Archival management and preservation
Within this research theme we study how archival information is defined, arranged, described, preserved, and made available in archival collections. A research focus of particular importance is the procedures, challenges, and consequences of archival appraisal. Archival appraisal refers to the process of determining which records are to be kept in the archives and which ones are to be destroyed.
Archival management and the contents of archival holdings greatly impact the possibilities of future generations to acquire knowledge about the past. The organization and description of archival information affects its use and interpretation, as well as the possibilities for making it available to users. Our research on archival appraisal poses questions about the selection processes: who makes the decisions, and how are the decisions motivated? Which areas of human activity are documented in the archives? What is the relationship between appraisal decisions on the one hand and the actual preservation and destruction measures on the other? How does the transition from analogue to born-digital records affect archival preservation and management?
We also conduct research on the position, roles, and functions of archives in contemporary society. What are the consequences, for example, of the shift of focus in the archival profession from heritage concerns to records and information management? Another of our research areas is centered on the rise of electronic records. Electronic records management raises concerns about personal privacy, information security, and the opportunities it offers to collect and collate vast amounts of data. Therefore, we take interest in the general debates and legislative changes on this matter, where interests of personal privacy often clash with the principles of freedom of information, accountability, and long-term archival preservation.
Following researchers at the Department of ALM pursue studies related to the theme:
- Reine Rydén
- Olle Sköld
- Anna Foka
- Ida Grönroos