Providing Access to Information in the Domain of Records Management
The topic for this paper is the connection of records management to the world of information. In many countries today, the management and use of information seems to predominate over the management and use of records and archives. Governments and commercial interests constantly promote ideas about ‘information’. The arrival of laws that give citizens rights of access to information has been an important factor. What does it mean to provide access to ‘information’ within the domain of managing ‘records’? How do these concepts relate in theory and how might we approach them in practice? Should records managers now simply become generic ‘information managers’? The paper will argue that distinctions between records and information remain valid in the contemporary world. In responding to legislation about access, archivists and records managers can use the language of information when it is politically necessary, while accepting that it is inadequate for a full understanding of records and their management.