted only at the pleasure o f the Treasury B o a r d , and could at any time be removed by it.  N o n e t h e l e s s , a l t h o u g h the D o m i n i o n A r c h i v i s t d i d n o t have the w i d e r authority w h i c h w o u l d eventually be granted by the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s A c t o f 1987, the O r d e r d i d grant some c o n t r o l o v e r d i s p o s i t i o n to the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s . T h e D o m i n i o n A r c h i v i s t n o w assumed an administrative role w h i c h , for the first time, had been enshrined i n the administrative l a w o f the Canadian g o v e r n m e n t .  N o w , the  P u b l i c A r c h i v e s had a hand not only in acquiring records for preservation, but also in determining the disposition o f the active records o f government. T h e overall c o n t r o l o f p u b l i c records administration had been placed i n the hands o f the A r c h i v i s t ; his scope o f responsibilities and activities had expanded to the field o f active records.  Ibid., Ibid., Ibid.,  n2  u3  U4  s. 9(5). s. 4(c)(i),(ii),(iii), and (iv). s. 3 .  3 8 A l m o s t one century after the A r c h i v e s had been established, some r e c o g n i t i o n o f a need for a unified approach amongst all records administrators had come to Canada. T h e U n i t e d States also experienced change after W o r l d W a r II. A s in Canada, the end o f this conflict resulted i n renewed initiatives to handle the p u b l i c records plethora. ' 11  B u c k , w h o as the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v i s t was a w e l l - k n o w n advocate o f  records management,  soon became alarmed at the g o v e r n m e n t ' s rapid records  generation practices. T h i s was o f special concern to h i m because he realized that the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s 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 p r o b l e m by fighting for additional records centres, eventually he had to accept the political c o m p r o m i s e o f less storage space in order to retain centralized control over his expanding i n s t i t u t i o n .  116  Despite this p r o b l e m , the T r u m a n A d m i n i s t r a t i o n had been impressed by the necessity for the effective a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f active p u b l i c records, and in 1 946 the President signed E x e c u t i v e O r d e r 9 7 8 4 .  T h i s order aimed at the "more efficient  internal management o f the G o v e r n m e n t " by e n s u r i n g that p u b l i c records were "utilized to m a x i m u m advantage and disposed o f e x p e d i t i o u s l y w h e n no l o n g e r needed." ? W h i l e it w o u l d only be a stop-gap measure for a serious p r o b l e m , "it was 11  the m o s t effective t h i n g done to encourage federal records management  until  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 5  1 1 6  McCoy,  National Archives.  194-195.  ^ U n i t e d States, Truman Executive Order No. 9784: Providing for the More Efficient Use and for the Transfer and Other Disposition of Government R e c o r d s . United States Code Congressional Service. 79th Congress, 2nd Session (1946). 1  3 9 a d d i t i o n a l steps were taken d u r i n g the 1950's."  118  M o s t s i g n i f i c a n t l y , records  administration problems were being recognized at the highest levels o f government. I n a manner similar to Canada's O r d e r i n C o u n c i l P . C . 617s. E x e c u t i v e O r d e r 9784 assigned responsibility for the management and disposition o f active records to the heads o f the departments. U n l i k e P . C . 617s. it placed the most important decisions for the s u p e r v i s i o n and d i s p o s i t i o n o f p u b l i c records not w i t h a N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s C o u n c i l o r the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v i s t , but w i t h someone w h o by nature o f his appointment had little interest i n the cultural, historical, o r administrative needs o f the records: the D i r e c t o r o f Bureau o f Budget. T h i s was the b e g i n n i n g o f a trend in the U n i t e d States where the p r o p e r administration o f active records was equated w i t h e c o n o m i c efficiency, where the main objective was to l i m i t records p r o d u c t i o n and p r o m o t e the expeditious destruction o f valueless records. T h e A m e r i c a n tradition o f the strong d i v i s i o n between those w h o were to economize the administration o f active records and those w h o were intended to be responsible for the historical and cultural aspects o f inactive records was entrenched. '9 W h i l e the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s C o u n c i l 1  influenced the laws and regulations g o v e r n i n g the management o f active records, it had n o authority to manage the process and be accountable for it.  Subsequent events w o u l d reinforce these deepening divisions. Shortly after T r u m a n issued his executive order, a c o m m i s s i o n was established to examine g o v e r n m e n t operations as a w h o l e . 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 i m i t i n g 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 w h o was responsible for p u b l i c records management, and what obligations were to be placed with the staff o f  M c C o y , National Archives. 196. ^Krauskopf, "Hoover Commissions,"  l l 8  1  373.  40 the departments and agencies. records administration i s s u e .  In A p r i l , 1948, he therefore set out to explore the  120  L e a h y was p r e o c c u p i e d w i t h what he perceived as the hazards o f the "mass p r o d u c t i o n o f records."  H e therefore stressed that management specialists were  required to achieve economic efficiency: T h e t r a d i t i o n a l s o l u t i o n o f records d e p o s i t o r i e s , w h e t h e r p u b l i c a r c h i v e s , business and i n s t i t u t i o n a l records centers, o r h i s t o r i c a l societies, no l o n g e r in themselves suffice. T h e financial means and physical capacity o f such depositories are hopelessly inadequate as a single device to cope w i t h the v o l u m e o f m o d e r n records. T h e solution o f m o d e r n problems in records management must therefore be in and by the operating agencies o f management. 121  T h i s is not to say that Leahy d i d not see a place for archivists in the administration o f active records, for he d i d .  1 2 2  H o w e v e r , while A t h e r t o n w o u l d advocate the competent  s u p e r v i s i o n o f g o v e r n m e n t records as a service to users, L e a h y emphasized  the  "economical management o f modern r e c o r d s . " ' It was this orientation w h i c h is seen 12  in his report for the H o o v e r C o m m i s s i o n .  O n a superficial level, the Leahy R e p o r t contained recommendations similar to those o f the C a n a d i a n 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  a d m i n i s t r a t i o n and care o f records, as well as for i m p r o v e d records' p r o p e r d i s p o s i t i o n .  mechanisms for the  T h e r e was, h o w e v e r , one o u t s t a n d i n g  difference.  Halliday observed that the Canadian  Krauskopf, "Hoover Commissions," 374-377, gives an excellent summary of the events leading up 10 the First Hoover Commission. E m m e t t J. Leahy, "Modern Records Management," American Archivist 12.3 (July 1949): 232. 1 2U  1 2 1  122p 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. Ibid., 234. o r  l23  41 ... R o y a l C o m m i s s i o n contemplated enlargement o f the A r c h i v e s to i n c l u d e p u b l i c records a d m i n i s t r a t i o n , whilst the (Leahy) T a s k F o r c e r e c o m m e n d e d the f o r m a t i o n o f a records a d m i n i s t r a t i o n p r o g r a m o f w h i c h the A r c h i v e s w o u l d be a p a r t . 124  In fact, the T a s k Force's most significant suggestion was that a Federal R e c o r d s A d m i n i s t r a t i o n , w h i c h included the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s , should be created to p r o v i d e a centralized and streamlined structure for the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f r e c o r d s . ' 5 2  d e c i s i o n was not made for theoretical reasons.  This  Instead, it was t h o u g h t that better  efficiency c o u l d be achieved by a management b o d y w h i c h dealt w i t h the general administrative concerns o f the bulk o f p u b l i c records. T h e N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s , w h i c h was supposedly o n l y concerned w i t h particular historical functions, was therefore not suited for this f u n c t i o n . '  2 6  A r c h i v i s t s were seen as an entity apart f r o m active p u b l i c  records, existing in a solitude only suitable for non-active, historical material.  T h e L e a h y R e p o r t , w h i c h had repercussions  for b o t h federal  records  management and p u b l i c archival institutions, was not w i t h o u t its detractors.  Because  Halliday, "Recent Developments in Control and Management," 104. ^ 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 4 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. 12  42 it concentrated o n money-saving contingencies rather than o n specific issues related to the c o n t r o l o f records creation, content, classification, and quality, it received heavy c r i t i c i s m . ' ? Its emphasis o n the managerial rather than archival p o i n t o f view caused 2  c o n c e r n w i t h the staff o f the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s , many o f w h o m w a n t e d their i n s t i t u t i o n to assume a w i d e r v a r i e t y o f r e c o r d s m a n a g e m e n t  functions.  1 2 8  Nonetheless, f o l l o w i n g the lead p r o v i d e d for it by the L e a h y R e p o r t , the H o o v e r C o m m i s s i o n stressed the formidable costs o f records a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . 9  T h e r e was  1 2  neither meaningful discussion o f the value o f the i n f o r m a t i o n i n the records, n o r o f the h i s t o r i c a l o r legal i m p l i c a t i o n s o f their management.  Instead, the H o o v e r  C o m m i s s i o n R e p o r t based its discussions o n the "housekeeping" aspect o f managing records, r e c o m m e n d i n g that b o t h archives and records management functions be placed i n a single new agency responsible for internal management services. 3° 1  F o l l o w i n g the passage o f the Federal Property and A d m i n i s t r a t i v e A c t o f 1949, the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s ceased to exist as an independent agency. Instead, it became the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s and R e c o r d s Service ( N A R S ) , a branch o f the G e n e r a l Services A d m i n i s t r a t i o n ( G S A ) . N A R S ' s responsibilities were defined i n the Federal R e c o r d s A c t o f 19so. w h i c h , superseding the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s A c t o f 1934, was the first federal statute to define records management comprehensively. Setting out records  '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 A r c h i v i s t 12.3 (July 1949): 287. Krauskopf, "Hoover Commissions," 382. V l  128  l29Herberi Hoover, et al., Hoover Commission Report on the Organization of the Executive Branch of Government (Toronto: M c G r a w - H i l l , n.d.) 78-80. Ibid., 80. no  43 management  r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s for b o t h the G e n e r a l Services A d m i n i s t r a t o r and  department or agency heads, 3 the new act 1  1  c h a r g e d the A d m i n i s t r a t o r w i t h r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r i m p r o v i n g standards, procedures, and techniques w i t h respect to the creation o f records; the o r g a n i z a t i o n , maintenance, and use o f current records; and the d i s p o s i t i o n o f r e c o r d s w h e n n o l o n g e r needed f o r c u r r e n t operations. H e was also specifically authorized to establish and operate records centers. ? 1  2  It is indeed ironic that the act w h i c h effectively ended the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s ' ability to function a u t o n o m o u s l y was also the one w h i c h appeared to be most progressive in terms o f records administration. F o r the first time, records management was officially recognized in government legislation.  B o t h records managerial and a r c h i v a l  responsibilities were officially placed under one i n d i v i d u a l , w h o c o u l d p r o v i d e for the effective access and control o f information.  T h e p r o b l e m was that these responsibilities were not l o d g e d with the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v i s t . Instead, they were g i v e n to the A d m i n i s t r a t o r o f the G S A , whose concerns for e c o n o m y and efficiency w o u l d mean that the objective o f m a n a g i n g records to ensure their use as tools o f p u b l i c accountability and cultural c o n t i n u i t y w o u l d take a back seat. I n the event, the l i n k between current and semi-active management and archival o r 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 t w o solitudes cooperate.  A l t h o u g h archival responsibilities w o u l d be designated by the A d m i n i s t r a t o r to the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v i s t , there was always the chance that the A d m i n i s t r a t o r , by the nature o f his mandate, c o u l d have very different views from the A r c h i v i s t about h o w  U n i t e d States, Federal Records Act of 1950. United States Statutes at Large Vol. 64 (1950-1951) s. 505 and s. 506. 1 3  H e r b e r t E . Angel, Commission Report," 1 3 2  "Federal Records Management Since the Hoover American Archivist 16.1 (Jan. 1953): 14.  44 p u b l i c records should be managed. 3 3 T h i s was the very concern w h i c h was expressed 1  by O l i v e r H o l m e s . H e a c k n o w l e d g e d that at some l e v e l , every professional does become j u n i o r to a non-professional superior. W h a t was important, he argued, was that archivists had to be granted the authority necessary to carry out their d u t i e s . ' 3 4 T h u s , he advocated allocating records management responsibilities to the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v i s t , for he felt that this i n d i v i d u a l was best e q u i p p e d to make decisions regarding records. T h i s was because the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v i s t was the one w i t h "closer contacts w i t h b o t h programs" and thus "more likely to see them i n perspective." 35 1  S p e a k i n g o f the relationship between records management and archives, H o l m e s wrote: There can be no half and half business about this. Records management must be i n c l u d e d i n this unified p r o g r a m . It has made progress only as it was led by a professional g r o u p and dominated by the professional spirit. R e c o r d s management i n the agencies and i n the intermediate records centers must be coordinated and harmonized w i t h the w o r k in the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s — must be a professionally c o n t r o l l e d activity t h r o u g h o u t the life history o f the r e c o r d s . 3 1  6  H o l m e s u n d e r s t o o d that the loss o f an independent a p p r o a c h to a d m i n i s t e r i n g records w o u l d be detrimental, for it c o u l d lead to decisions being made by those w h o had little comprehension o f the nature and values o f records.  O t h e r people were more supportive o f the changes. Wayne G r o v e r , the U n i t e d States' new N a t i o n a l A r c h i v i s t , believed that the close relationship w h i c h had e v o l v e d between archives and active records administration d u r i n g the war ran contrary to the traditional definitions of the archival role as portrayed in the life cycle m o d e l . 3 ? A t an 1  133  //?id.  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. /fe/'d., 351. ^ lbid. 1 3 4  135  6  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 l 3 7  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."  140  Grover believed that the archivist  had to have an academic background, especially in history and the social sciences. O n 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\v yne C. Grover, "Recent Developments in Federal Archival Activities," American Archivist 14.1 (Jan. 1951): 11. a  9see Wayne C. Grover, "Archives: Society and Profession," American Archivist 18.1 (Jan. 1955): 5, and Grover, "Recent Developments in Federal Archival Activities," 8. Grover, "Recent Developments in Federal Archival Activities," 7. 13  l4u  46 the "management team," and thus a management o u t l o o k and management skills were essential for the "records management specialist." ' 14  W h i l e this debate was b e i n g c o n d u c t e d , the m u l t i p l i c a t i o n o f records continued. W i t h the outbreak o f the K o r e a n W a r i n 1950, bureaucracy, and records along w i t h it, was b u r g e o n i n g once a g a i n . '  4 2  I n 1953, Congress therefore f o r m e d a  Second H o o v e r C o m m i s s i o n , w h i c h had the p o w e r o f a s k i n g not o n l y "how well a governmental function was being performed, but whether it should be p e r f o r m e d . " ' 3 4  R e g a r d i n g p u b l i c records, the C o m m i s s i o n was to "measure the costs and dimensions o f p a p e r w o r k activity in general, to identify the areas o f potential savings, and to suggest o r g a n i z a t i o n a l changes as may be necessary management and r e m o v e red t a p e . " '  44  to i m p r o v e  paperwork  S i g n i f i c a n t l y , the area o f study w o u l d be  paperwork and not records m a n a g e m e n t , because the term " p a p e r w o r k "  was  considered to embrace a broader spectrum than the records storage and disposal themes o f "records management."' ' 4  T h e subsequent Task F o r c e o n P a p e r w o r k M a n a g e m e n t was chaired once again by L e a h y . '  4 6  A s in the past, Leahy's concern w i t h the vast costs o f public records  creation was evident. "Paperwork in the G o v e r n m e n t " , Leahy's report said, "is b i g  1  4  1  Ibid.,  8.  Krauskopf, "Hoover Commissions," 386-388. ^ ^Ibid., 388. Emphasis was in the text. 142  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 4  ^ S e e 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. ^ 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. 14  1 4  47  business . . . . N o wforthe first time taxpayers have a measure of the billions spent on paperwork and obtainable savings."' ? Thus, it was recommended that a Paperwork 4  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 b o d y .  148  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 o n e . ' 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  T a s k Force on Paperwork Management, Report -- Part 1. 49. Ibid., 49-51. Krauskopf, "Hoover Commissions," 392-393.  1 4 7  l48  149  1bid.  150  1  5  1  Ibid.,  399.  48 developed since 1949 have become intermediate archival repositories as well as economical storage centers. T h e archival function o f appraisal o f records for disposal o r permanent preservation is inseparable f r o m them and can o n l y be performed by professional a r c h i v i s t s . 5 1  2  Fortunately for N A R S , successive G S A A d m i n i s t r a t o r s recognized the importance o f a joint p r o g r a m o f records management and archives and d i d not tie them to N A R S objectives o f managerial efficiency. 5' 1  In fact, N A R S became "concerned w i t h every aspect o f the management o f records f r o m their creation, size, and design t h r o u g h their use and traffic patterns to their storage and their destruction or p r e s e r v a t i o n . " ' ' 4  W h i l e the t w o H o o v e r  C o m m i s s i o n s may have reinforced the r i g i d i t y o f the "two solitudes" relationship between records managers and archivists in the U n i t e d States, i n d i v i d u a l s i n v o l v e d with p u b l i c records n o w became aware that they c o u l d not w o r k i n isolation f r o m each other.  O t h e r s were not so sure, because they saw a more definitive d i v i s i o n between records management and archives w i t h i n an organization. R o b e r t B a h m e r implied that as records management expanded its role to include not o n l y p u b l i c records d i s p o s i t i o n , but also records creation and records maintenance, the archivist was no l o n g e r needed to d o these things. T o B a h m e r , the archivist was p r i m a r i l y concerned w i t h inactive p u b l i c 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 B a h m e r did not entirely dismiss the valuable contributions that archivists could make to records management, he did add, rather petulandy, that "I am speaking only o f what  " 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. ^Ibid., 281. i 2  l5  1 5 4  McCoy,  National Archives.  281.  4 9 should be expected o f the professional archivist w h o is administering the non-current files o f the G o v e r n m e n t . " ' 5 5  S u c h e x c l u s i v e sentiments, occasionally demonstrated by b o t h sides, were perceived by some to be o r i g i n o f the p r o b l e m . In his presidential address to the the S A A in 1955, M o r r i s R a d o f f attempted to reassure those w h o had m i s g i v i n g s about a l l o w i n g these new records managers to j o i n the association.  In fact, since the  A s s o c i a t i o n o f R e c o r d s E x e c u t i v e s and A d m i n i s t r a t o r s and the A m e r i c a n R e c o r d s M a n a g e m e n t A s s o c i a t i o n ( A R M A ) were b o t h being organized that same year, R a d o f f was i n all l i k e l i h o o d r e s p o n d i n g to these events by attempting to obtain a point o f consensus between archivists and records managers.'5  6  "When we w o r k e d together",  he said, "we did a fair job by respecting each other; when we w o r k e d separately we d i d E v e n w o r k i n g together, h o w e v e r , is a makeshift a r r a n g e m e n t . " 5 7  badly.  What  1  archives and records management needed, therefore, was a p o i n t o f contact between them. A g r e e i n g w i t h G r o v e r that it was "folly" for archivists and records managers to part company, R a d o f f gave the most succinct interpretation o f the matter when he said "We are s e e k i n g ... the elusive s o m e t h i n g w h i c h does, o r o u g h t to, b i n d us together." 5 1  8  A p p r o p r i a t e l y , he f o u n d  that the s o l u t i o n lay w i t h  what  was  being  administered: the records themselves. Because both archival institutions and records management were dealing w i t h 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 t h i n k i n g too m u c h o f the record as a l i v i n g organism r e q u i r i n g special  Robert H. Bahmer, "The National Archives After 20 Years," American Archivist 18.3 (July 1955): 202. 56£ "Archivists and Records Managers: Variations on a Theme," 54. Radoff, "What Should Bind Us Together," 7. 155  1  v a n S )  157  %Ibid.,  l5  3.  5 0 care at various stages o f its life history, when in fact it is inanimate and o f the same texture and form from beginning to end? '9 1  R a d o f f contended that since no distinction should be made between an organization's "current" records and its "archival" ones, the same c o u l d be argued for records management and archives. H e asked, rhetorically, " W h y c o u l d not the same (person) be b o t h archivist and records manager?"  160  T h e conclusion was unmistakable:  L e t us recognize as truth that a record b e i n g made is the same record which a few years later may find its way into our sanctum sanctorum, that i n its course f r o m 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 i n d i v i d u a l w h o determined h o w the records were to be administered, but rather the other way around: the records w o u l d shape the role that the professional w o u l d play. "We do not share common interests" b u t " . . . have only one interest; namely the guardianship o f records."  161  Fate w o u l d not support R a d o f f s v i s i o n o f the existence o f a unified records profession. T h i s is because T h e o d o r e Schellenberg, arguably the most influential o f N o r t h A m e r i c a n archival scholars, presented a very different conceptualization. L i k e most o f 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 A r c h i v e s : Principles and Techniques, he claimed that P u b l i c records are the grist o f the archivist's m i l l . T h e quality o f this grist is determined by the way records are p r o d u c e d and maintained lbid., /bid.  l59  5.  l60  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.  51 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. 5 The goal of such endeavours was l6  to determine the public records' "ultimate usefulness to the people and the government.  1,164  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." 5 16  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  ^ 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. 1 bid., 28. 1  165  5 2 records c o u l d be fulfilled by guaranteeing the records, and the i n f o r m a t i o n in them, w o u l d be readily accessible when requested.  W h i l e Schellenberg may have believed i n the importance o f service w i t h i n an o r g a n i z a t i o n , he d i d not recognize that it unified records managerial goals w i t h archival objectives. Instead, Schellenberg perceived records management to exist apart f r o m a r c h i v e s , w i t h its a i m b e i n g "to make records serve the needs o f government officials and to dispose o f them after those needs have been served, in the most effective and economical manner p o s s i b l e . " '  66  H e felt that because records  managers had close affiliations w i t h records creating bodies, they were the ones best able to judge the p r i m a r y value o f records, w h i c h was the value o f the records to the o r i g i n a t i n g o r creating agency. O n the other hand, while he may have had a vision o f participation by the archivist in the administration o f active public records, he believed this was only to ensure that the material w h i c h , in his view, w o u l d become archival (in the life cycle sense) w o u l d be o f better quality than w o u l d have existed had the archivist merely waited passively for the records to be passed to h i m . T h e reason for this was because the archivist was best able to judge the secondary values o f the records, those being the values to those other than in the creating a g e n c y .  167  Schellenberg's d i v i s i o n o f records by active versus inactive, p r i m a r y versus secondary, appeared to be the best s o l u t i o n for what had become this troublesome issue.  H o w e v e r , it only served to widen the g u l f between archives and records  management. Jane P a r k i n s o n observed that B y d i s t i n g u i s h i n g records and archives, and p r i m a r y and secondaryvalues, Schellenberg was able to establish a boundary between records managers and archivists, w h i c h had become a wall by the 1960's. R e c o r d s managers were d r i v e n by the i m p e r a t i v e o f efficiency, archivists turned their attention to serving scholarship. A l t h o u g h b o t h  Ibid., Ibid.,  l66  ]61  43. 133.  5 3 professions dealt w i t h the same material, their different perspectives seemed to renew the categorical distinction between an agency's records and 'historical'archives, w h i c h archival theory o f the previous 100 years had been attempting to b r i d g e . 168  Ultimately, the records manager's sphere o f influence was seen to be the administration w h i c h created the records, w h i l e the archivist's d o m a i n was p r e s e r v i n g historical material for posterity.  Schellenberg's d i v i s i o n o f r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s had r e i n f o r c e d the separate administration o f records, as according to their status i n the life cycle. T h e integration o f "archives" and "records management," w h i c h R a d o f f had a c k n o w l e d g e d to be r e v o l u t i o n a r y , became m o r e u n l i k e l y as the years passed.  A d d i t i o n a l l y , the t w o  H o o v e r C o m m i s s i o n s , w i t h their emphasis o n records management's independence, only strengthened the p o s i t i o n o f those w h o supported the conceptualizations w h i c h Schellenberg had advocated.  Consequently, many records administrators w o u l d accept the divisions w h i c h had d e v e l o p e d . Instead o f e x p l o r i n g avenues w h i c h w o u l d unify the activities o f records management w i t h archival institutions, they concentrated o n reconciling the t w o groups w h i c h sometimes coexisted, and at other times were at serious o d d s . 9 , 6  W h i l e some people were forceful in their renunciations o f the other g r o u p , others were not:  despite records managers' and archivists' separate entrenchment, many  people argued that this d i d not mean that they could not cooperate. B y the m i d to late i95o's, there was a g r o w i n g assumption that, as Schellenberg had i m p l i e d , archival institutions d i d have a justified role in most decisions w h i c h c o u l d affect the existence  » J a n e Parkinson, "Accountability in Archival Science" (Master of Archival Studies Thesis, University of British Columbia, 1993) 58-59. G o r d o n Dodds, "Back to Square One: Records Management Revisited" Archivaria 1.2 (Summer 1976): 88-89. 1 &  1 6 9  54 o f 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, w h o ideally wanted records managers and archivists to recognize their c o m m o n characteristics, these individuals accepted their divisions and endeavoured to find ways to w o r k together to achieve o p t i m u m results.  T h u s , there were many calls for a "team-work," rather than a unified, approach. F o r example, N o r t o n was c o n v i n c e d that while archives needed records managers to manage p u b l i c records efficiently, archivists had a role in a d v i s i n g them h o w to do t h i s . ' ' L e R o y D e P u y felt that archivists should put aside their emphasis o n history to 7  w o r k in an "integrated" partnership w h i c h w o u l d "contribute to increased efficiency and e c o n o m y i n terms o f the management o f r e c o r d s . " '  72  R o b e r t W . G a r r i s o n said  that "maximum records management" could only be achieved i f a "greater camaraderie" was p r o m o t e d "among a r c h i v a l , l i b r a r y , and records management  fraternities."' ' 7  M a r y G i v e n s B r y a n a p p r o v e d o f these " C h a n g i n g T i m e s " w h i c h had led to the g r o w i n g affiliation between the records p r o f e s s i o n s .  174  Finally, J . J . H a m m i t t called  for "the v i s i o n o f the archivist" to facilitate "a closer relationship" between the t w o groups.' ' 7  T h i s was seen in not only public archival institutions, but also private ones. See, for example, Thornton W. Mitchell, "Records Management," U n i v e r s i t y 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 u  M a r g a r e t C. Nonon, "The Archivist Looks at Records Management," L i b r a r i e s 38.8 (September 1956): 222-233.  Illinois  171  LeRoy American 1 7 2  DePuy, "Archivists and Records Managers -- A Partnership," Archivist 23.1 (Jan. 1960): 49-55.  R o b e r t W. Garrison, "Maximum 23.4 (Oct. 1960): 415-417. 1 7 3  M a r y G ivens Bryan, 1961): 3-10. 1 7 4  Records Management,"  "Changing Times,"  American  American  Archivist  24.1  ^ J . J. Hammitt, "Government Archives and Records Management," A r c h i v i s t 28.2 (April 1965): 219. 1 7  Archivist (Jan. American  5 5 W i t h the p o s s i b l e exception o f N o r t o n , most o f these writers p r o b a b l y assumed that records management and archives should be separated in the manner e n v i s i o n e d in the life cycle m o d e l and Schellenberg's arguments.  Nonetheless,  attempting to get one g r o u p to accept the other's advice c o u l d be interpreted (not always incorrectly) as an arrogant m o v e taken by those w h o appeared to believe they were superior — and it often was. W h e n this occurred, it d i d n o t h i n g to lessen the tensions between the t w o groups; instead, it may have made them worse. Despite this, what was needed was a new o u t l o o k f r o m each side w h i c h w o u l d encourage more coordination between them. It was not so much the theory o f 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 o n the life o f the record,  the t w o g r o u p s often called for s y n c h r o n i z a t i o n , and o n l y rarely for  unification.  If the A m e r i c a n s were attempting to find consensus to ease this contentious issue, their Canadian neighbours demonstrated little o f the passion w h i c h sparked such controversy south o f the border. W h y , at this time, was there a relative paucity of interest i n Canada regarding the relationship between archival institutions and records management? A s i d e from the essential reason that until the m i d - i Q 6 O ' S , Canadians d i d not have an archival journal o f their o w n in w h i c h to v o i c e their opinions, the answer lies in the context in w h i c h Canadian p u b l i c archives developed. W i l f r e d S m i t h was accurate i n his assessment o f the Canadian public archival situation when he said that "the relatively s l o w development o f records management in Canada" had led to a v a c u u m o f responsibilities w h i c h had been assumed under the "broad scope and extent o f the responsibilities o f the D o m i n i o n A r c h i v i s t . " ? 1  W i l f r e d I. Smith, Society of Archivists 1 7 6  "Archival Seleclion: 3.6 (1967): 280.  6  A Canadian View,"  Journal of the  5 6 I n contrast to the A m e r i c a n s , w h o had a s t r o n g and a u t o n o m o u s  records  management t r a d i t i o n , Canada's P u b l i c A r c h i v e s had always had the most forcible claim o n records management.  A weak tradition o f records management in Canada,  Smith said, ... p r o v i d e d a need and an o p p o r t u n i t y , and the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s has taken the initiative i n the development o f records management, since it is apparent that it is inseparable from archival functions. ?? 1  T h i s d i d not mean, however, that the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s desired to unify the functions o f archival institutions and records management.  Instead the P u b l i c R e c o r d s O r d e r o f  1966 merely established the responsibilities which w o u l d be assigned to the A r c h i v e s , and the ones w h i c h w o u l d be left to the departments.  In fact, these departments  maintained c o n t r o l over active records and therefore many appointed records officers. T h i s created a cadre o f records managers in the departments where none had existed before.  In the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s itself, responsibility for "historical" records and records management were also placed in separate branches. In accordance w i t h Schellenberg's ideas, records managerial and a r c h i v a l activities in Canada were u n d e r s t o o d  to  respond to p r i m a r y and secondary needs. T h i s o u t l o o k can be detected i n b o t h K a y e L a m b ' s and Smith's w r i t i n g s . In three different articles, K a y e L a m b supported the archivist's active participation in the management o f p u b l i c r e c o r d s . ' ?  8  H e d i d not  want to see the destruction o f records w h i c h , because o f uses not perceived by the departmental administrator o r records manager, c o u l d have been retained as useful source material:  'Ibid.,  177  276  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. 1 7 o  5 7 E v e r y archivist k n o w s that documents may p r o v e useful and valuable for a w i d e variety o f purposes that may have little or no relationship to the purpose for w h i c h they were b r o u g h t into existence. A n d for this very reason the officials o f the department that created them may be very p o o r judges o f their long-term value. ?9 1  K a y e L a m b , like Schellenberg, wanted to prevent the departments o r their records managers f r o m inadvertently m a k i n g i n c o r r e c t d i s p o s i t i o n decisions.  "It is (the  archivist's) business", K a y e L a m b said, "to take the l o n g term v i e w . " '  T h u s , the  8 0  archivist, and not the records manager, had to have the last say o v e r what was to be done w i t h g o v e r n m e n t records. "The basic change," he said, " . . . is that the archivist has ceased to be p r i m a r i l y 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 a c t i v e . "  l8i  S m i t h , w h o was K a y e Lamb's successor, believed that the person best qualified to determine the usefulness o f the records to the agency were records officers, w h o , w i t h "their k n o w l e d g e ... o f the purpose for which the records are likely to be used in p e r f o r m i n g the functions o f the agency," were most likely to make the best decisions r e g a r d i n g s c h e d u l i n g . H o w e v e r , o n l y the archivist c o u l d make choices o f final selection for retention, for it was only he w h o c o u l d be the "best guarantee that the r i g h t choice w i l l be made" regarding " . . . the purposes for w h i c h they w i l l o r may be useful."'  82  In other words, Smith perceived the records officer to have the best idea o f  the primary values o f 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  K a y e Lamb, °lbid., 53.  1 7 9  "Fine A n of Destruction,"  52.  n  1 8 1  1 8 2  Kaye Lamb, "The Changing Role of the Archivist," 4. Smith, "Archival Selection: A Canadian View," 276.  5 8  "the system o f archival selection w h i c h has been a p p r o v e d by the g o v e r n m e n t o f Canada has e v o l v e d i n a pragmatic way in response to particular needs." 3 18  N o t all archivists agreed that their m a i n purpose was to appraise secondary values.  In the new archival j o u r n a l , the C a n a d i a n A r c h i v i s t , the B r i t i s h trained  archivist A l a n R i d g e (who was w o r k i n g in Canada) suggested that since records were "created d u r i n g a transaction o f any d e s c r i p t i o n and preserved as evidence o f such transaction", they s h o u l d be acquired by the archives because they were i m p o r t a n t 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 a c q u i r i n g antiquity." F o r this reason, archives were a "tool o f management", a n d "it automatically f o l l o w s that an archivist s h o u l d be on hand to advise in the matter o f m a n a g i n g current r e c o r d s . "  184  O f all the individuals w h o came into contact w i t h the  records, it was the archivist w h o , from his w i d e experience i n a n u m b e r o f creating agencies, c o u l d best c o m p r e h e n d the what had to be done to the records a n d when. T h u s , it was necessary for a r c h i v i s t s to be educated about c u r r e n t  records  administration, records management, the administration o f records centres, a n d the l i k e , for it was they w h o c o u l d best ensure that the records were handled properly t h r o u g h o u t their "life cycle"; w h o c o u l d best carry o u t the "role o f an efficiency expert." ' 18  R i d g e i g n o r e d what had become traditional N o r t h A m e r i c a n assumptions about a r c h i v a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n in the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f active records.  Instead o f  s u p p o s i n g that archival i n p u t at this stage was for p r e v e n t i n g the loss o f material w h i c h c o u l d have secondary values, he contended that the archivist had a v a l i d say i n  * lbid.,  l  3  280.  A l a n D. Ridge, 1.3 (1965): 5. % Ibid., 5-7. 1 8 4  l  5  "What Training Do Archivists Need?"  Canadian  Archivist  5 9 h o w the records were to be s u p e r v i s e d because the a r c h i v a l i n s t i t u t i o n was a m e c h a n i s m o f efficient management.  Ridge's representations paralleled those o f  N o r t o n , w h o saw that a r c h i v a l institutions were critical to society because they c o n t a i n e d the v e r y material w h i c h d o c u m e n t e d the relationships o f rights and privileges between i n d i v i d u a l s and bodies; the same relationships w h i c h sprung f r o m the actions and transactions w h i c h led to the creation o f the records. Interestingly, in u s i n g the term "efficiency expert", R i d g e added a disclaimer that he d i d not mean it in a "pejorative sense." O n e can ascertain f r o m this c o m m e n t that archivists w h o were interested i n the efficient administration o f records so that they "could be preserved for the benefit o f others" did not want to confused w i t h those w h o felt that "efficiency" had something to do with t h r o w i n g out no longer needed yet valuable records merely to save m o n e y .  1 8 6  Despite Ridge's i n n o v a t i v e ideas, the major preoccupation o f b o t h Canadians and A m e r i c a n s o f the late 1960's was the i m p r o v e m e n t o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n between the separate groups. Frank E v a n s , for example, strove to contribute toward "that closer relationship we all seek" by conducting a survey o f what had been written on the theme in A m e r i c a since W o r l d W a r I I .  1 8 7  O n e o f his o b s e r v a t i o n s was that very few  i n d i v i d u a l s were c o m p l e t e l y u n c o m f o r t a b l e w i t h a r c h i v a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the administration o f active records. "In the pages o f the A m e r i c a n A r c h i v i s t " , he said, he c o u l d o n l y find one "dissenting voice . . . . "  , 8 8  T h o u g h E v a n s was q u i c k to assert that  "mutual misunderstandings" persisted, he contended that archivists and records managers had too m u c h to learn from each other to waste their time in s q u a b b l i n g over their differences. 9 ,8  Ibid.,  1S6  Restating his views three years later, he said that.  4.  Evans, "Archivists and Records Managers: Variations on a Theme," / f c / d . , 48. This was the voice of Irving P. Schiller. See footnote 137 ^Ibid., 57. 1 8 7  1 8 8  45.  6 0 Since the m o d e r n archivist must appraise records and select those o f e n d u r i n g value, he must have more than a passing interest i n records management. H e must recognize that everything that records managers do o r leave undone w i l l directly o r indirectly affect the archives o f the future. Indeed, records managers w i l l i n c r e a s i n g l y determine the quality o f o u r archives, quality i n the sense o f the completeness or adequacy o f the documentation, its integrity ... , and its accessibility or serviceability for reference and research purposes . . . . T h e interest o f the m o d e r n a r c h i v i s t in records m a n a g e m e n t is therefore n o t o n l v legitimate -- it is essential. ' 9 °  E v a n s thus a c k n o w l e d g e d Schellenberg's v i e w s by stating that archival institutions had v a l i d interest i n records management because it was o n l y i n this way that a c o l l e c t i o n o f records c o u l d be p r o v i d e d 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", E v a n s said that it was i m p o r t a n t to w o r k together t o w a r d this c o m m o n goal. ' 9 ' Nonetheless, like others, he d i d not challenge the life cycle concept w h i c h arbitrarily divided records management and archives according to the age o f the records.  Despite calls for a closer relationship, the reality was that by the  T97O'S  records  management, o r i g i n a l l y intended by individuals such as R a d o f f to be a function o f archivists, was drifting from the archival fold. T h r e e decades before, it had not been i m a g i n e d that the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f active records w o u l d lead to the b i r t h o f an o c c u p a t i o n a l g r o u p completely separate f r o m the archival p r o f e s s i o n , but this is exactly what was o c c u r r i n g . ' 9 G o v e r n m e n t n o w believed that archival institutions 2  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. Evans, "Archivists and Records Managers: Variations on a Theme," 57-58. 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 i y u  1 9 1  1 9 2  61 were instruments o f historians, while records management was seen as a function o f efficient and economic public records control. T h e result was inevitable. " D u r i n g the 1960s and 1970s," Charles D o l l a r wrote, the R e c o r d s M a n a g e m e n t Office o f the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s issued numerous reports listing savings o f millions o f dollars, largely through cost avoidance. T h i s same office, h o w e v e r , failed to pay sufficient attention to e n s u r i n g that records management p r o g r a m m e s also adequately documented the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, and essential transactions o f federal agencies. T h u s , the gap between archives and records management once again widened. '93 Perhaps the best example o f this w o r s e n i n g trend can be witnessed i n the perspective g i v e n by G e r a l d B r o w n in 1971. In a rather n o n - c o n c i l i a t o r y article, he wrote that while the archivist served "the needs o f the scholar, the historian, and posterity," the records manager was "a devoted executioner o f the obsolete document" whose only interest was economic efficiency. '94 "The Archivist," B r o w n claimed, "must realize that the Records M a n a g e r considers himself to be ' g o i n g beyond the call o f duty' when he concerns h i m s e l f w i t h historical records, o r at least records that m i g h t become historical. "'95  Nonetheless, while such statements may have seemed d i s c o u r a g i n g to those w h o had argued for a unified approach, there were indications o f 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 1993): 41.  Information  Age,"  Archivaria  36  (Autumn  ar, "Archivists and Records Managers in the Information Age," 41. 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. 1 9 4  Ibid.,  l95  22.  62 other than that f o r w h i c h they were created. In other words, he found that these semiactive records had secondary values before they had been accessioned to the archives, and this had forced the m u n i c i p a l records manager to plan his records retention programs as a d i c h o t o m y ; one d i v i s i o n b e i n g those records o f negligible legal fiscal o r research value w h i c h may be legally destroyed, records w h i c h , t h o u g h o f little research o r historical value must be maintained; and the other d i v i s i o n , those records that do have historic and research value, whether or not required to be maintained  by  statute.' ^ 1  W h a t had e v o l v e d was a "new breed o f Records M a n a g e r - c u m - A r c h i v i s t " w h o had to fulfil b o t h the traditional duties o f records managerial efficiency and p r o v i d e access to i n d i v i d u a l researchers.'97 E v e n t h o u g h some persons, such as B r o w n , thought that records managers s h o u l d have little care for archival needs, the realities o f p u b l i c requests for access to semi-current municipal records had forced the "archivist to meet the records manager."  In this e n v i r o n m e n t R i d g e p r o p o s e d a k i n d o f entente between the t w o groups. "In the current [records] phase", he maintained, the v o i c e o f the records manager s h o u l d be supreme, t h o u g h the archivist should be familiar with operations. In the semi-current phase the voices o f the t w o s h o u l d be equal. In the non-current phase the voice o f the archivist should be supreme, though he w i 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 c o m p r o m i s e .  H e accepted the d i v i s i o n o f l a b o u r , i g n o r e d the  question o f overall authority, and advocated institutionalized c o o p e r a t i o n between the t w o groups. H e therefore d i d not c o n d e m n records managers for i g n o r i n g the needs o f archivists. Instead, he reversed the argument by asserting that since the  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. iyt)  Ibid.,  l91  14.  A l a n D. Ridge, "Records Management: The Archival Perspective," Management Quarterly 9.1 (Jan. 1975): 12. 198  Records  63 quality o f a r c h i v a l institution's h o l d i n g s depends o n "how records arc made, kept, assessed and evaluated," archivists s h o u l d have i n f o r m e d records managers o f the secondary values w h i c h they had "deliberately w i t h h e l d ... so as to reserve unto themselves a m o n o p o l y i n the mystique o f academic usage." N o t unpredictably, R i d g e f o u n d that fault for the schism between the archivists and records managers lay w i t h b o t h , for they ignored each others' concerns. '99  R i d g e considered archives and records management to be closely interrelated, "though o n different planes." H e contended that what made the t w o c o m m o n to each other was the concept o f service. Similar to Schellenberg, he distinguished what this meant for each. F o r records management, " i m p r o v e d administrative efficiency and reduced a d m i n i s t r a t i v e costs are the touchstone for the w h o l e o p e r a t i o n " , and therefore, "service to the organization is the t h i n g that counts." O n the other hand, archivists also had to be concerned with service to the public, and thus, "archives serve not o n l y the parent o r g a n i z a t i o n but also all manner o f people and institutions in society: they serve the p u b l i c at large and are answerable to them for the preservation o f their documentary heritage."  200  In spite o f this differentiation, R i d g e knew that both were "concerned w i t h total systems affecting the w h o l e o r g a n i z a t i o n , for only t h r o u g h that approach can they estimate the significance o f interrelated records which react upon each other." ' 20  This  is a statement w o r t h n o t i n g , because the unified approach not only i n v o l v e s unified service, but is more importantly unified by the nature o f the archival fonds as a body of interrelated records. Service to all records for b o t h primary and secondary purposes just confirms this theoretical fact - a fact o f the nature o f the records. T h u s , although R i d g e felt that the archivist p r o v i d e d service to "make useful yesterday's records for Ibid., Ibid.,  l99  200  ® lbid.,  2  l  12-13. 13. 14.  Emphasis in the original text.  64 t o m o r r o w " , and that the records manager d i d so to p r o v i d e a "practical approach to today's problems w i t h today's records", he understood that all records administrators were essentially k i n d r e d b o u n d together by the records t h e m s e l v e s .  202  C a l l i n g for  more understanding, he exclaimed: L e t us archivists devote m o r e time to s t u d y i n g the f o r m and nature o f o u r archives — and leave the subject content to historians and other academic exploiters! L e t us spend m o r e time c o n c e n t r a t i n g o n the numerous similarities between o u r functions rather than h a r p i n g o n the differences: let us acknowledge our mutual interdependence and w o r k in harmony in the field o f service and information r e t r i e v a l . ' 20  Ridge's call, w h i l e correct, was somewhat w i t h o u t success. A s the B r i t i s h 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 o u t their responsibilities, whereas archivists were lost w i t h o u t the cooperation o f records managers.  "Records management", D o d d s claimed, "has become a virtual  fortress o f skills and devices, immensely adaptive, productive and c o n f i d e n t . "  204  D o d d s discovered that in the years f o l l o w i n g the Second W o r l d W a r , archival institutions had lost track o f their true responsibilities. H e felt that they were putting too m u c h emphasis on their attempts to check the rise o f records management, while i g n o r i n g their role in the administration o f active records. H e agreed w i t h Posner, w h o i n 1940 had written that archivists s h o u l d be "trustees" answerable not o n l y f o r p u b l i c r e c o r d m a k i n g and keeping, but also for the material w h i c h was, o r w o u l d become, the d o c u m e n t a t i o n o f o u r society. H e claimed that "I cannot see that the archivist, especially the keeper o f the public record whatever its m e d i u m , can be  Ibid.,  15.  Ibid.,  25.  202  203  2 0 4  Dodds,  "Back to Square One:  Records Management Revisited,"  90.  65 anything less that a t h o r o u g h g o i n g records administrator w i t h all that this implies in care and use o f records, operational and b e y o n d . " ' H i s conclusion was inevitable: 20  I a m therefore at odds w i t h arguments that d r a w lines between archivists and records managers, whether i n terms o f fait accompli or preference o r pragmatism, for i n truth they are one. I have to support the present rapport because archivists need records managers but I d o not surrender to the fact o f o u r w e a k n e s s . 206  In essence, D o d d s returned to what Posner and R a d o f f had said three decades before. B y a c k n o w l e d g i n g that the separation o f responsibilities i n the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f records into records management and archival w o r k were not reflective o f the nature o f the records themselves, he fully embraced the archivist's responsibility to become m o r e i n v o l v e d w i t h active records. H e contended that this was purely an archival r e s p o n s i b i l i t y ; i n fact, those w h o w o r k e d in records management and archival institutions were o f the same profession. T h u s , he asserted that archival education s h o u l d be c o m p r e h e n s i v e , for it was only in this manner that these new archivist / records managers w o u l d "really 'come o f age'" by assuming their o v e r r i d i n g concern, Posner's "trusteeship" o f the records. ? 20  B y n o means were Dodds's and Ridge's v i e w s shared by everyone. H o w e v e r , they were symptomatic o f the renaissance o f traditional archival thought w h i c h had been submerged by the practicalities o f c u r b i n g records proliferation. Especially in Canada, the next decades w o u l d evidence a return to these fundamentals; the symbolic c u l m i n a t i o n o f w h i c h w o u l d be A t h e r t o n ' s article w h i c h w o u l d take these l o n g standing ideas, and reconcile the differences between the t w o ends o f the life cycle. W h i l e such p r o g r e s s i o n was n o t a u n i f o r m occurrence, a n d certainly contentious,  lbid., Ibid. Ibid.  205  206  2Q1  91  66 their w r i t i n g was indicative o f a new awareness o f integrated archival participation and advice in all stages o f the life o f the record.  In the U n i t e d States, where the records management tradition was stronger, there was m u c h less evidence that records management and archives were c o m i n g to grips w i t h an integrated approach. T h o u g h archivists and records managers arguably h a d achieved a m o r e amicable relationship, there was scant acceptance o f the unified approach as iterated by D o d d s and R i d g e .  2 0 8  T h e post-war era heralded a p e r i o d o f great debate in the N o r t h A m e r i c a n records arena. B y 1956 for the United States, and 1966 for Canada, responsibility for the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f records had officially come under the domains o f the national archivists o f each country. H o w e v e r , t h o u g h b o t h o f these i n d i v i d u a l s had c o n t r o l o v e r current, semi-active, and inactive records, they were both constantly under the threat o f h a v i n g their authority usurped by other parts o f their bureaucracies.  In  Canada, the D o m i n i o n A r c h i v i s t was was l i m i t e d in his powers by the w i l l o f the Treasury B o a r d , while in the United States, the National A r c h i v i s t c o u l d be overruled by the A d m i n i s t r a t o r o f 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 j o i n e d , remained to be c o m p o s e d .  W o r k i n g i n an  environment where problems were solved in a reactive manner, these individuals were often forced into the p o s i t i o n o f h a v i n g to p r o v i d e quick remedies, rather than cures. T r a p p e d by practical problems, they were rarely able to w o r k from a theoretical standp o i n t w h i c h put aside institutional demands and stop-gap solutions. In b o t h Canada  ° ° S e e , for example, Ricks, "Records Management as an Archival Function," who accepted archivists' participation in records management but definitely saw each as a unique profession. 12-20,  67 and the U n i t e d States, this was best manifested i n the concern for economy. T h e mass proliferation o f records led to the creation o f records management, while the archival i n s t i t u t i o n s were seen o n l y to serve scholarly needs.  T h e i r joint o b l i g a t i o n o f  preserving the records for the i n f o r m a t i o n they contained for users o f multifarious interests was sacrificed to the narrower demands o f economy and history.  B y the end o f the 1960's, however, the situation was changing. T h o u g h there were some w h o felt that archives s h o u l d not soil their hands w i t h active p u b l i c records, others were not so sure. T h e essential point was this: people agreed that there was a need to articulate a system for managing active records, but there was little agreement o n what shape such a system should take. B y the late 1970's, most o f the "ingredients" w h i c h A t h e r t o n w o u l d m e n t i o n i n his article were b e c o m i n g a c k n o w l e d g e d . F o r example, many n o w understood that service to users o n b o t h p r i m a r y and secondary g r o u n d s was a c o n c e r n , and that archives and records management w i t h i n an organization needed each other to execute their i n d i v i d u a l tasks. A d d i t i o n a l l y , there was a e v o l v i n g agreement that records, though current one day and inactive the next, were the same material, w h i c h had to be handled with the same respect, by professionals w h o t h r o u g h o u t the life o f the records may have had different titles, but many o f the same goals. T h e days o f 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 w o u l d soon be a wider acceptance o f the ideas o f an integrated approach.  6 8 CHAPTER THREE: Contemporary Records Administration in N o r t h America  T h e years w h i c h m a r k e d the transition from the post-war life o f the 1950's to today's w o r l d were an i m p o r t a n t p e r i o d for p u b l i c archival institutions. Social and e c o n o m i c changes w h i c h transformed almost every aspect o f g l o b a l development d i d not leave the field o f records administration untouched. T h e e m e r g i n g demands o f n e w i n f o r m a t i o n technologies made it v i r t u a l l y impossible for p u b l i c institutions to manage records i n the manner w h i c h had been t h o u g h t to be appropriate before the Second W o r l d W a r . T h e c o m b i n a t i o n o f advances in records-creating technologies, an increasingly instant global e c o n o m y , and a g r o w i n g suspicion o f g o v e r n m e n t all tested many o f the assumptions w h i c h had governed archivists and records managers i n their w o r k . It was this environment o f change w h i c h not only was the catalyst for A t h e r t o n ' s c o n t i n u u m , b u t also for many o f the changes w h i c h to this day continue to m o u l d the administration o f records in ways unanticipated even a few decades ago.  A major cause o f these changes was the e v e r - w i d e n i n g use o f computers and the subsequent mass p r o d u c t i o n o f machine readable records; T h i s trend, w h i c h had its o r i g i n s in H o l l e r i t h ' s census c o u n t i n g in the 1 8 9 0 ' s , c o n t i n u e d w i t h the advent o f the U N I V A C c o m p u t e r in the 1950's, and n o w flourishes w i t h the pervasive use o f optical media i n the 1990's, initially caught records administrators o f f guard. W h i 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 o f the vast i n f o r m a t i o n r e v o l u t i o n w h i c h was still in its infancy stages bv the b e g i n n i n g o f the i 9 7 o ' s . 9 z o  U p to this decade, only a few passing references had been made to  a u t o m a t i o n , and it w o u l d only be at this time that records administrators began to A n n e J. Gilliland, "The Development of Automated Archival Systems: Planning and Managing Change," Library Trends 36.3 (Winter 1988): 5 2 0 521. 2 u 9  6 9 consider seriously the impact o f these new m a c h i n e s .  210  W i t h the ability to store  records i n a machine-readable form and to manipulate them with the touch o f a button, new challenges were soon to rise in c o n t r o l l i n g the records' creation, c o n f i g u r a t i o n , storage, use, and proliferation. In 1968, A t h e r t o n prophesied that "the day w i l l come for all o f us w h e n we find that our v o l u m e o f holdings and rate o f accessions makes imperative the substitution o f new methods for o l d , i n order to simply keep o u r heads above water."  211  T h e era o f automation had arrived for records.  O v e r the next decade, it became clear that these machines w o u l d change h o w archivists administered records. H u g h T a y l o r observed that the archivist's "principle battle, and perhaps his survival as a member o f a distinct profession . . . , w i l l depend on his c o n t r o l o f ... the mass o f data and the chaos o f subject c o n t e n t . "  212  In this  environment, such c o n t r o l w o u l d only be possible i f the archivist was w i l l i n g to turn full attention not o n l y to the complexities o f i n f o r m a t i o n retrieval, but also to the quality o f the information which was being preserved. T h i s w o u l d necessitate a new emphasis o n records creation, for "it cannot be top strongly emphasized that this aspect o f the archivist's w o r k has an immediate bearing o n the quality o f records w o r t h y o f permanent preservation, and is, therefore, complementary to his classic role." ? 21  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 Y o u . 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 u  Jay Atherton, "Automation and the Dignity of the Archivist," A r c h i v i s t 2.1 (1970): 58. 2 1 1  Canadian  H u g h A . Taylor, "Information Retrieval and the Training of the Canadian Archivist 2.3 (1972): 30-31. 2 1 2  2 1 3  Taylor,  "Information Retrieval and the Training of the Archivist,"  Archivist," 32.  70 These technological adjustments d i d not occur apart from other developments in records a d m i n i s t r a t i o n .  In Canada, the influx o f a y o u n g generation i n t o the  profession and the e v o l u t i o n o f awareness about the cultural importance o f archival institutions created a "watershed" environment w h i c h allowed for the examination o f pressing, heretofore untouched, questions on national p l a n n i n g for a r c h i v e s . ' 2  4  The  f o r m a t i o n o f professional Canadian o r g a n i z a t i o n s , such as the A s s o c i a t i o n o f Canadian A r c h i v i s t s ( A . C . A . ) and [Association des ArchivistesduQuebec,  was symbolic o f  the "ferment o f a profession beginning to recognize and realize itself. " ' 2 l  T h i s "ferment" extended b e y o n d endeavours n a t i o n a l scheme for Canada's archives.  for creating a c o o r d i n a t e d  R a p i d changes i n all aspects o f records  administration, c o m b i n e d w i t h bureaucratic inaction, q u i c k l y showed that the system w h i c h had been implemented with the P u b l i c Records O r d e r o f 1966 was not entirelysuccessful.  In late 1979, B r y a n Corbett and E l d o n F r o s t released a paper entitled  P u b l i c Records D i v i s i o n [of the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s o f Canada]: A c q u i s i t i o n M e t h o d s . ' 2  6  C o m m o n l y called the " C o r b e t t - F r o s t R e p o r t , " it examined the archives - records  T e r r y Eastwood, "Attempts at National Planning for Archives in Canada, 1975-1985," Public Historian 8.3 (Summer 1986): 74-76. ^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 utilizing 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," A r c h i v a r i a 11 (1980-'81): 3-35. 216 ee Bryan Corbett and Eldon Frost, "The Acquisition of Federal Government Records: A Report on Records Management and Archival Practices," Archivaria 17 (Winter 1983-1984): 201-232. This is an abridged version of the original. 2 1 4  2x  S  7 1 management relationship, and gave a detailed account o f the problems encountered at the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s , as well as recommendations.  Corbett and F r o s t asserted that the expectations created by the P u b l i c R e c o r d s O r d e r had not been fulfilled. Despite mandatory scheduling, there had been neither a steady, regular increase in the amount o f records transferred to the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s from  the d e p a r t m e n t s ,  n o r had many  departments  implemented  records  scheduling. "? I n spite o f successes in some areas, inconsistencies were chronic. Some 21  major departments and offices o f ministers and deputy ministers had n o t relinquished their operational records, w h i l e , because o f the l i m i t a t i o n s o f the P u b l i c R e c o r d s O r d e r , g o v e r n m e n t agencies such as c r o w n corporations were under not o b l i g e d to schedule their r e c o r d s .  218  C o r b e t t and F r o s t believed that records management in general, and records scheduling i n particular, were essential for the p r o p e r care o f g o v e r n m e n t records. T h e "true function o f 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 p r e s e r v a t i o n o f essential information for the agency's use. 9 2L  I n this manner, they believed that the records schedule was one o f the best tools for m a n a g i n g p u b l i c records.  I n their v i e w , schedules were created by the records  manager, w h o set active d i s p o s i t i o n s p e r i o d based o n a d m i n i s t r a t i v e values, and augmented by the A r c h i v i s t , w h o determined final disposition based o n the value o f the records to all u s e r s .  'Corbett and Frost, Practices," 202-203. Ibid., 203-207. Ibid., 207. /bid., 208. 1 1  218  2l9  220  220  "A Report on Records Management and Archival  7 2 T h e y f o u n d that the reasons scheduling failed were numerous, but had their basis i n the fact that records scheduling and disposition processes i n different parts o f the g o v e r n m e n t were not b e i n g applied i n an extensive, systematic, and u n i f o r m manner.  221  F o r a remedy, the report r e c o m m e n d e d that a m o r e c o m p r e h e n s i v e ,  c o n t r o l l e d , and standardized approach be applied to records scheduling for archival acquisition and d i s p o s i t i o n .  222  Critically, Corbett and Frost recognized that this c o u l d  o n l y o c c u r i f records managers and archivists t o o k a m o r e p a r t i c i p a t o r y and coordinated interest i n each others' activities. 3 22  T h i s report was significant for Canadian archives because it recognized the value o f the records office in the larger scheme o f e n s u r i n g that the responsible administration o f records led to their proper and timely disposition. T h o u g h a study o f g o v e r n m e n t records a c q u i s i t i o n and d i s p o s i t i o n , the report criticized the "two solitudes" mentality w h i c h placed too m u c h emphasis o n the split between records managerial efficiency and a r c h i v a l a c q u i s i t i o n .  T h r o u g h the d o u b l e vehicles o f  disposition and acquisition, there was r o o m for a m u c h broader role for archivists and records managers, and for m u c h less emphasis o n the differences w h i c h kept them apart.  Corbett and Frost acknowledged that.a records officer's aim was not to get rid o f material i n order to keep costs d o w n , but to oversee records in a manner w h i c h w o u l d facilitate the efficient management o f records t h r o u g h o u t their existence. 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. S e e Corbett and Frost's seventeen recommendations in their "Report on Records Management and Archival Practices," 222-227. R e c o m m e n d a t i o n 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. 2 2 1  2 2 2  223  73 H o w e v e r , w h i l e e n v i s i o n i n g s c h e d u l i n g as a m e t h o d w h i c h w o u l d a l l o w recordscreating organizations to c o n t r o l and access records competently and effectively, they approached the issue from the traditional perspective o f records management as a tool o f archival acquisition. W h i l e they supported greater cooperation (as d i d many other archivists w h o were acquisition-oriented), and therefore greater i n v o l v e m e n t for archivists at earlier stages o f the life cycle, they were nonetheless traditional: records management, mistakenly, was seen only as a vehicle for acquisition, w i t h its role left unexploited for the more inclusive realm o f service to the users o f the records. T h i s p r o b l e m w o u l d eventually be evidenced i n the new p o l i c y for p u b l i c records w h i c h was implemented by the Treasury B o a r d in M a r c h , 1983. T h e purpose o f the n e w p o l i c y , c o n t a i n e d in C h a p t e r 460 o f the federal  government's  A d m i n i s t r a t i v e P o l i c y M a n u a l , was to facilitate the management and the effective (but controlled) d i s p o s i t i o n o f  active  p u b l i c records. F o r this reason, it was intended to  apply to records under the control o f government i n s t i t u t i o n s .  224  W h i l e the Treasury  B o a r d , t h r o u g h its A d m i n i s t r a t i v e P o l i c y B r a n c h , was to retain c o n t r o l o v e r records management policy, it delegated responsibility for assessment o f records management to the D o m i n i o n A r c h i v i s t . ' 22  T h e most i m p o r t a n t factor in this was that g o v e r n m e n t i n s t i t u t i o n s were accountable for compliance with the policy. E a c h department, t h r o u g h the expertise o f its records manager, w o u l d have to form a close liaison w i t h the A r c h i v e s 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  T h e A r c h i v i s t w o u l d take a role w h i c h was  largely supervisory: the w o r k which departmental records managers d i d in terms o f  Canada, .1.1.1: 1.  224  Ibid., lbid.,  225  226  Treasury Board,  A A A . : 3. .3: 6-8.  Administrative  Policy Manual  (March,  1983)  7 4  s c h e d u l i n g w o u l d be their o w n , b u t it w o u l d be c o n t r o l l e d and a p p r o v e d by the Archivist.  T h e thrust o f Chapter 460 indicates that Corbett and F r o s t had succeeded in raising the profile o f records management vis a vis a r c h i v a l objectives.  However,  because b o t h the R e p o r t and Chapter 460 concentrated o n o n l y records scheduling and d i s p o s i t i o n , it it d i d not satisfactorily resolve h o w records management w o u l d fit i n t o the overall scheme o f records administration. A l t h o u g h records  management  and archives were n o w seen to be joined by the scheduling function, there was still an incompatibility between traditional records managerial and archival objectives: over a decade after the release o f the R e p o r t , Frost still referred to records scheduling as " A W e a k L i n k i n the Chain." "By the late 1980s," he said, "it was evident that the corrective measures taken i n response to [the C o r b e t t - F r o s t ] study h a d n o t a p p r e c i a b l y i m p r o v e d matters in respect to textual r e c o r d s . "  227  H e also cited the case o f electronic  records w h i c h , because they were m a n i p u l a t i v e , transient, and "fragile," had to be protected from the the destructive zeal o f the records' creators, many o f w h o m pushed for "efficient disposal and m a x i m u m latitude."  228  T h e p r o b l e m , he had discovered, was  that there was disagreement over the purpose o f scheduling. A s he said, Is it to serve in the first instance as a means o f records retention, and secondly as a means o f records destruction? O r v i c e versa? . . . W h a t objective shall [records scheduling] seek to accomplish first?229  T h u s , the issue o f whether the purpose o f scheduling was to fulfil the immediate needs o f economy and efficiency, o r the long-term goals o f archival preservation, had yet to be w o r k e d o u t . 3 ° 2  'Eldon Frost, " A Weak Link in the Chain: Records Scheduling as a Source of Archival Acquisition," A r c h i v a r i a 33 (Winter 1991-1992): 80. *Ibid., 80-81. Ibid., 82. Ibid., 82-83.  22  229  230  7 5 W h a t seemed strange about Frost's comments was that he d i d not attempt to e x p l o r e h o w a d o p t i n g a service a p p r o a c h c o u l d essentially resolve this issue. A l t h o u g h F r o s t m e n t i o n e d s c h e d u l i n g as a "link i n this c h a i n o f the  record  c o n t i n u u m , " he hardly t o u c h e d u p o n h o w his ideas w o u l d affect the needs o f the users. 3' Instead, he expounded o n a new approach w h i c h w o u l d help fulfil the agenda 2  o f the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s , w i t h o u t adequately e x p l a i n i n g h o w users w o u l d benefit f r o m these new ideas. Perhaps such benefits were i m p l i e d by the fact that i m p r o v e d d i s p o s i t i o n w o u l d i n h e r e n t l y i m p r o v e service to users by b o t h e x p e d i t i o u s l y d e s t r o y i n g useless documents w h i l e retaining significant ones, but this was not adequately addressed by Frost.  S i m i l a r to the C a n a d i a n g o v e r n m e n t w i t h the C o r b e t t - F r o s t R e p o r t , the A m e r i c a n government was also concerned w i t h h o w records were being administered. In 1975, the A m e r i c a n s launched yet another C o m m i s s i o n o n Federal P a p e r w o r k , because, as before, abundant records were perceived to be s t i f l i n g efficiency, private business, and individual A m e r i c a n citizens. 3 2  2  government  A s a result, Congress  directed this P a p e r w o r k C o m m i s s i o n to study a n d i n v e s t i g a t e statutes, p o l i c i e s , rules, r e g u l a t i o n s , p r o c e d u r e s , and practices o f the federal G o v e r n m e n t r e l a t i n g to gathering processing, and disseminating i n f o r m a t i o n , and m a n a g i n g and c o n t r o l l i n g information activities. 33 2  Subsequently, the C o m m i s s i o n found that the p r o b l e m was that G o v e r n m e n t l o o k e d o n the i n f o r m a t i o n in records as a "free g o o d " to be used in any way it chose, and that  Ibid.,  23]  79.  U n i t e d States, A n Act to Establish a Commission on Federal Paperwork. United States Statutes at Large V o l . 88 (1974) s. 1(a). 2 3 2  F o r e s t W . Horton, and Donald A . Marchand, eds., Introduction, I n f o r m a t i o n 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. 2 3 3  7 6 this, combined with the bureaucratic tendency to perpetuate "'bad' paperwork," was becoming unmanageable: 34 2  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. 3? 2  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. 3 It lamented that 2  6  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. 37 2  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  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. 2844. 2 3 4  ^fbid. Ibid., lbid.,  2  y  236  231  28. 30. 37.  77 and sunshine," but a "resource in l i m i t e d supply, often costly to locate, extract and refine." ? 2  8  T h e C o m m i s s i o n was critical o f records management's role in g o v e r n m e n t , because records management programs had been "directed at dealing w i t h physical manifestations o f the i n f o r m a t i o n p r o l i f e r a t i o n p r o b l e m and not the content o f p a p e r w o r k o r records."  T h u s , the C o m m i s s i o n w a n t e d to put aside  records  management a n d instead concentrate o n the c o n t r o l o f the i n f o r m a t i o n itself. B y d o i n g so, this P a p e r w o r k C o m m i s s i o n m a r k e d a change i n h o w b o t h Canadian and A m e r i c a n records a d m i n i s t r a t o r s l o o k e d at records a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . management  Records  p r o g r a m s , the C o m m i s s i o n said, "have s o u g h t to s i m p l i f y  and  consolidate forms and records and to reduce the total a m o u n t o f paper and files" w i t h o u t addressing the real issue: "why information is collected and used the way it is, what value it has in the success o f an organization's programs and missions." 39 It was 2  the r e c o g n i t i o n o f this important element w h i c h changed records a d m i n i s t r a t i o n forever.  T h e C o m m i s s i o n proposed a more suitable term for d e s c r i b i n g what those w h o handled i n f o r m a t i o n s h o u l d be attempting accomplish: the management o f the i n f o r m a t i o n itself, or s i m p l y , information resources management. T h i s , they said, was a better phrase than "paperwork" or "records" management, because it more accurately revealed w h a t the focus s h o u l d be o n :  the c o n t r o l and a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f the  i n f o r m a t i o n itself, rather than o n the c o n t r o l o f the m e d i a that carried such information. ^lbid., Ibid.,  2  239  240  S u c h c o n t r o l c o u l d be far r e a c h i n g , t o u c h i n g o n every aspect o f  40. 39.  ®Ibid., 39-40. T. M . Campbell, "Archives and Information Management," Archivaria 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." 24  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. 242  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  Norton  Marchand, "The Paperwork Problem," i n Public Administration. 41-42.  and  Management  C o m m i s s i o n on Federal Paperwork, D.C.: U . S . Government Printing Office, Ibid., 21-22. 2 4 2  243  Final Summary 1977) 3.  Information Report  (Washington,  79  "record" is a result (some say residue) o f the practical actions, transactions, processes, and functions o f an i n d i v i d u a l or b o d y , and thus "raw data" o r i n f o r m a t i o n w h i c h exists o n a m e d i u m w i t h o u t this q u a l i f i c a t i o n merely forms part o f a data bank. Nonetheless, despite the fact that this careful differentiation should be made between i n f o r m a t i o n (or data) and records, the p r o b l e m o f h o w government produced, used, stored and destroyed i n f o r m a t i o n was n o w directly l i n k e d to h o w it administered records.  A s a result o f the Commission's emphasis o n the importance o f a coordinated approach to the government's management o f the i n f o r m a t i o n resource, Congress passed the P a p e r w o r k R e d u c t i o n A c t o f i o 8 o .  2 4 4  T h i s act created an Office o f  Information and Regulatory Affairs w i t h i n the Office o f Management and B u d g e t . ' 24  T h e D i r e c t o r o f this new body was charged with d e v e l o p i n g and i m p l e m e n t i n g u n i f o r m and consistent i n f o r m a t i o n resources management policies and overseeing the d e v e l o p m e n t o f i n f o r m a t i o n m a n a g e m e n t p r i n c i p l e s , standards, and g u i d e l i n e s p r o m o t i n g their u s e . 246  B y creating an Office o f I n f o r m a t i o n and R e g u l a t o r y Affairs w i t h i n the Office o f M a n a g e m e n t and B u d g e t , A m e r i c a n legislators were e n d e a v o u r i n g to c o m b i n e the e c o n o m y and efficiency emphasized i n Leahy's c o n t r o l o f records w i t h the broader o b j e c t i v e o f effectively a d m i n i s t e r i n g i n f o r m a t i o n itself.  A s the P a p e r w o r k  C o m m i s s i o n i m p l i e d , it was time for g o v e r n m e n t officials to realize that their responsibilities n o w extended beyond the internal machinery o f the bureaucracy, and into the "changed and changing nature o f government i n v o l v e m e n t in the day-to-day lives o f citizens, organizations, and i n s t i t u t i o n s . "  247  U n i t e d States, Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980. United States Statutes al Large V o l . 94 (1980). 2 4 4  Ibid.  245  lbid.  246  2 4 7  See § 3503. See § 3504 (b)(1).  Commission  on Federal Paperwork,  Final  Summary  Report. 2.  80 M e a n w h i l e , it appears that the officials at N A R S and G S A d i d not embrace this emphasis o n a g l o b a l strategy i n the management o f i n f o r m a t i o n . T h i s was n o t a result, however, o f their rejection o f information theory, but because these t w o bodies were still struggling to solidify their individual c o n t r o l over different stages o f the life o f the records.  In other w o r d s , rather than attempting to attain the c o o r d i n a t e d  control o f records through a unified approach to their management, the leadership of N A R S and the G S A were still t r y i n g to split the functions o f records administration into the individual stages o f 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 A r c h i v e s to the G S A ' s A u t o m a t e d D a t a and Telecommunication S e r v i c e .  248  In 1983, a task force was established to determine what actions c o u l d be taken to i m p r o v e the success o f the N A R S as a cultural agency. T h e task force contended a l t h o u g h records management had been taken o n as a legitimate f u n c t i o n o f the A r c h i v e s , i n a d v e r t e n t l y it had o v e r s h a d o w e d the agency's t r a d i t i o n a l a r c h i v a l 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 o b v i o u s cost savings benefits w h i c h accrue from these activities." -> 24<  W h a t the task force  suggested, therefore, was that the agency head be g i v e n the functional independence and "authority to r u n the agency's programs and be held responsible for the level o f success a c h i e v e d . " ' 2  0  T h i s w o u l d be a c c o m p l i s h e d w i t h the i m p l e m e n t a t i o n on  l e g i s l a t i o n w h i c h w o u l d not o n l y p r o v i d e the A r c h i v i s t w i t h r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for  L i n d a Vee Pruitt, "Archives and Records Management in the Federal Government: the Post - G S A Context," Provenance 3.2 (Fall 1985): 88-89. 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. 2 4 8  2 4 9  Ibid.,  250  11.  81 traditional archival functions ( i n c l u d i n g the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f records centres,) but w o u l d also i n c l u d e the duty o f "establishing standards and procedures to assure efficient and effective records management." ' 2  1  I n l i s t i n g such goals, the task force appeared to have little interest i n the theoretical objectives o f an integrated approach. Rather, it was p r o p o s i n g avenues by w h i c h N A R S c o u l d i m p r o v e its prestige (and thus p o l i t i c a l ability to garner the support and resources it needed to survive) as an institution o f national, cultural, and historical importance. B y so d o i n g , it hardly m e n t i o n e d a l i n k between the active records o f government and the inactive ones o f the A r c h i v e s , and in the end this may have w o r k e d to N A R S ' s detriment. In the conflict between the G S A A d m i n i s t r a t o r and N A R S to determine w h i c h organization w o u l d receive what records functions i n the c o m i n g structural r e o r g a n i z a t i o n , it is l i k e l y that the task force's emphasis o n N A R S ' s historical objectives strengthened the G S A claim that records management was a function o f economy, and thus belonged to the G S A .  W h e n the reorganization was formalized the f o l l o w i n g year in the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s and R e c o r d s A d m i n i s t r a t i o n 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 A d m i n i s t r a t o r : ' 2  2  (a) T h e A r c h i v i s t shall p r o v i d e guidance and assistance to Federal Agencies w i t h respect to ensuring adequate and proper documentation o f the p o l i c i e s and transactions o f the F e d e r a l G o v e r n m e n t and ensuring proper records disposition. (b) T h e A d m i n i s t r a t o r shall p r o v i d e guidance and assistance to Federal agencies to ensure e c o n o m i c a l and effective records management bysuch agencies. ' 5 2  Ibid., Ibid.  25l  252  y  18-20. 89.  U n i t e d States, National Archives and Records Administration Act of 1984. United States Statutes at Large. V o l . 98 (1984) § 2904 (a)(b). 2 5 3  82 Although the new National Archives and Records Administration ( N A R 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." " "I would like to suggest," he said, 2  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  Atherton, "From Life Cycle to Continuum," 47. H u g h A . Taylor, "Information Ecology and the Archives of the 1980's." Archivaria 18 (Summer 1984): 30-32. z:)4  2 5 5  6/bid., 34. Terry Cook of the Public Archives of Canada disagreed interpretation. His main contention was that in de-emphasizing the history and historians in archival institutions, Taylor "confuses administrative means with cultural ends." See Terry Cook, "From to Knowledge: A n Intellectual Paradigm for Archives," Archivaria (Winter 1984-1985): 28-49. 25  with this role of Informatic 19  83 In c o m p a r i s o n , R i c h a r d K e s n e r suggested that archivists had "to take a broader view o f h o w i n f o r m a t i o n is created and used i n c o n t e m p o r a r y w o r k settings," w h i c h included an i m p r o v e m e n t i n their endeavours to "reflect the overall mission and goals o f the parent i n s t i t u t i o n . " ' 7 H e argued that a r c h i v a l reorientation was necessary 2  because technological innovations had led to the explosion o f i n f o r m a t i o n . W i t h the advent o f machines w h i c h allowed abundant amounts o f information to exist without ever leaving documentary traces, it was necessary for archivists to "involve themselves i n records management and hence i n the full life cycle o f documents from their creation to their ultimate d i s p o s i t i o n . " ' K e s n e r argued that i f archives were u n w i l l i n g to take 2  8  such steps, then their parent i n s t i t u t i o n s w o u l d l o o k elsewhere to have their information needs fulfilled.  It thus became clear to many i n d i v i d u a l s that b e i n g able to p r o v i d e for the i n f o r m a t i o n the records contained was the key objective. T h i s was a tangible and expansive issue: as the P a p e r w o r k C o m m i s s i o n recognized, the core o f the matter was being able to manage, p r o v i d e , and indeed retain, the information w h i c h institutions a n d people demanded.  J o h n Meisel's p r e d i c t i o n "a p r o f o u n d g u l f may d e v e l o p  between the i n f o r m a t i o n rich and i n f o r m a t i o n poor" was i n d i c a t i v e o f this, for he observed that information had become "one o f the principal sources o f w e a l t h . " ' 9 2  T h i s emphasis o n the value o f information was evidenced in the emergence o f access to i n f o r m a t i o n l e g i s l a t i o n t h r o u g h o u t N o r t h A m e r i c a .  A r i s i n g from a  25 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 19841985): 164. *Ibid., 170. 7  25  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.  260  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. 261  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. ? 26  S e e M . D. Kirby, "Access to Information and Privacy: The Ten Information Commandments," Archivaria 23 (Winter 1986-1987): 4-15. Canada, Access to Information Act. S.C. 1980-81-82-83, c. I l l , Sch. I "1", s. 2(1). S e e 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 PurposesUnited 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 0  261  2 6 2  T r u d y Huskamp Peterson, "The National Archives and the Archival Theorist Revisited, 1954-1984," American Archivist 49.2 (Spring 1986): 130131. 2 6 3  85 O n e result o f these initiatives was that it was evident that service to those requesting the i n f o r m a t i o n 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 h a d discussed service as an ideal w h i c h  records  a d m i n i s t r a t o r s s h o u l d attempt to attain, b u t n o w , it was a reality because o f g o v e r n m e n t legislation and because o f the value o f i n f o r m a t i o n to all institutions. T h i s had led to an expanded role for records administrators.  A s A n t h o n y Rees  observed, Requirements concerning p u b l i c access to the documents [the archivist] protects brings [him] into the broadest o f the contexts in w h i c h he lives: that o f p u b l i c service i n the most direct and simple sense o f the phrase. B y p u b l i c service, . . . I refer . . . to a full spectrum o f people — b o t h corporate officials and members o f the general p u b l i c . T h e i r demands for i n f o r m a t i o n that is credible and comprehensive pushes the archivist b e y o n d the field o f the purely statutory p u b l i c record . . . O n e must also be able to explain where that d o c u m e n t came f r o m , what caused its c r e a t i o n , h o w it has been amended and what effect it has had o r continues to have. In short, one must be able to p r o v i d e its context. * 26  Rees a c k n o w l e d g e d that it was the "wish to k n o w " w h i c h was the impetus b e h i n d internal records administration p r o g r a m s . 5 A s T a y l o r said, "departments s h o u l d be 26  prepared  to h i r e p e r s o n s  with  a r c h i v a l t r a i n i n g to  function  p r i m a r i l y as  c o m m u n i c a t o r s o f the r e c o r d and its contents to a d m i n i s t r a t o r s information, even o n a long-term b a s i s . " A n t h o n y L . Rees, 1983): 55. Ibid.  Z 0 4  i n need o f  266  "Masters in our Own House?,"  Archivaria  16  (Summer  265  266T j "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," A r c h i v a r i a 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 a v  o r i  86 B y the mid-1980's, the o l d barriers w h i c h d i v i d e d archives and records management were therefore b e c o m i n g irrelevant:  e c o n o m i c efficiency  versus  historical p r e s e r v a t i o n , active versus inactive, were o v e r s h a d o w e d by a w o r l d o f raising i n f o r m a t i o n demands w h i c h d i d not d i s t i n g u i s h between different phases o f the records' life.  G o v e r n m e n t officials, w h o once had been satisfied w i t h the  i n f o r m a t i o n w i t h i n their reach, c o u l d n o w access the entire globe for the i n f o r m a t i o n needed, manipulate it in any way they wished, and q u i c k l y discard superfluous data w i t h a touch o f a computer key. Researchers, heretofore compelled to be content with accessing selected o r censored inactive records, n o w discovered that new legislation allowed them to v i e w any material they desired, whether i n an archival institution o r still active.  It was p r i m a r i l y the r e c o g n i t i o n o f the o p p o r t u n i t i e s w h i c h the new "information c o m m o d i t y " offered w h i c h l e d to a theoretical r e v a l u a t i o n o f the relationship between archives and records management.  R e c o r d s d i d not simply  "begin" in the records management sphere and "end up" in the archival zone, but rather flowed i n an integrated pattern t h r o u g h o u t their existence. T h e A m e r i c a n records administrator Ira Penn made a c o n v i n c i n g argument that archives are merely one part o f records management: U n t i l recently records management was, organisationally, a part o f the ( U n i t e d States) Archives. B u t functionally, archives is a part o f records management. A r c h i v a l preservation is but one o f the elements o f the disposition phase o f the records life-cycle, and yet archives had agency status while records management was but an office w i t h i n that agency.  87 T h e entire arrangement was a textbook case of functional misalignment. T h e tail was wagging the d o g . ? 26  P e n n had an alternative v i e w o f the records management concept. U n l i k e many other "records managers," he was not confined only to active records i n his interpretation o f the records management function. Instead, his assessment o f "the life cycle o f records management" was m o r e encompassing, since it dealt w i t h the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f information, rather than the m e d i u m it was on. "The essence o f records management," he contended, "is that y o u can control the quantity and quality o f information created; that y o u can maintain that information  in a manner that effectively serves vour  needs; and, that you can efficiently dispose o f the information necessary."  that is  when it is no longer  268  T h u s , l i k e A t h e r t o n , P e n n had  a global understanding  of  records  administration. T h e difference was the emphasis. W h i l e Penn was p r o v i d i n g more o f a practical m o d e l for those w h o attempting to understand the intricacies o f records a d m i n i s t r a t i o n , A t h e r t o n was h o p i n g to establish a theoretical m o d e l upon w h i c h further discussion c o u l d be based.  Atherton's comment that Penn's c o n t r i b u t i o n s  were "useful simply because they do l o o k at things f r o m a different v i e w p o i n t and, to that extent at least, suggest that traditional approaches need to be picked up and g i v e n  they do not deliver." See Robert W. Arnold, "The Albany Answer: Pragmatic and Tactical Considerations in Local Records Legislative Efforts," American A r c h i v i s 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. ^ 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  7  268j A . Penn, "Understanding the Life Cycle Concept of Records Management," Records Management Quarterly 17.3 (July 1983): 5. was in the original text. r a  Emphasi  88 a g o o d s h a k i n g every n o w a n d then" is t o o dismissive: b o t h he a n d P e n n were essentially a r g u i n g f o r a m o r e c o o r d i n a t e d and c o m p r e h e n s i v e o r g a n i z a t i o n a l approach w h i c h w o u l d a l l o w for the better control and access o f the information the records c o n t a i n e d . 9 z6  It was essentially this concern w h i c h was the impetus behind Atherton's article. I n the past, theories o n the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f records h a d been based o n h o w to administer economically and effectively the media u p o n w h i c h the i n f o r m a t i o n was contained, rather than the information itself. Concerns for economy and efficiency o n one hand, and historical research and posterity o n the other, were bv the 1980's still r e c o g n i z e d as i m p o r t a n t , but also secondary to the concerns about the p r o p e r creation, c o n t r o l , o r g a n i z a t i o n , availability, preservation, and destruction o f the information i t s e l f .  270  It was this realization o f the value o f information w h i c h was the  key to w h y A t h e r t o n , a n d others l i k e h i m , were able to c o n s t r u c t  integrated  approaches to records administration.  In Canada, the g o v e r n m e n t was not unaware o f the impact o f the c h a n g i n g i n f o r m a d o n environment o n its operations. A s an indication o f this, Parliament finally replaced the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s A c t o f 1912 w i t h the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s o f Canada A c t i n 1987.  271  T h i s act broadened the powers and responsibilities o f the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v i s t  by specifying the A r c h i v i s t ' s competence, duties, and responsibilities. In addition to the traditional functions o f h a v i n g to store, conserve, and preserve its records, the National A r c h i v e s n o w gained, for the first time, the legislated authority  to "facilitate the  management o f records o f g o v e r n m e n t institutions and o f ministerial r e c o r d s . "  Atherton, "From Life Cycle to Continuum," 46. Ibid., 51.  269  210  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.) Ibid., s. 4(1). 2 7 1  272  272  89 M o r e specifically, the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v i s t had the p o w e r to g i v e advice to the departments o n the management o f records, p r o v i d e storage facilities for semi-active records, a n d c o n t r o l the destruction a n d d i s p o s i t i o n o f all records o f the federal government. ?? 2  requirements:  A d d i t i o n a l l y , the A r c h i v i s t also h a d to fulfil  more  recent  facilitating access to p u b l i c records, and p r o v i d i n g " i n f o r m a t i o n ,  consultation, research and other services related to archives." 74 Just as i n d i v i d u a l s 2  such as Rees a n d T a y l o r had predicted, the demands by the p u b l i c f o r i n f o r m a t i o n were c o m p e l l i n g archivists to p r o v i d e n o t o n l y the records, b u t also the contextual b a c k g r o u n d w h i c h had led to the creation o f the records. T h e A r c h i v i s t ' s role was slowly expanding from one o f records caretaker to one o f information provider. A s a result, the powers delegated to the A r c h i v i s t by Parliament were both more substantial and expansive than any previous legislation.  H o w e v e r , w h i l e the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s o f Canada A c t was useful in d e f i n i n g archival responsibilities, it did not entirely give a clear indication o f h o w records were to be administered. T h e organizational structure o f the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s showed that records were still seen to be 'crossing over' from records management to the archives branch. T h e p r o b l e m was that this was increasingly unfeasible.  W i t h the  Access to Information A c t and the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s o f Canada A c t , records c o u l d be accessed whether they were active, semi-active, o r inactive, and therefore, a complete or unified v i e w o f what was g o i n g on was necessary.  In 1989, the Treasury B o a r d p u b l i s h e d the M a n a g e m e n t o f G o v e r n m e n t I n f o r m a t i o n H o l d i n g s , to ensure the dual policy objectives o f "cost-effective and c o o r d i n a t e d management o f federal g o v e r n m e n t i n f o r m a t i o n holdings." 7' 2  ^lbid., s. 4(2)(f), s. 4(2)(i), and s. 5(1). Ibid., s. 4(2)(c), and s. 4(2)(d). ^Canada, Treasury Board, Management of Government Holdings (Administrative Policy Branch, 1989) 3. 27  21A  27  Information  This  9 0 policy had four main c o m p o n e n t s .  276  Firstly, the Treasury B o a r d took a stance similar  to the A m e r i c a n P a p e r w o r k C o m m i s s i o n , v i e w i n g i n f o r m a t i o n holdings as a valuable "corporate resource" w h i c h was needed to "support effective d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g , meet operational requirements, and protect the legal financial and other interests o f the g o v e r n m e n t 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 i n f o r m a t i o n w i t h i n the government by ensuring that it is organized to facilitate access by those w h o require it." T h i r d l y , i n the interests o f efficiency (and the public's right to p r i v a c y , ) the  government  was to e l i m i n a t e the unnecessary c o l l e c t i o n a n d  d i s s e m i n a t i o n o f irrelevant i n f o r m a t i o n .  L a s t l y , it was to "identify and conserve  i n f o r m a t i o n h o l d i n g s that serve to reconstruct the e v o l u t i o n o f p o l i c y and p r o g r a m decisions ... and to ensure that such information is organized i n a manner to be readily available  "  T h e last c o m p o n e n t  w o u l d ensure b o t h a c c o u n t a b i l i t y o f the  g o v e r n m e n t to the p u b l i c , and the availability for users o f i n f o r m a t i o n w h i c h the records contained.  T o a c c o m p l i s h these goals, the Treasury B o a r d supported a more integrated approach for the overall management o f i n f o r m a t i o n . A s the clearest i n d i c a t i o n o f this, t w o p o l i c y r e q u i r e m e n t s for g o v e r n m e n t  institutions  were  particularly  pertinent. 77 T h e first requirement stipulated that they had to "plan, direct, organize 2  and c o n t r o l their i n f o r m a t i o n holdings t h r o u g h o u t their life cycle, regardless o f the f o r m or m e d i u m in w h i c h the information is held;" the second one p r o n o u n c e d that they had to "maintain a current, c o m p r e h e n s i v e and structured i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o r classification system or systems w h i c h p r o v i d e an effective means for o r g a n i z i n g and l o c a t i n g i n f o r m a t i o n . . . . " T h e Treasury B o a r d advocated such c o o r d i n a t i o n because it v i e w e d it as "necessary i n the a p p l i c a t i o n o f i n f o r m a t i o n legislation and to meet lbid.  216  Ibid.,  211  4.  91 government-wide objectives."^  8  I n other words, it was only by such an approach that  the precise information w o u l d be organized and easily available by those w h o needed it, when they needed it.  Significantly, the Treasury B o a r d did n o t choose the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v i s t to oversee this program. Instead, Statistics Canada was given the responsibility ... for m a k i n g arrangements between institutions for the co-ordination o f i n f o r m a t i o n collection; for maintaining a g o v e r n m e n t - w i d e register o f collected i n f o r m a t i o n ; f o r p r o v i d i n g advice o n the use o f existing i n f o r m a t i o n and o n methods and techniques f o r the c o - o r d i n a t i o n o f i n f o r m a t i o n collection p l a n n i n g , and for p r o v i d i n g guidelines, advice and t r a i n i n g o n the professional a n d technical aspects o f c o l l e c t i n g information to meet government information needs. ?9 2  Such a decision most likely resulted from the interpretation o f the competence o f the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v i s t , w h o was responsible  f o r records  in particular, but not  i n f o r m a t i o n as a w h o l e . I n this n a r r o w e r scope; it was ordained that "in order to manage the life cycle o f i n f o r m a t i o n effectively," the A r c h i v i s t h a d to continue to administer the retention a n d d i s p o s i t i o n o f records.  T h i s was to be done i n "an  integrated manner for all i n f o r m a t i o n h o l d i n g s to w h i c h the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s o f Canada A c t a p p l i e s . " ° It was therefore no coincidence that although the A r c h i v i s t 28  always had some responsibility for the management o f government records, there was n o w a shift i n emphasis  i n the G o v e r n m e n t R e c o r d s B r a n c h f r o m  "Records  M a n a g e m e n t and M i c r o g r a p h i c Systems" to "Information M a n a g e m e n t Standards and P r a c t i c e s . " ' 28  T h e latter term, w h i c h e v o k e d a broader interpretation o f the  Archivist's objectives, was reflective o f this new approach. *lbid.,  27  Ibid.,  279  *°Ibid.,  2  9. 12. 18.  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 2  8  1  9 2 A s recent endeavours indicate, the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s o f Canada is still adjusting to its m o r e expansive role i n the administration o f records.  In 1991, it  launched its G o v e r n m e n t - W i d e P l a n for the D i s p o s i t i o n o f R e c o r d s , 1991-1996. w h i c h was intended to remedy many o f the p r o b l e m s still encountered since the C o r b e t t - F r o s t R e p o r t o f 1979.  282  A s R a l p h W e s t i n g t o n p o i n t e d out, past records  disposition practices d i d not fully include all o f the requisites necessary for an accurate "picture" o f the Federal G o v e r n m e n t , and a new p r o g r a m was required to fit the "context o f the s o u n d and e c o n o m i c management and p r o t e c t i o n o f g o v e r n m e n t i n f o r m a t i o n . " ' T h e new plan w o u l d be more inclusive by c o v e r i n g a greater number 28  o f government institutions, more regions, and records o f all media.  E q u a l l y as important, the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v i s t w o u l d take o n a role w h i c h was c o o r d i n a t i v e rather than participatory, so that the departments themselves w o u l d become i n v o l v e d i n appraisal while the A r c h i v i s t had overall c o n t r o l .  2 8 4  The National  A r c h i v e s had m o v e d from the sole issue o f records disposition o f Corbett and F r o s t to the more encompassing issues o f integrated information management. In effect, the plan indicated that the N a t i o n a l A r c h i v e s wished to m o v e f r o m the "present system o f r e v i e w i n g records submissions from departments on an ad hoc and passive basis" to an "active approach for disposition." T h e A r c h i v i s t w o u l d consider the d i s p o s i t i o n submission o f the Departments, thus a l l o w i n g h i m to gain control o f 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, 19881989 Annual Report of the National Archives of Canada (Minister of Supply and Services, 1989). N a t i o n a l Archives of Canada, Government-Wide Plan for the Records. 1991-1996 (Internal Report, November 1990). 2 8 2  R a l p h Westington, Disposition Schedules," (1994): 59. / 6 / d . , 57-58. 2 8 3  2 8 4  Disposition of  "Development and Application of Records Retention and Archivum: International Review on Archives X X X I X  93 agenda and f u n c t i o n . " ' B y so d o i n g , the A r c h i v i s t allowed the departments to have 28  direct i n p u t i n t o h o w records were to be handled, b u t this d i d not necessarily mean that there was less integration. Instead, what was intended was an orchestrated plan designed to c o n t r o l the o v e r a l l management o f the records t h r o u g h an "active, planned and strategic" administrative a p p r o a c h .  286  A s the Plan stated,  Better archival appraisal w i l l be possible by adopting a planned, holistic, and comprehensive approach to all i n f o r m a t i o n i n an i n s t i t u t i o n and between institutions before the f o r m a l s c h e d u l i n g o f parts o f that i n f o r m a t i o n takes place, rather than b y the passive, reactive, and piecemeal approaches o f the p a s t . 7 28  B y l e a v i n g the specific w o r k t o the Departments, it was anticipated that the vast quantities o f records n o w b e i n g created by the F e d e r a l G o v e r n m e n t c o u l d be administered by the A r c h i v e s t h r o u g h 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 links. A sense o f the need to take the more encompassing v i e w o f records was n o w evident in Canada. Such a v i e w is also emerging in the United States, but at a slower pace.  NARA  continues to struggle w i t h records a d m i n i s t r a t i o n issues, b u t 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 disposition schedules w h i c h Federal agencies must submit, but this is no longer e n o u g h .  2 8 8  N A R A ' s role i n the affair o v e r the potential d e s t r u c t i o n o f  presidential electronic mail tapes in the early 1990's led to heavy criticism o f the  N a t i o n a l Archives of Canada, Records. 1-2. 2 8 5  Ibid.,  3.  * Ibid.,  2.  n6  2  7  Governmeni-Wide Plan  for the Disposition of  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. 2 8 8  94 m e t h o d s it has used to address electronics records i s s u e s . 2 8 9  David  Bearman  suggested that i f i n the future archivists (and N A R A ) wished to continue to be viable, they had to l o b b y to gain the statutory authority necessary not o n l y to administer active electronic records, but also participate i n the design and i m p l e m e n t a t i o n o f electronic records creating systems.  "The p r o b l e m s c o n f r o n t i n g archivists in the  management o f electronic records," he contended, " w i l l not be solved by e m p l o y i n g the techniques that were used to control paper records." 9° H e added that 2  R e c e n t l y the r e c o g n i t i o n that electronic records management may require new activity o n the part o f archives has led to a discussion o f p r o g r a m strategies for archives, especially for electronic records. O n e i m p l i c a t i o n o f these discussions is the p o s s i b i l i t y they present for a radical redefinition o f the archival profession and a reintegration o f records m a n a g e m e n t and archives. These t w o areas ... must be recombined i f electronic archival records are to be imagined. 9 ' 2  Bearman's comments are indicative o f h o w the technological changes o f the last three or so decades were finally the catalysts which led to an increasingly c o m m o n acceptance  289x i j 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. Bearman, "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, Annual Report for the Year Ended September 30. 1992 (Washington, D. C) 20 and 50. Bearman, "Implications of Armstrong v. Executive of the President." 688. n e  2 9 u  2 9 1  s s u e  s  9 5 o f a c o m m o n r e c o r d a d m i n i s c r a t i o n p h i l o s o p h y for all records managers and archivists, as iterated by A t h e r t o n . A s Bruce A m b a c h e r noted, T h e c o m p u t e r has r e v o l u t i o n i z e d the historical record by altering the ways i n w h i c h p e r s o n a l , corporate, a n d g o v e r n m e n t a l records are created, used, maintained, and destroyed or preserved . . . . A r c h i v i s t s and records managers are b e i n g required to accept and care for the data bases, techniques, and systems adopted by their s p o n s o r i n g agencies, archival clients, and other records creators . . . . H e goes o n to argue that In the past, most archivists were not part o f the c o m p u t e r generation .... T h i s , o f course, has changed significantly. N o w they must become c o m p u t e r literate. T h e y must understand what machine-readable records a n d automated techniques are, h o w they are created, and h o w they are used. T h e y must be able to c o m m u n i c a t e w i t h the records creators and custodians o f machine-readable records, to instruct them in scheduling their data bases, to determine the archival value o f their automated creations, and to guide them o n the maintenance and use o f both machine-readable records and automated techniques. ? 2  2  T h i s scenario resulted in a fundamental reassessment o f t r a d i t i o n a l a r c h i v a l and records managerial roles. T h i s is not to state that an integrated approach was suddenly and completely embraced by the records administration communities i n both Canada and the U n i t e d States, far from it, but there were discussions about this elemental issue. 2 93  292  B  ruce I. Ambacher, "Managing Machine-Readable Archives," Managing Archives and Archival Institutions, ed. James Gregory Bradsher (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989): 121-122. I n the event, some have fell that the result will 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. 2 9 3  96 T h e evidence suggests that the days o f the "two solitudes" w i l l come to an end. Initiatives i n both Canada and the U n i t e d States, while not always successful, indicate that records administrators are endeavouring to implement processes which will allow for the s m o o t h transition o f records from the time from before the are created to the m o m e n t they are either discarded o r permanently stored. A s has been s h o w n , records are n o w considered a c o m m o d i t y — indeed, as a tool o f p o w e r — and attempts to i m p r o v e their management has led to a more integrated and c o n t r o l l e d approach. Atherton's c o n t i n u u m theory, w h i c h was the product o f the slow e v o l u t i o n towards this v i e w p o i n t , is the most succinct commentary on this trend.  97 CONCLUSIONS  It is apparent that it is n o t effective to i m p l e m e n t records a d m i n i s t r a t i o n programs based o n the life cycle m o d e l . In the past, the d i v i s i o n o f labour amongst different g r o u p s based o n the status o f the records was, w h i l e c o n v e n i e n t , n o t reflective o f the singular nature o f the records. Atherton's article makes it clear that records administrators  m u s t c o n t i n u e to eschew any a p p r o a c h  based  on a  Schellenbergian d i c h o t o m y w h i c h distinguishes between records and archives, and that they must adopt a p h i l o s o p h y o f integrated records a d m i n i s t r a t i o n w h i c h advocates continual and uninterrupted management.  H o w e v e r , while A t h e r t o n was  specific in s h o w i n g w h y the life cycle model d i d not w o r k , he d i d not give details o f a p r o g r a m based o n the c o n t i n u u m model w h i c h w o u l d replace it. It is n o w necessary, therefore, to take the ideas o f a unified records administration theory and apply them to a m o d e l so that they can be practically implemented in organizations t h r o u g h o u t N o r t h America.  If records administrators wish to achieve the effective management o f their insdtution's records, they must fulfil two main objectives. First, they must understand that w h e n records are generated they are almost invariably intended to a c c o m p l i s h some operational o r administrative intention o f the organization, and they must w o r k towards these ends. A s A t h e r t o n said, Records are not generated to serve the interests o f some future archivist o r h i s t o r i a n , o r even to d o c u m e n t for posterity some s i g n i f i c a n t d e c i s i o n o r o p e r a t i o n . T h e y are created and managed to serve immediate operational needs. 94 2  T h i s must be the main objective o f records administrators. T h e y must w o r k for their organizations by a d v o c a t i n g the importance o f ensuring that the records do meet immediate operational or administrative needs. Indeed, it is a truism that the only time 294  Atherton,  "From Life Cycle to Continuum,"  49.  98 organizations notice the real importance o f their records is when they need them for some operational, administrative, evidential, or other purpose, and yet cannot find them, o r cannot produce them in a f o r m w h i c h is acceptable to the circumstances i n w h i c h they are required. It is the records administrator's job to ensure that this event occurs as rarely as is possible.  T h i s leads to the second objective for records administrators. A f t e r records have served the immediate needs o f the organization, they must then act as the effective m e m o r y o f the activities w h i c h led to their generation, o b v i o u s l y for any o r all purposes f o r w h i c h they may be used.  These records must f u n c t i o n as the  d o c u m e n t a t i o n o f the o r g a n i z a t i o n by i n d i c a t i n g its actions and transactions.  The  records administrator has an important role in ensuring that this occurs. H e or she must w o r k to make sure that the records w h i c h are retained as the organization's m e m o r y c o n t i n u e to serve the p r i m a r y f u n c t i o n o f f u l f i l l i n g the organization's immediate operational and administrative needs.  T h i s can only be a c c o m p l i s h e d  satisfactorily i f records administrators have a comprehensive k n o w l e d g e o f h o w the organization operates and what the records are used for.  T h u s , all records administrators have these t w o goals i n c o m m o n . F i r s t and f o r e m o s t , they m u s t serve their o r g a n i z a t i o n by e n s u r i n g that r e c o r d s  meet  satisfactorily the organization's needs. Second, they must reduce the records to only those w h i c h w i l l continue to be required by the o r g a n i z a t i o n and all other users as evidence o f its actions and transactions. T h e r e is no functional separation between these t w o goals: b o t h deal w i t h servicing the various needs o f the records' numerous users.  A s A t h e r t o n has said, this service f u n c t i o n can o n l y be fulfilled i f it is  understood that R e c o r d s are created to serve an a d m i n i s t r a t i v e purpose, usually to document a transaction or decision. T h e i r value is directly related to their availability to those r e q u i r i n g them. H e n c e the need for effective  9 9 systems o f classification, f i l i n g , and retrieval — and the need to ensure that records o f permanent value are preserved and made available when required. 95 2  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 n o w idendfied the objectives o f records administrators, it is important to articulate the main elements that are required in such a integrated approach. First, an organization must have i n place an institution-wide p o l i c y w h i c h recognizes not only the i m p o r t a n c e o f its records, but also that they must be managed in a coherent, comprehensive, and integrated manner. Such policy must o f necessity contain a broad definition o f the records a d m i n i s t r a t o r ' s function. R e c o r d s administrators cannot s i m p l y be v i e w e d as file c l e r k s , b u t must be u n d e r s t o o d  to have  broader  responsibilities w h i c h allow them to participate i n every manner in w h i c h records are created, used, stored, preserved, and destroyed. They must m o v e beyond the physical aspects o f file management, such as c o n t r o l l i n g file size or paper disposal, into the wider sphere o f o f h o w their w o r k can (and does) affect their institution's operational and administrative needs.  -  T h i s cannot be achieved, h o w e v e r , w i t h o u t the second element required in an  integrated approach, and that is the successful achievement o f the unity o f c o n t r o l , o r unity o f management, o f the records administration p r o g r a m . T h i s factor is crucial for the success o f an unified approach, for it recognizes the records' global nature bv a s s u m i n g that a l t h o u g h several different persons may be p e r f o r m i n g v a r i o u s " a r c h i v a l " o r "records m a n a g e r i a l " f u n c t i o n s , they are all c o n t r o l l e d by  one  management p h i l o s o p h y . T h e conflict between the administrative roles w h i c h is so prevalent i n the life cycle p r o p o s i t i o n therefore never occurs w i t h this approach: the  /bid.,  295  48.  100  singular nature o f the records themselves and the unifying approach o f service to the users becomes the overall policy.  T h i s unity o f control approach necessitates that the manager o f an institution's records a d m i n i s t r a t i o n p r o g r a m be g i v e n the ability or competence to get the job done. W h a t is meant by this is that the manager must have the authority to articulate, enforce, and implement an integrated and coherent approach n o t o n l y amongst the organization's records administrators, but also w i t h i n the organization as a whole. It is easy for a p r o m i s i n g records p r o g r a m to fail i f it does not have f r o m  the  organization the support it needs to w o r k . A policy w h i c h l o o k s excellent in theoryw i l l never succeed if the manager o f the the records administration p r o g r a m is not g i v e n the ability to implement it effectively, or to c o n t r o l those i n the p r o g r a m w h o may have agendas o f their o w n . Such unity o f c o n t r o l speaks from the very nature o f the integrated conceptualization. A n approach w h i c h advocates the primary objective o f service to the users — t h r o u g h a management policy w h i c h advocates the unified administration o f records w h i c h 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 i n s t i t u t i o n - w i d e policy and the unity o f c o n t r o l elements have been c o m p r e h e n s i v e l y detailed by K a t h l e e n Carney.  She suggested that a successful  a p p r o a c h for an "integrated records management p r o g r a m " w o u l d need f o u r objectives.  It w o u l d need to be:  1 ) applied o n an o r g a n i z a t i o n - w i d e basis, 2 )  c o n t r o l l e d by policies and procedures, 3) standardized, and 4) integrated t h r o u g h c o o r d i n a t i o n (that is, the records a d m i n i s t r a t i o n p r o g r a m s h o u l d w o r k a l o n g the same organizational lines as its parent organization, w h i c h inherently is an integrated w h o l e i n w h i c h all o f its parts must be c o o r d i n a t e d to fulfil the organization's  10 1 mandate). ? 2  6  Carney's first t w o objectives c o u l d be facilitated under the institutional  policy element; the last t w o c o u l d be accomplished t h r o u g h 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 a c h i e v e d w i t h the i n c l u s i o n o f certain m a i n components.  These were:  i ) the o f f i c i a l a s s i g n m e n t o f responsibility for records  w i t h i n organizations by delegating the office o f p r i m a r y r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , i n c l u d i n g assigning r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to i n d i v i d u a l w o r k e r s , 2) a classification system based o n intellectual access to the records, rather than based o n their physical c o n t r o l , and 3) a retention and disposition plan integrated w i t h the classification scheme. 97 T h i s plan 2  w o u l d 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 d o c u m e n t a t i o n indicating h o w the records system w o r k e d and was to be administered. ? 2  8  Carney's plan is c o m m e n d a b l e and s h o u l d be adopted as a p r a g m a t i c and functional m o d e l for records administrators and institutions w h i c h advocate an integrated approach.  O n e more c o m p o n e n t is needed, h o w e v e r , w h i c h is not so  concrete. T h e r e is little doubt that as N o r t h A m e r i c a approaches the 21st Century and beyond, it w i l l experience even more radical technological changes which n o w can only be dreamed about.  I n this e n v i r o n m e n t , c o n t i n u e d awareness and v i g i l a n c e is  necessary i f records administrators wish to stay abreast o f h o w changing information technologies w i l l affect the management o f the records. T h i s is necessary i f records administrators wish to continue with the effective c o n t r o l o f records. W i t h the socalled convergence o f information technologies, in which different office technologies 6 K a t h l e e n 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. Ibid., 135-140. /bid., 140-143. 29  291  29S  102 related to t e l e c o m m u n i c a t i o n s , office machines, and c o m p u t e r s w i l l be further c o m b i n e d and integrated, new uses and demands w i l l be made not only o f the records, but the i n f o r m a t i o n they contain. 99 It is this factor, more than any other, w h i c h will 2  be the concern o f future records administrators.  In the last t w o decades, records administrators have had to adapt to newdemands and rising expectations. T h i s 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 r o v i s i o n o f 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 c h a n g i n g . W i t h the gradual m o v e f r o m the paper to the electronic m e d i a , records a d m i n i s t r a t i o n has been i n the m i d s t o f "a l e n g t h y t r a n s i t i o n a l period."'  00  A s institutional hierarchies "downsize" o r "flatten," the general office  employee has had to take up the roles once held by "middle management" by being able to manage the i n f o r m a t i o n resource and contribute to its p r o d u c t i o n . I n this new scenario, the end objective "is to empower the end user and to put this person i n touch with the appropriate data to compete today and plan for t o m o r r o w . " '  01  F u r n i s h i n g access to the paper record has always been the ultimate concern, but that i n itself is not enough n o w . Frank B u r k e observed that the computer replaces functions p r e v i o u s l y performed by other personnel, and also p r o v i d e s c o m m u n i c a t i o n s and access [directly] to i n f o r m a t i o n [and records] p r o d u c e d by others. In many ways, the c o m p u t e r is the file, and i n f o r m a t i o n can be accessed w i t h o u t i n f o r m i n g anyone, i n c l u d i n g a 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. z y y  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 A r c h i v e s , ed. Angelika Menne-Haritz (Munich: K . G . Saur, 1993) 117-118. 3 0 1  103 secretary, what it is that one wishes to l o o k a t . . . . A n y o n e w h o 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  T h e n e w records administrator, therefore, has a different concern: i n the past, it was adequate for records administrators to be concerned only w i t h the preservation o f the physical item o f the record itself, but n o w they must also ensure that the information w h i c h the records contain is also available. Records administrators must come to realize that the importance o f their jobs lies as m u c h i n the d e v e l o p m e n t o f new methods so that they may capture and administer the i n f o r m a t i o n as it is created and used i n the course o f activity as it does in storing and retrieving the records it is o n . It is this concern which must be behind their approach in the administration o f records.  This trend  is u n l i k e l y  to s t o p .  T h r e e factors  will compel  records  administrators to continue i n 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 i n f o r m a t i o n and / or records w h i c h p u b l i c bodies generate. T h i s has been b r o u g h t about by the ideals o f openness and accountability in p u b l i c bodies. H o w e v e r , such openness is also balanced by the fact that i n f o r m a t i o n about an i n d i v i d u a l person is considered that person's private property, and may only be used or manipulated in ways that respect this fact.  This  approach has been fostered and strengthened by the advent o f access to i n f o r m a t i o n and protection o f privacy laws. Such laws are compelling p u b l i c institutions to alter or "tidy up" their processes for h a n d l i n g information, and for this reason they have also placed new emphasis on the importance o f the records administrator's role.  S e c o n d , p e o p l e expect expertise on system management  and r e c o r d o r  information retrieval. In a w o r l d where data crosses the globe in a matter o f seconds,  Frank 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. 3u2  104 and where m u l t i - m i l l i o n d o l l a r cross-border transactions can o c c u r m o m e n t a r i l y , retrieval must occur instantly, completely, and effectively. In this new w o r l d , records administrators must participate in c o n t i n u i n g education programs  on new  t e c h n o l o g i c a l i n n o v a t i o n s , by l e a r n i n g h o w such changes affect their profession. T h e i r k n o w l e d g e must be fortified by their w o r k i n g w i t h computer or i n f o r m a t i o n systems experts, whose functions are unmistakably b e c o m i n g more closely aligned w i t h those o f records administrators.  F i n a l l y , people expect the c o n t r o l , regulation, and p r o t e c t i o n o f i n f o r m a t i o n and records. Such c o n t r o l is required because the quality o f the content and structure o f data has a direct impact on the effectiveness and completeness o f the transactions w h i c h are recorded. T h e c o m m o n computer cliche "garbage in results in garbage out" succinctly illuminates this point. A s B u r k e has contended, "developing techniques for h a n d l i n g m i l l i o n s o f bits o f data streaming from one l o c a t i o n to another by passing t h r o u g h m i c r o w a v e relay satellites presents a considerably different p r o b l e m [from] determining the flow o f documents from outbox to file cabinet or mail r o o m . " It is, he said, "time to b e g i n educating a new generation o f records managers and archivists i n the mysteries o f the new age." ' ° 3  T h i s emphasis o n i n f o r m a t i o n does not mean that adherence to the principles o f records administration should fall by the wayside. O n the contrary, the opposite is true. Bearman notes that the fundamental principles o f a r c h i v a l practice, [with] its traditional emphasis o n respect des fonds, provenance and original order, reflect the evidential value o f the context o f creation and use. In electronic records management these p r i n c i p l e s are o f even greater i m p o r t a n c e since r a n d o m l y stored data are o t h e r w i s e d e v o i d o f c o n t e x t and o n l y  Ibid.,  303  172.  105 k n o w l e d g e o f the business a p p l i c a t i o n , or provenance, o f the system provides guidance for r e t e n t i o n . ' 04  R e c o r d s a d m i n i s t r a t o r s must therefore c o n t i n u e to understand that records are evidence o f actions and transactions, o f practical activity w h i c h gives them their intrinsic and sometimes extrinsic values. It is this r e c o g n i t i o n w h i c h has r e m o v e d records administrators from T a y l o r ' s "historical shunt" and placed them w i t h i n the realm o f i n f o r m a t i o n p r o v i d e r s — but the cost has w o r k e d to the detriment o f 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 will have to step outside the bounds o f the traditional records specialist. T h e y may have to participate w i t h other i n f o r m a t i o n professions, such as computer systems specialists, i n the b r o a d e r d o m a i n o f i n f o r m a t i o n management.  T o date, m o s t  records  administrators neither have the training nor the inclination to handle k n o w l e d g e a b l y the multitude o f new records-creating technologies. T h i s 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 v i t a l for the p r o p e r care o f i n f o r m a t i o n that these i n d i v i d u a l s , as m u c h as records administrators, have to manage.  In fact, the ability o f records administrators to discuss technical matters w i t h these systems specialists allows for the greater understanding o f the needs o f both  D a v i d Bearman, "Archival Data Management to Achieve Organizational Accountibility for Electronic Records," Archival Documents: Providing Accountibilitv through Recordkeeping, ed. Sue McKemmish and Frank Upward (Melbourne, Australia: Ancora Press, 1993) 225. ^ ^ T h e 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," A r c h i v a r i a 38 (Fall 1994): 155-163. 3 u 4  3  106 groups: cooperation only enhances the quality and effectiveness o f the records w h i c h are p r o d u c e d o n electronic systems. T o use an analogy, a race car d r i v e r mav be the expert at d r i v i n g automobiles, but k n o w s better than to attempt the maintenance and care o f the car's engine, instead l e a v i n g this to the mechanic. T h e mechanic, o n the other hand, w o u l d never presume to tell the driver h o w to w i n a race. Nonetheless, for b o t h the mechanic and the d r i v e r to have the fastest car, they must not o n l y have technical k n o w l e d g e o f each others' field o f expertise, but they must also  communicate.  T h e same idea c o u l d be applied to records administrators and other i n f o r m a t i o n specialists. T h e most effective service can only be given to the information user i f both w o r k together. T h e records administrator has the better k n o w l e d g e o f the physical and intellectual forms w h i c h together w i t h content c o m p r i s e a r e c o r d , w h i l e the systems specialist k n o w s more about h o w the information system can be configured to accommodate this. W h a t this means is that b o t h must w o r k as a team to achieve a level o f success that neither could achieve individually.  T h i s , then, is the p o i n t w h i c h has to be made. Records administrators, w h i l e i m p l e m e n t i n g and using the integrated m o d e l , should realize that they do not perform their f u n c t i o n s i n i s o l a t i o n f r o m other i n f o r m a t i o n professions. Pemberton,  i n d i s c u s s i n g the  ]. M i c h a e l  " i n f o r m a t i o n solar system" o f w h i c h  records  administrators f o r m a part, noted the s l o w e v o l u t i o n o f c o m m o n d e n o m i n a t o r s between all i n f o r m a t i o n professions.  H e noted that all o f them had the f o l l o w i n g  concerns i n c o m m o n : 1. 2. 3.  acquiring information in some recorded [and prescribed] f o r m , storing it in a mode optimal for retrieval [and preservation], and recalling it for use as needed [and as people have the right to see it].J°  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. 3 0 6  107 It is the guardianship o f the i n f o r m a t i o n w h i c h is n o w , and w i l l continue to be, the records administrators' and other i n f o r m a t i o n professionals' concern. T h a t records administrators specialize in the administration o f records does not alter this fact: after all, as agents responsible for their institutions' m e m o r y , they are acting to preserve i n f o r m a t i o n about the actions and transactions in w h i c h their institutions partook. Now,  h o w e v e r , records professionals must l o o k b e y o n d the b o u n d s o f records  administration, and into the wider realm o f the c o m m o n information universe.  T h e danger o f course is that records professionals c o u l d simply be s w a l l o w e d u p or o v e r w h e l m e d by the other specialists w h o have m o r e prestigious or glamorous jobs.  It is n o secret that r o y a l battles are sometimes f o u g h t between records  professionals and other groups such as computer systems specialists, w h o often seem to have more immediate needs o r are able to produce more readily apparent benefits w h i c h the seemingly more pedestrian functions o f p r o p e r records management o r records p r e s e r v a t i o n cannot hope to match.  A d d i t i o n a l l y , records professionals  c o u l d become so o v e r w h e l m e d by their newly acquired i n f o r m a t i o n administration s k i l l s that the specific needs for the n a r r o w e r r e a l m o f a p p r o p r i a t e  records  a d m i n i s t r a t i o n are f o r g o t t e n .  records  W h a t is r e q u i r e d , therefore,  is for  a d m i n i s t r a t o r s to c o n t i n u e a c q u i r i n g a broader k n o w l e d g e o f the i n f o r m a t i o n universe, w h i l e not f o r g e t t i n g that their ultimate task is the management o f the records. T h e y must m o v e forward and partake in this new i n f o r m a t i o n exploration enterprise. T h e alternative is to look to their past role as cultural caretakers, and risk, like the clay tablet and maybe one day the paper record, being rendered obsolete. It is h a n d l i n g this double-jeopardy o f obsolescence o n the one hand, and a b s o r p t i o n by other groups on the other, which will be their biggest challenge for many years to come. It is always better for records administrators to m o v e 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 S a m Kula recently lamented the apparent coming end of the "traditional archivist", who is "increasingly marginalized by a world that is processoriented 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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