First Advisor

David A. Johnson

Term of Graduation

Spring 1985

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in History






Archives -- Automation, Archives -- Administration, Information storage and retrieval systems -- Archival materials



Physical Description

1 online resource (3, viii, 91 pages)


With the onset of the information age, archivists are more frequently placed in professional situations where they must work with automated systems to manage the records in their custody. They must acquire new skills to use this technology, including system analysis, system planning, and the principles of computer operation. An area that is frequently neglected, however, is that of developing and maintaining in-house project documentation for systems once equipment is in place and implementation has begun. This oversight leads to poor training strategies, inconsistencies in input and output, and information loss when personnel changes occur.

Project documentation is the group of records that describe the system the archivist creates. It is a communications tool, developed by the project manager as a reference document for administrative and operations purposes, and to train users.

The documentation guidelines assembled in this text were developed by the author while implementing automated systems over a six-year period. They are arranged in five groups. SCOPE discusses ways to introduce the user to the project, the equipment, and to the concept of the project manual. SYSTEM ORIENTATION contains strategies for more detailed instruction on the equipment. INPUT shows how to describe the data base design and instruct the user on entering data. OUTPUT provides a format for profiling and generating reports. And OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE outlines the tools the project manager needs to maintain the system.


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