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93 8 BUSINESS PLANNING FOR E-ARCHIVES Dirk Kinnaes, Marc Nelissen, Luc Schokkaert and Mel Collier Introduction Although it is not uncommon for archives departments to be housed in libraries, archivists are keen to point out that the professional processes associated with archive management are different from those of library management. Archivists have a strict appraisal process for deciding what needs to be preserved and what not, and when an item is selected for retention a decision is being made about the period for which it will be retained, if not in perpetuity. The criteria for appraisal are not absolute: in the administrative context documents may be retained because they are statutorily required or they contain vital information about the organization. If being selected for perpetuity other factors come into play, such as their relationship to the mission of the organization or their historical importance. The method of appraisal and selection in our contemporary society, with its excessive production of documents, is crucial for the efficiency and the feasibility of the archive. The archivist could retain or destroy on the basis of document type (for instance bank statements could be destroyed when they are no longer needed for audit purposes) or on the basis of function (for instance policy documents could be retained which are essential for the ongoing operation of the organization or for historical purposes). Theprocessofappraisalandselectionshouldalwaysbecarriedoutinthefullunderstanding of the document production of the creator of the archive as a whole. The archivist must become familiarized with the processes of the entity which formed the archive and the context in which it was formed. When items are selected for retention they are organized by the archivist within the retained archive in a way which reflects their position within the whole, as nearly as possible to the original order. This principle is carried through in the approach to metadata creation: the context in which an archive was formed and the relationship of the objects with each other within it must be reflected in the archival descriptions. This is of course rather different from normal library cataloguing. Fundamentally there is no difference of principle in this regard between digital and nondigital archiving. The criteria and methods can be applied to both. In practice however, the scale of digital object production requires serious additional business planning measures. Paper archives are visible and (perhaps) rather less likely to be disposed of without thought, and they can be stored until the archivist has time to deal with them. If necessary an emergency operation can be launched to rescue them. With digital archives this is not so obvious. Furthermore the quantity of digital production makes the cost and organizational challenge of emergency intervention by the archivist much more problematic. Digital archiving makes business planning even more imperative BPDG_opmaak_12072010.indd 93 13/07/10 11:51 Dirk Kinnaes, Marc Nelissen, Luc Schokkaert and Mel Collier 94 than analogue archiving and requires active participation by the archive creators. Proactive planning can ensure that a certain level of pre-appraisal and selection can occur with essential metadata creation in a standardized way at the point of creation of the document, which will aid automatic transfer from the administrator or archive creator to the archivist when the time comes. Business planning for e-archives Despite the fact that the internal organization and professional procedures of archives may be different from those of other cultural sectors, the principles of business planning for e-archives have much in common with others because the principles and processes involved in repository management (see the chapter by Swan) are themselves common. A digital repository for an organization can of course serve its various sectors: administration, archive, library, heritage and museum functions and audio-visual archiving. Much of the literature and advice about e-archives is indeed based on the seminal work of the Trusted Repositories Audit and Certification taskforce which was initiated in 2003 by the Research Libraries Group and the National Archives and Records Administration in the USA, and then further developed by contributions from Europe (TRAC 2007). In the Netherlands a testing framework for digital archiving (ED3 2008), which was developed in reaction to a report concerned with the government “getting dementia”, (Een dementerende overheid 2005) is based to a large extent on the TRAC work. There are several sources of advice and support in the whole area of archiving and repositories, for instance Digital Preservation Europe1 provides a wide range of services and support, including the planning tool PLATTER (2008). This structures...


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