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Principles and Practice in Records Management and Archives

Archives: Principles and practices


A newly revised edition of the 2011 Society of American Archivists' Waldo Gifford Leland Award winner.
This new and extensively revised second edition offers an international perspective on archives management, providing authoritative guidance relevant to collections-based repositories and to organizations responsible for managing their own institutional archives. Written in clear language with lively examples, Archives: Principles and practices introduces core archival concepts, explains best-practice approaches and discusses the central activities that archivists need to know to ensure the documentary materials in their charge are cared for as effectively as possible. Topics addressed include, core archival principles and concepts; archival history and the evolution of archival theories the nature and diversity of archival materials and institutions; the responsibilities and duties of the archivist; issues in the management of archival institutions; the challenges of balancing access and privacy in archival service best practice principles and strategic approaches to central archival tasks such as acquisition, preservation, reference and access; detailed comparison of custodial, fonds-oriented approaches and post-custodial, functional approaches to arrangement and description. Discussion of digital archives is woven throughout the book, including consideration of the changing role of the archivist in the digital age. In recasting her book to address the impact of digital technologies on records and archives, Millar offers us an archival manual for the twenty-first century. This book will be essential reading for archival practitioners, archival studies students and professors, librarians, museum curators, local authorities, small governments, public libraries, community museums, corporations, associations and other agencies with archival responsibility.

PART I: Principles 1. What are archives? 2. An overview of archival theories and concepts 3. The nature of archives 4. The uses of archives 5. Types of archival institution 6. Archival service as a public trust 7. Balancing access and privacy PART 2: Practices 8. Establishing the archival institution 9. Appraising and acquiring archives 10. Preserving archives 11. Arranging and describing archives 12. Making archives available 13. Providing online access and reference Conclusion To learn more Journal literature National and state institutions Professional associations Additional reading Glossary of terms

Laura A. Millar is an independent consultant in the fields of records, archives and information management, publishing and education. She has taught records, archives and information management courses in universities and colleges in Canada and internationally and is the author of dozens of books and articles on a range of topics. In 2010, the first edition of Archives: Principles and practices was awarded the prestigious Waldo Gifford Leland Award from the Society of American Archivists in recognition of its 'superior excellence and usefulness in the fields of archival history, theory, or practice.'

An absolutely indispensable instructional guide and manual, Archives: Principles and Practices is unreservedly recommended for community, academic, governmental, and corporate Library Science collections and supplemental studies lists.

- Midwest Book Review

Archives is divided into theoretical and operational sections. Millar ably tackles topics such as the concept, nature, history, acquisition, preservation, and future of archives. Including a helpful list of resources for further reading and a glossary of archive-related terms, this is a well-rounded book. Infused with the right amount of humor, Millar has authored a highly readable text for those interested in an overview of the world of archives.


'Although differing goals and understandings of the archival profession are in many ways a sign of its vibrancy and strength, books such as Archives: Principles and Practices sound a welcome reminder to examine institutional traditions and to tie those traditions to the bedrock values that should unite all keepers of the cultural record. While the first edition succeeded to some extent, the second edition deserves recognition as one of the best introductory texts available today.'- Nathan Saunders, Associate Director for Library Specialized Collections, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Archival Issues

Archival Issues

" excellent guide to archives management for all those who work in and with archives - it will also serve as an indispensable student textbook for many years to come."

Business Archives

"Laura Millar's writing style is readable and engaging. She has a gift for vivid imagery and topical example, which help illuminate the concepts discussed...All in all, this book is comprehensive and thought provoking. Laura Millar has succeeded in her objective of straddling cultures and theories, and there is much here that will be useful in assisting archivists to develop practice appropriate to their own situation."

"Amid cost cutting, as more and more information professionals are expected to develop record management skills, the book is a treasure to learn good principles and practices for archives-keeping. As for seasoned professionals, it still is a keeper because it provides a whole new perspective and makes them view records management in a new light."

Information World Review

" excellent guide to principles and practices for archive management around the globe."

Library Review

"Archives: Principles and practices is a different kind of archives manual. In this book, celebrated archival theorist and consultant Laura Millar invites archivists to remember their profession as one built on common sense. Using the analogy of cooking, Millar touts Archives: Principles and practices as less of a recipe book and more as a book of culinary practice that provides a foundation of knowledge about food: if you understand how yeast and gluten interact to make bread, you are better equipped to be successful in bread making than you would relying solely on a recipe. Similarly, if you have an understanding of the fundamental concepts of archival science, you will be more equipped to make decisions that fit a given situation."


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