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Recordkeeping today: the digital imperative

Pember, M. and Cowan, R.A.ORCID: 0000-0003-0417-2208 (2008) Recordkeeping today: the digital imperative. In: Pember, M. and Cowan, R.A., (eds.) Electronic document and records management systems in Australasia : iRMA information and records management annual 2008. RMAA, St Helens, Tasmania.


Recordkeeping in Australasia has changed considerably over the past 20 years. It was often perceived by many, even some practitioners, to be a low level administrative task requiring little, if any, specialised knowledge or skill, and indeed, many today still work at a base level. Some practitioners, on the other hand, develop the knowledge and skills required to cope with the ongoing changes to the recordkeeping profession. These highly skilled and experienced professionals are in great demand across Australasia.

This paper briefly discusses some of the changes that have impacted recordkeeping and argues that all these changes can be traced back to the need to change practice to cope successfully with the primarily digital nature of modern recordkeeping. In contrast to the fairly robust media of the past, recordkeeping professionals now have to manage records which can only be described as fleetingly fragile and extremely vulnerable. Unlike clay tablets or paper, digital records simply will not survive long-term unless purposefully managed on a continuing basis. The digital black hole beckons.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation: Murdoch University Library
Publisher: RMAA
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