I have plenty of personal and some anecdotal evidence that good records management contributes to good archives. But with enough people demonstrating a desire to explore these intersections, I decided one good avenue to pursue would be collecting testimonials from practitioners who see the value of RM to archival work. With the assistance of Cathy Miller, we’ve begun this endeavor and today bring to you our first testimonial. If you’d like to share your thoughts on this topic, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My job for over five years was, among other things, fixing outdated retention schedules to ensure non-archival materials didn’t come to the archives and archival materials did come. Records management (RM) and archives are both core functions of the Kansas Historical Society in the State Archives and our reappraisal work while I was there was one way of marrying the two to help other state agencies AND make sure we were only bringing in records of enduring value.
Based on that experience, and experiences I’ve had elsewhere, RM and archival work shouldn’t be siloed; each side needs to know what the other is doing and is communicating with each other (if one person or group isn’t doing both sides already anyway!)
I’ve also used that past experience in my current role to help ensure appropriate materials are remaining in manuscript collections (and inappropriate materials, such as routine financial records, don’t stay in except for really good reasons).*
University of Kansas Libraries – Kenneth Spencer Research Library
*All opinions expressed in this testimony are my own and not my employers’.