Electronic Records Research 1997: Resource Materials

Compilation Copyright, Archives & Museum Informatics 1998
Article Copyright, Author

National Archives of Canada
395 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N3

Richard Brown is the Chief of the Submissions and Appraisals Section, Records Disposition Division National Archives of Canada. He has been an archivist at the National Archives for the past fifteen years. He is currently supervising teams of information systems analysts and archivists on projects which identify, describe, analyse, appraise and recommend the disposition status of federal government records, including the terms and conditions for their archival transfer or preservation. Over the years, this has necessarily required some involvement with electronic records, primarily databases, but increasingly, with federal shared systems initiatives and the implementation of seamless integrated office software and electronic record keeping, electronic records are at the forefront of daily disposition business. Government clients are rapidly adapting electronic information management products to the corporate work environment, and the National Archives is required under law to identify archival records created within this environment and have them transferred to its "custody and control." He is hoping to hear and share some ideas about what can be done to cope with the immediate and future problems associated with this general transition. From a broader perspective, he has also been directly involved in the formulation of National Archives' appraisal policy and planning initiatives (Acquisition Strategy Model, Government-Wide Plan, Private Sector Acquisition Strategy, etc.), and the RDD management team under the direction of Terry Cook will soon (Autumn 97) undertake to recast the National Archives' records disposition program and macro-appraisal strategy. Harmonizing the macro-appraisal initiative with the appraisal of electronic records for value will doubtless have a significant impact on its nature and direction. He is hoping to exchange information on the implications of acquisition and/or preservation strategies, the role of archives as custodian, and the broader concerns of user and taxpayer expectations of its national memory institution.

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16 June 1997