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Rethinking archives as digital: The consequences of ‘paper minds’ in illustrations and definitions of ‘e-archives’
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Archives and Computer Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6342-0393
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Information and Communication systems.
2017 (English)In: Archivaria, ISSN 1923-6409, Vol. 83, no Spring, 81-108 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Culture and discourses affect our understanding of the archive in the digital environment: preconceptions, norms and practices developed in a paper-based administration color and limit perceptions of digital archives. It can be difficult to re-imagine the archive in the context of e-Government, and the networked environment, which increases the complexity of archival issues. This is a global problem, because digital records require other measures than paper records. This takes a foundational approach, focusing on openings and closures of concepts surrounding the idea of archives. Critical theory is used as a lens to study illustrations and descriptions of what an ‘e-archive’ is, and how it should be managed.

 

The analysis is made after three basic principles that the public administration should work towards: (i) a holistic concept of the archive, (ii) a proactive approach to records management, and (iii) striving to integrate the archiving process with the goals and opportunities of e-government.

 

The result indicates that the lack of ‘closings’: commonly understood principles and a shared definition of an e-archive, may restrict the understanding of archives in digital contexts and constrain the development of their full potential. At the same time, the lack of ‘openings’ toward new ways of thinking about and designing e-archives may narrow the scope of possibilities that the digital formats can offer. ‘Paper minds’ may presuppose a ‘stepwise progression’ of records from ‘active’ to ‘archival’ that is unnecessary in the digital context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Association of Canadian Archivists , 2017. Vol. 83, no Spring, 81-108 p.
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-29997Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85026815633OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-29997DiVA: diva2:1071766
Available from: 2017-02-06 Created: 2017-02-06 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Closer Together or Further Apart?: Public administration and archives in the digital age
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Closer Together or Further Apart?: Public administration and archives in the digital age
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The research presented in this thesis is about recordkeeping in the public sector, focusing especially on the relationship between the public administration and its archives, and selected aspects affecting the way this relationship is developing in the digital era. Two research questions are addressed: RQ1: What are ‘archives’ and ‘recordkeeping’ in the digital context and the developing e-government? RQ2: What are the indications of current and future challenges regarding the cooperation between public administration and archives? Six studies resulting in six papers form the basis of the thesis. Each study explores a unique aspect of how current developments, discussions, and decisions affect contemporary understanding and practices regarding archives and recordkeeping. Public records are authoritative information resources, crucial in the everyday lives of citizens. Public recordkeeping develops continuously alongside administrative practices, technological achievements, and political goals. Examples include the development of shared services within the public sector and the involvement of the private sector in public infrastructure projects through outsourcing. These processes are currently affected both by digital technologies, which offer new possibilities to create, use, and preserve records, and by e-government, characterized by the combination of information and communication technologies with organizational change to improve public services and democratic participation. In these processes, existing practices are reviewed and revised, and the concepts of ‘archives’ and ‘recordkeeping’ redefined. The research was pursued using an interpretive approach. The research methods used were concept analysis; discourse analysis; literary warrant analysis; phenomenography; critical theory; and the records continuum model as a theoretical structure. The results shows that common usage of the terms ‘archive’ and ‘recordkeeping’ is fluid and changing, which can make decision-making challenging and affect the relationship between archives and administration. Efforts to develop recordkeeping strategies may be hampered by factors related to the different ways in which the nature and role of archives and recordkeeping are perceived, including differing understandings of related concepts; varying discourses on what an archive (or e-archive) is or should be, and different ways of interpreting legal frameworks and their significance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University, 2017. 102 p.
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 269
Keyword
archives, digital work processes, discourse, outsourcing, public sector agencies, recordkeeping, records continuum model, Sweden
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-31636 (URN)978-91-88527-25-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-10-19, L111, Holmgatan 10, Sundsvall, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
God informationsförvaltningEn effektiv digital informationshantering
Note

Vid tidpunkten för disputationen var följande delarbeten opublicerade: delarbete 6 accepterat.

At the time of the doctoral defence the following papers were unpublished: paper 6 accepted.

Available from: 2017-09-19 Created: 2017-09-18 Last updated: 2017-09-19Bibliographically approved

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Scopushttp://archivaria.ca/index.php/archivaria

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Klareld, Ann-SofieGidlund, Katarina L.

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