Archivists and Records Managers, part 9

Jay Atherton was a long-time archivist at the Public Archives of Canada.  In the Winter 1985-86 issue of Archivaria, he published “From Life Cycle to Continuum: Some Thoughts on the Records Management – Archives Relationship.”  Atherton emphasized the necessity of cooperative work between records managers and archivists to accomplish certain goals:

“- ensure the creation of the right records, containing the right information, in the right format;
– organize the records and analyze their content and significance to facilitate their availability;
– make them available promptly to those (administrators and researchers
alike) who have a right and a requirement to see them;
– systematically dispose of records that are no longer required; and
– protect and preserve the information for as long as it may be needed (if
necessary, forever).”

He concluded, “A symbiotic relationship between an archivist and a records manager should facilitate the achievement of these ends.  The intellectual training and historical perspective of the archivist will enrich the practical, immediate concerns of the records manager.  And the records manager’s knowledge of his institution, as well as his concern for efficiency, practicality, and immediate service, will help the archivist to perform his responsibilities.  Working as a team within the records management-archives continuum, they will ensure that their ultimate goals – administrative and cultural – are achieved.”

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