By Elizabeth Shepherd
Data have the capability to alter people's lives. they're 'a basic bulwark of our democracy, our tradition, our neighborhood and private id' (National Council of Archives). they're created to let the behavior of commercial and aid responsibility, yet in addition they meet the calls for of a democratic society's expectancies for transparency and the safety of rights. they're the uncooked fabric of our historical past and reminiscence. Archivists and documents managers are the pros liable for making sure that those traits are secure and exploited for the general public sturdy. This ebook seeks to appreciate how data and archivists in England constructed through the twentieth century. the writer examines the political and legislative context, analyzes how archival associations constructed in neighborhood and relevant executive, and in companies and universities, and discusses the expansion of the archival occupation through formal societies and schooling and coaching. even supposing the e-book specializes in twentieth century England, advancements are traced from the general public checklist workplace Act in 1838 via to the formation of The nationwide records in 2003. moreover, the writer in brief discusses the comparative improvement of documents in continental Europe, america, Canada and Australia, thereby supplying a context for the heritage of English information.
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More records were now open and more sorted and arranged. A committee of historical scholars had been appointed to advise on publications policy (although the publications activity had not been separated from the PRO) and the Committee of Inspecting Officers had begun to collate rules for the disposal of records. However, there were a number of outstanding recommendations, such as the extension of opening hours to 5pm, the revision of rules on disposal ‘to establish a general and uniform practice’ and the adoption of a new method of appointing record officers and giving them systematic training.
11 Jenkinson, ‘Archive Developments’, p. 276. 12 Information in this section is taken from M. E. Hollaender (Chichester: Society of Archivists, 1962); Dick Sargent, The National Register of Archives: An International Perspective: Essays in Celebration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the NRA (London: Institute of Historical Research, 1995); file HMC 1/182, file HMC 1/214, file HMC 1/231, held at TNA; file BRA 2/6, British Records Association Archive, Acc/3162, held at London Metropolitan Archives (LMA).
Public Record Office Acts 1877 and 1898 Until 1877 the Deputy Keeper had no power to destroy records or to refuse to accept public records. The Public Record Office Act 1877 established a system for the transfer of records from government departments to the PRO and allowed records dated after 1715 and ‘not of sufficient public value to justify their preservation’ to be destroyed. Schedules of records for destruction were drawn up by a Committee of Inspecting Officers. The Act also enabled ‘valueless’ documents to be transferred to local repositories such as libraries, establishing the concept of public records held locally, although this facility was not much used until after 1900.