Archives Month begins today. In the survey of the Records Management Section membership that we conducted along with our election ballot in June, we received a number of comments from people who are interested in investigating the overlaps between archives and records management, so this seems like the right time to begin this process. Although our efforts will certainly extend beyond this month, we are beginning to sketch out some ways that we can explore these intersections.
Today I begin with a simple approach, which is to look at some of the literature that’s been written about archives and records management. At the 1954 annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists, SAA President Wayne C. Grover (who was then also the Archivist of the United States) delivered his presidential address and provided commentary on the burgeoning debate about whether archivists and records managers were different enough specialists to necessitate going separate professional ways. He concluded,
“It is folly for archivists even to think of parting company, literally or psychologically, from the newly developed specialists in records management; and no less folly on the records management side than on the archival side. Our numbers are too few; our common interests too important.”