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Research in archives and records management: a UK perspective Dr Elizabeth Shepherd

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1 Research in archives and records management: a UK perspective Dr Elizabeth Shepherd

2 Practice versus research Terry Cook (University of Manitoba, Canada): discipline v profession theory v practice education v training new digital recordkeeping approaches v traditional cultural heritage priorities Sarah McNicol quoting Booth: ‘research-practice gap’

3 The role of research builds theories and models as frameworks for practice develops knowledge base, understanding of profession’s ethos and societal role promotes critical enquiry and analysis, allows sophisticated articulation of concepts facilitates standardisation, planning & evaluation examines policy development & execution practitioner research

4 Framework for sustainability in research A shared understanding Setting strategic research priorities Funding streams Critical mass Research collaboration Identifying gaps and building depth Improved dissemination

5 How does research fit into graduate education for archivists and records managers? Professional qualifications: develop professional skills and knowledge underpinned by history and theory critical enquiry Masters thesis

6 Mapping the Research Landscape (British Academy research grant) Aimed to improve the quality and quantity of academic research in archives and records management by creating a map of the research landscape for the discipline in the UK. Research objectives: Identify research projects in the discipline in the UK, 1995- 2006 Identify areas of professional practice with research potential Assess areas of weakness & success Propose future research priorities as the basis for a UK research agenda

7 Archives and Records Management Research Network (ARMReN) Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), 2006-2007 What was ARMReN for? help develop research in the discipline of archives and records management link academics in archives and records management with researchers who use archives and professionals who manage records collect and disseminate information about research foster the development of new academic researchers in the discipline act as a central point for the exchange of ideas encourage new collaborative partnerships (UK, Europe, internationally)

8 Archives and Records Management Research Network (ARMReN) What did ARMReN do? created a website and information resource organised three one-day research workshops: Appraisal and collecting; Description; Access and impact ran three ‘Archives and History’ evening seminars at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London disseminate results through conference papers, poster and a journal article

9 Archives and Records Management Research Network (ARMReN) results Appraisal and collection; Description; Access and impact Theoretical and practitioner-focused topics Anthropology, museums, archives and records UK, Canada, the Netherlands, Ireland, Norway extensive discussion alongside formal papers ‘a very good insight into the most recent research’

10 Archives and Records Management Research Network (ARMReN) results Archives and history seminars, IHR Professor Roger Kain, CBE, University of Exeter: “The mapping of English towns, 1700-1850: a locally oriented record” Else Churchill, Society of Genealogists: “Challenges and new directions in genealogical research” Caroline Williams, The National Archives: “Re-defining the role of research for The National Archives”

11 FARMER (Forum for Archives and Records Management Education and Research) targets Research meeting January 2008, Eric Ketelaar spoke UK-wide doctoral group for ARM students Second PhDs conference held May 2008 Society of Archivists to be lobbied about research policy statement Single virtual place, a shared information resource, for research in ARM Research framework to be developed

12 FARMER research framework for the archives and records management discipline Broad purpose of research activity: Blue sky, Strategic, Applied Characteristics of each What kinds of questions does it ask? Who does it? Mapping of existing UK archives and records management research projects and doctoral research

13 Eric Ketelaar’s Research Agenda for the Netherlands Foundations (core characteristics of records and archives, recordness, ethics, role of records in society) Cross-sectoral concerns Formation and management of recordkeeping systems (e-records systems, governance issues, FOI/DP) Capture Appraisal Preservation Arrangement, description, representation Access and Use Management of archival services and programmes

14 Research in archives and records management Dr Elizabeth Shepherd

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