Managing Records: A Handbook of Principles and Practice

Front Cover, Managing Records: A Handbook of Principles and Practice, 2003.

Front Cover, Managing Records: A Handbook of Principles and Practice, 2003. GGA Image ID # 17218bc35d

Many organizations do not yet have a formal programme of records management, but increasingly they are recognizing the benefits of well managed records and the serious consequences of inadequate records systems.

Establishing records management and maintaining an effective programme require specialist expertise. This essential manual of practice provides a detailed guide to the concepts, skills and techniques of records management for organizational staff who have responsibility for setting up, maintaining or restructuring a records management programme.

It offers invaluable advice on the management of records in both electronic and traditional paper media, and focuses on the following areas:

  • understanding records management
  • analysing the context for records management
  • classifying records and documenting their context
  • creating and capturing records
  • managing appraisal, retention and disposition
  • maintaining records and assuring their integrity
  • providing access
  • implementing records management: practical and managerial issues.

The appendices provide a wealth of additional information including a list of standards for records management, an annotated bibliography and sources of further information, and details of relevant professional and advisory bodies.

This much-needed manual is an indispensable purchase for organizations wishing to introduce better practices for managing their records. The book is intended to be of value to experienced records managers as well as LIS practitioners and newcomers to the field. It should be on the desk of every manager and every information professional with responsibility for records management.

The authors

Elizabeth Shepherd worked in archives and records management in local government before becoming a records management specialist at TFPL Ltd. She was director of the Masters programme in Archives and Records Management at University College London (UCL) from 1992 to 2002, and now teaches records management and general management skills on a part-time basis. She serves on the editorial boards of Archival Science and the Records Management Journal

Geoffrey Yeo has worked in archives and records management for over 25 years, and possesses substantial experience in both public and private sector organizations. He has also worked as a freelance consultant, undertaking archives and records projects in the UK and Africa, and contributing training materials to the International Records Management Trust's Management of Public Sector Records project. He was a Senior Research Fellow at UCL before becoming director of the Masters p ogramme in Archives and Records Management at UCL in 2002.

Facet Publishing, London

ISBN 978-1-85604-370-0
ISBN 978- 85604-370-0

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Editorial note
  • Introduction
  • Why keep records?
  • Why is good records management important?
  • How can this book help?

Understanding records management

  • Defining the key terms in records management
  • The life of the record
  • Records as evidence and as sources of information
  • Records, documents and data
  • Records management and related disciplines
  • Managing paper and electronic records: the hybrid environment
  • Records management programmes, systems and standards
  • Managing the life of the record

Analysing the context for records management

  • Using analytical techniques
  • The organization and its environment
  • Understanding organizational cultures and structures
  • Understanding organizational systems, functions and activities
  • Analysing and modelling systems
  • Elementary and aggregated records
  • Surveying records and records management systems
  • From analysis to implementation

Classifying records and documenting their context

  • Understanding the context of records
  • Designing a classification scheme
  • Organizing and classifying records in paper-based systems
  • The architecture of a paper records system
  • Metadata for paper records
  • Classifying electronic records
  • Classifying records in hybrid systems

Creating and capturing records

  • Principles of records creation and capture
  • Creating records
  • Capturing records into a records management system
  • Ensuring that records are captured systematically
  • Capturing records of routine processes
  • Capturing records of creative processes
  • Capturing information products in a records management system
  • Capturing data records and datasets
  • Capturing dynamic digital objects
  • Registering records
  • Assigning unique identifiers
  • Assigning metadata

Managing appraisal, retention and disposition

  • The need for retention controls
  • The development of appraisal: theory and practice
  • Appraisal strategy: a framework for decision making
  • Appraisal criteria
  • Documenting and applying retention decisions
  • Reviewing retention decisions after the creation of records
  • Retention of 'legacy' records
  • Disposition
  • Quality control and documentation

Maintaining records and assuring their integrity

  • Storage systems for paper records
  • Establishing and managing a records centre
  • Options for electronic records
  • Managing archives
  • Selecting and using storage media and equipment
  • Storage location control
  • Conversion to an alternative medium
  • Preserving electronic records overtime
  • Protecting records against loss, misplacement or alteration
  • Threats and hazards: risk assessment and reduction
  • Business continuity planning

Providing access

  • Meeting the needs of users
  • Approaches to retrieval
  • Confidentiality and rights of access
  • Managing external access to records
  • Archival services

Implementing records management: practical and managerial issues

  • Getting started
  • Developing records management programmes and systems
  • Maintaining the impetus
  • Recording records management


  • Conclusion

Appendix A

  • Bibliography and sources of further information
  • Records management websites
  • General works in print
  • Journals
  • Selected further reading on specific topics

Appendix B

  • Select list of national and international standards

Appendix C

  • Professional organizations for records managers in English-speaking countries


  • Index

Library of Congress Catalog Listing

  •  Personal name: Shepherd, Elizabeth J., 1960-
  • Main title: Managing records: a handbook of principles and practice / Elizabeth Shepherd and Geoffrey Yeo.
  • Published/Created: London : Facet Pub., 2003.
  • Description: xiv, 318 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
  • ISBN: 1856043703
  • LC classification: HF5736 .S445 2003
  • Related names: Yeo, Geoffrey.
  • LC Subjects: Records--Management--Handbooks, manuals, etc.
  • Notes: Includes bibliographical references (p. [273]-294) and index.
  • LCCN: 2003386951
  • Dewey class no.: 651.5
  • Other system no.: (UkLWHE)b000071530
  • Type of material: Book


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