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Each individual respondent is referenced under the # column.




10. Other general comments/examples (link to question # above where appropriate):

Respondant Number Response
1 Local History Librarian
2 public officers do not see records important only when there is crisis - they do not perceive that records underpin what they do until a record is urgently needed!!
Worked in Archives and Records unit as a records officer
3 The real problem that I see in how society perceives records and archives is that we, the professionals, tend to talk among ourselves while the general public rely on sensationalised newspaper stories which usually miss the point.

I am a consultant in records and archives, I have been a student in records & archives, I also am a researcher, an amateur historian and a genealogist. Records and archives are not only my profession but my passion.
4 Having worked as an Archivist for nearly three years I have lost count of the amount of times that I have had to explain what an Archivist does.
I have tried to educate the people around me but it has surprised me how many 'professional' people such as Lawyers, PR people, engineers etc, that I've met are ignorant of what an Archivist does.
Much more high level exposure seems to be needed.
5 Profession/work experience:
I have worked in a number of federal government agencies over the past 25 years. I have been working in the National Archvies of Australia for the past three years. I have completed university qualifications in law and in accounting.
6 It is up to the profession to change the perceptions society has of it, not the other way round. Archivists 'on the ground' tend to be very conscious of the needs of their users, and respond to them, generating healthy perceptions of the profession. However, the profession must be seen NOT to differentiate between its researchers - genealogists are no less worthy of the archivists' attention and care than the 'serious' academics. It is this sort of snobbery which gives society the wrong impression.
7 Many people in positions of power & influence are aware of the power of the accountability provided by good recordkeeping regimes but contrive avoidance - some in very practiced ways. Good recordkeeping can be very threatening to CEOs (govt & non govt) & their legal advisors - much better to pretend/preach compliance while having the safety of being able to blame a failing system or inadequate practices or junior staff. Recodkeeping compliance regimes are founded on an inherent set of ethical standards which we presume are agreed in a democratic society but which in fact are not universally shared often in correlation to rise in position in the food chain.

#11 Note - professional experience is as a holistic recordkeeping professional (cannot be pigeonholed as Archivist or Records Manager or even Business Analyst which is equally relevant)
8 I think a lost of the things which affect public perceptions are negative - 'dusty archives', 'found lost in archives', spinsters and cardigans. I am concerned that there is too much government pressure to exploit and increase access to evryone without thinking cleraly about needs of preservation and intellectual control. I think it is ridculous to be always trying to send everyone to rare fragile original sources when a decent text book, possibly containing extracts, would actually give students and all but most deeply involved researchers a much better picture of the history they are interested in

For below, question 11, I have worked equally as an archivist and a historian. Most of my paid career has been as an archivist but I have been moving more and more to the historical side - DAA 1979, PhD 1990
9 Didn't find this survey form entirely satisfactory for UK context. The concept of "most people" is quite tricky, because the overall level of awareness and interest is pretty low. I suppose I've answered on behalf of those who are aware - rather than "most people" in the round.

Here there has been quite a lot of progress in recent years in raising the profile of archives, and a National Archives Awareness month is planned for next year. So I've tried to give credit for this in my responses. However, the professional associations (notably our UK Society of Archivists) has been lamentably inert and inward-looking
10 Re #11 I am an archivist and records manager.
11 Apologies for being negative but I think you need to address much more clearly who you mean by most people. Most people are not attorneys, they are bus drivers, shop assistants and waiters. With this in mind I find that I'm not sure whether I agree with your questions or not. The groups mentioned (journalists, lobbyists, auditors etc) are well-educated professionals with a fairly good understanding of the importance of records in their own daily work (even if they don't necessarily use historical archives). With reference to ENRON they understood the importance of records well-enough to destroy the incriminating ones - it's respect that was lacking. "Most people" ie the general population [in the UK at least] leave school at age 16 or 18 years old, never read a book and have little interest in the issues we deal with. They perceive they have very little need or use for Archives and this survey doesn't seem to address them either. Are we really only aiming at the elite?

Having raised all of that, it is defintely a good idea to present something to the ICA - well done for taking the initiative.
12 Overall the archives 'lobby' is poor. We are beginning to witness some modicum of government nodding its head toward the need to integrate good record keeping practices into new agendas (e.g., e-government and FOI implementations). However we are still largely at the rhetoric stage. Resources are not allocated in a meaningful way to enable appropriate implementation and in many institutions a culture of record keeping is lacking. There remains an over emphasis on archives as cultural institutions, to the detriment of them fulfilling a records management function as well. Few recognise that an absence of good records management (particularly as organisations move closer to their desire to operate in an electronic environment) runs a risk of creating a gap in the historical records as few modern records are captured and kept well. This has important implications for human rights and the rule of law over time.
13 The record is a product and a part of their everyday business which they have until recently taken for granted or not taken notice of at all. This is now changing in a big way.
14 Archivist/Records Manager/Head of |Service
15 Archive and Records services barely register on society's consciousness. In order to get the message across to 'society in general' ('most people') what is needed is a figure who the general public relate to and immediately understand (a Diana or a Beckham.) Different marketing and communications approaches would be required for various different interest groups (lawyers, journalists etc.) The profession appears to place little or no value on the importance of this type of work and, without a heavy investment in marketing and communicating, it will never get its message across to 'society in general.'
16 Left off the list of those who can help change perception of archives and records management are the IT Professionals who work so closely now with records managers and archivists.I am a Business Analyst in an IT Department. My prior role with that of Records Manager at another local government municipality.
17 Pay for the archives profession is pathetic. Better pay, better calibre of person coming in.
18 Q11 Archive Assistant and IT professional
19 7. The media generally who use archives in their productions(i.e. TV programmes) could do more to promote the value and use of archives.
9. Most organisations have a limited appreciation of archives, i.e. deeds in solicitors offices or busuiness records. They see them as fulfilling a limited purpose for their own or their clients immeduiate needs with no long term value or potential interest to anyone else. As a result many of these records are simply thrown away when they have finished with them because they do not think that they of any value to anyone.
20 9. I think that elected public officials rightly see archives as potential sources of embarrassment for them and not as something they need to support in any meanful way which would strengthen programs. Sad but true, in my opinion.
21 RIM, within the private sector, is still very much considered a "necessary evil".
Society as a whole does not understand A&RM, other than "... oh, like a librarian."
22 Archivist and Records Managers as well as their professional organizations needs to do much more to explain and promote our functions to the general population. Most of the general population don't know and don't care about records. When somthing like Enron happens, there is no understanding of what is right or wrong as it relates to proper records handling procedures and policies.
23 In spite of considerable rhetoric around information being an asset and knowledge management, there do not seem to be many examples of how to manage this asset. Further, the emphasis on service delivery and minimizing costs (maximizing ROI) often means that implementation of any Info Management rarely gets beyond the planning stages, as consultants and service deliverers are focussed on completing the transaction.

Society also seems to be easily confused by the "privacy" issue. Everyone wants all the information they want immediately available, so long as it isn't anything about them.
24 People don't value archives until they have a personal need. Then they assume everything they need will magically appear (probably covered with dust). They don't understand that to have records from the past, someone put resources into gathering them when they were current.
25 Elected officials generally do not have records management as a priority (if they even know what it is). Elected officials usually will takle the issues that will make them look good to the general public, which has little to no knowledge about records keeping practises.
26 Management Consultants
Heads of Business Schools
Associations like ARMA International, AIIM, CompTIA and COMDEX
Chief Executive Officers
Chief Financial Officers

27 Most people do not think of archives and records centers as having an impact on their lives at all. There is very little appreciation of the differences between archives and libraries and new users of archival collections are freuqently frustrated with the need to do some "work" to find the information they are seeking.

Heads of government at all levels have very little understanding of or regard for archives and their custodians. They look upon the positions of govt. archivists as part of the spoils system. Heads of government archival agencies are often fired summarily for political reasons--and may be hired dor appointed for the same reasons.

We need to do much more to advertise the value of archives and records. Fortunately, we've become an "information economy" and that will help. But the IT world has adopted many "archival" terms that are put to different use. "Archiving" electronic records means simply taking them off-line. It has nothing to do with either long term preservation or access. THis is confusing to many government workers who think their records are being preserved because they have been "archived."
28 Many places I have worked are just unaware of what exactly archives and records centers are and how they work. Much more general education is needed for the public.

In general related to this survey - the questions are not presented very clearly. I felt slightly confused while answering most of the questions - the answer choices didn't seem to fit with the questions.
29 Archivist and Records Manager
30 Records Clerk
31 Creating and working with the records makes these people very aware of the value of archives and records management programs.
32 I have already sent in a survey. I want to expand on my comments earlier. Historical and Geneological Societies do not have their priorities in order. There is too much fighting over ownerships of records while the conditions in which their records are (more often than not) less than desirable, putting records at risk. These organizations need to learn to work together and stop fighting among themselves.
33 In general, I feel society as a whole has no idea what we do. Even the people responsible for creating the records have no concept of ARM work, except when they need something desperately. We are a profession off the radar screen on the whole, and we as a profession do little to change that on a wide scale (though we do it every day with our patrons). I think the growing interest in history (e.g. The History Channel and Antiques RoadShow) presents an opportunity for us to get the word out more than we have.
34 Elected public officials place even less value on the historical importance of records than the general public. Many believe that records of their performance in office should be destroyed as soon as they leave office (if not before).
35 I think that one of the biggest problems of how society views archivists and records managers is that they have no idea what we do. When most people ask what I do for a living, and I reply that I am an archivist, they reply "What is that?" Even some of those outside of the profession that do know what we do have a flawed or incomplete sense of the profession. And lately with recent US court cases, the only view people get is a negative one. I think that until society has a better understand of the profession, what we do and can do for individuals and society as a whole, it is difficult to even judge society's opinions, i.e. since many don't even know we exist or understand what we do they just have know opinion on our place in society.
36 Public officials generally consider records and archives activities as and expense rather than an asset.
37 #8 High School Students

#9 May see archives and records centers as a dumping ground for the items they no longer want.
38 Records are created for use, not for saving for posterity, which is the calling of an archives.
39 9: With all groups our users tend to perceive us only in relation to their exact needs - we bear the burder of publicizing our breadth to increase understanding, support and use.
40 #9 In both public sector and private sector orgs, most line managers and workers don't necessarily perceive record-keeping negatively, but consider it extra work.
41 Archives and records management are usually put on the back burner and dealt with only on a When-I-Have-No-Other-Choice basis. They are forgotten and ignored most of the time because no one understands their purpose. And when they are not being ignored, it usually because something someone wanted to get rid of is discovered in an archives or records storage area. And the debates begin, why should be keep all this stuff, etc... And nothing is ever decided.

Q11. Archives Assistant/Library Assistant
42 Some organizational leaders see records management/archiving as a thorn in their side. An activity they must engage in, or else.
43 #7 need to try to reach opinion makers
#8 Same as 7
#9 people involved in record making & keeping seldom seem to see themselves as others see us
44 There is a general lack of interest in history and a poor undertsanding of how archived information can support new institutional and/or societal initiatives.
45 I think individuals working outside of public record organisations have improved by communicating verbally and in writing the use and need of public records and archives. However I think an even clearer link should be made in the media particularly. This can only happenif journalists are giveninformation, or are able and interested in finding what the sources of information were which in turn requires that they assume the public is interested. It should be assumed the public is interested.

Individuals working in archives and public record bodies need to make better use of the media and need to ensure that the public knows what is available through public archives as well as through private ones. Talking to other specialists is fine, but they need to put some of this information in plain language for everyone else.
46 Re #9: I believe that agency heads, public officials, etc. view archives as more of a necessary evil, an annoyance, something that takes their time with no perceivable benefit, and a possible outlet for negative news about their activities. Not good.
47 If we did more to connect with the real needs of records creators and users-- rather than passively supporting the traditional cultural role of archives-- we could demonstrate our relevance to society as a whole. The contributions of archives to human welfare are sometimes transparent to its beneficiaries. American value their freedom, but how many of them point to the role of records in establishing and maintaining their right to it?
48 The general public doesn't realize that there are guidelines to follow with archiving information. They don't think about the system until they need it.
49 Many are threatened by accountability issues.
50 Library director. Library houses printed and manuscript materials re a state's history, literature, and culture. Southeastern U.S.
51 Business Strategist/Information Architect
52 Many times, the best way for most to gain a greater unstanding of the profession is to go through a costly loss or disaster.
Of course, the best way would be to learn from others mistakes, which in recent years, we have seen many. Also, as a picture is worth a thousand words, many of these groups should be involved in tours of records center and reviews or situations where the professionals in the field of records and information have save the day ($). W.M. Jones, UM-RM Missouri.
Thank you, and good day.
53 Others--Librarian
54 Records and information archives are a specialist area, of little interest to the public generally, until their on needs to use them arise. Its just not prime time TV viewing!!!

55 I see very little if any consideration of creative archives or other cultural records.

Re. Question 9 I think that many elected officials, etc. often see records managers and archivists as the "enemy" who hold records which they would prefer to have destroyed or kept from ever being made public.

Re. question 11: Librarian
56 More education needed for general public re: what is records management & that archives are more than places where people search for family tree information
57 Your average Joe takes records for granted and has no conciousness about them.
58 RM and Archives workers know how their work supports the work of journalists, lawyers and legislators yet for some strange reason these specific groups are loath to acknowledge this support. Their collective lack of support is more than frustrating, it is unconscionable.
59 Archivists do not know how to relate the importance of holdings and potential holdings to the needs of the public at large and to the specific needs of government. Archivists are passive receivers of records and are frightened by any technological change that they do not understand and can't cope with.

The electronic world is not only here to stay, but can be managed and controlled to ecnomic advantage for all Archives.

What archivists should be doing is pitching their services to the care, preservation and access of records most needed by government and the public today.
60 Quite frankly I believe a statement that I overheard while a page at an archives sums it up quite nicely. The individual looked around and stated "God, what are they keeping all of this old stuff for ! ?" For the last twenty years or so most people have had a right this second mentality towards most things. Hence the problem of preparing for the future and or saving the past.
61 Basically, records managers and archivists have no concept of how to get their message across to ordinary people. We are too busy in our ivory towers talking to a minority of record creators to bother trying to get our message across to the man in the street. When ordinary people understand, appreciate and support our role, we will not need to suck up to reluctant/indifferent/hostile records creators/destroyers for support/funding/respect
62 This survey and other discussions (and handwringing) about public perceptions of archives are inevitably flawed because of one fundamental variable--what is the "correct" amount of public support and understanding of archives against which we should be measuring? Those in our profession who believe that archivists should be respected (and paid) on par with lawyers will answer this survey quite differently from those of us who believe that all we have a reasonable right to expect is to be respected and understood (and paid) roughly as well as librarians and public school teachers.
63 I found your questions confusing to answer. Most of my responses are guesses since I really don't KNOW what historians, attorneys, educators, public officials, dept heads, etc. think about archives.
My impression from the media and colleagues is that folks don't think about archives until they have a question no one can answer and its not on the internet.
64 To most legislators Archives are a somewhat irrelevant adornment on the cultural landscape as Archives lack broad appeal and Archivists spend too much time navel gazing.
65 Because we have had two major disastors this last year it has become clear that records management is necessary. All departments are at least willing to listen but the bottom line still remains "$".
66 #8: others who have done a significant job of promoting use of archival records and thereby promoting archival collections generally has been the City of Montreal. With its recent project to refurbish the canals in the Lachine Canal and the other "urban development" projects that have taken place around the Canal, a tremendous amount of information is out there about its history -- particularly on-site, with commemorative plagues, and explanatory signage that gives indications of where the city has been and where it is going -- excellent model for the promotion of local history using a range of archival evidence.

#11 profession: professor (communication studies/journalism)
67 I think they are totally unaware of the significance and only care when a crisis occurs.
68 9. While they know the uses of records, they may not know what its involved in archives/records centers to care for and retain records.
69 #9 - In strategic planning, systemic infrastructure support, organizational placement or access to senior management for archives and records. Even if records is placed in IT - management doesn't understand the concept of "content" management. Too much emphasis on point-in-time systems that eliminate or reduce access to older records, etc.
70 The ones who operate the documents see the gaps, they are confronted to those problems everyday, but they don't have the time and the resources to deal with those problems. Those who create the documents and most of the time, could make resources available, don't take the time to see the gaps; so the problems are transfer to one person to the other! I'm an archive advisor.
71 Recent research into attitudes to records, recordkeeping and records management among chief executives in the New South Wales (Australia) public sector (bang goes my anonymity...) suggests favourable perceptions, but a recognition that they need to understand more and a gap between perception and capacity to contribute.
72 One of the greatest challenges for our profession is to increase our public profile and make society aware of the value of our work. For too long, many archivists/RMs have forsaken promotional activities and have concentrated on the technical elements of their job. My experience has been that if you are not promoting your activities to the host organisation and the local community, or at least linking your own values and objectives and the organisation's mission, then your archiving/RM program becomes vulnerable.
73 It was difficult to answer for 'most people' - my answers indicate my perception of the general public's awareness of records and archives
74 From my POV, the issue is not the perceptions of the general public or governing bodies. Most people don't have significant problems with records. There are plenty of laws requiring records related compliance. The issue is that organizations that create records are wasting time and money by managing and retaining records in an inefficient, excessive, and/or illegal manner. The reason is a general ignorance of the law, and records specific organizational methods by those who have responsibility for them. The reason that the need, which may not have been significant in the past, is drastically increasing with our rapid increase in the volume of documents created, both those that are "records" and those that are not. Also, issues of privacy and other security issues are becoming more crucial as access methods are evolving rapidly.
75 Blend of Archivist/Librarian/Museum Worker and Web/technology aspects of our profession.
76 I think the falicy of this survey is focusing on the the "public at large". The public at large really doesn't give a damn, any more than they care about having the right to vote. Instead, I would ask the above questions of that segment of the public who seek to educated, informed, and responsible citizens. That's to whom the message of archival and RIM values should be pitched.
77 7 apart from a) politicians within thier profession
8 apart from a) politicians within their profession
11 Records Manager, Archivist and Educator
78 Q.2 Archives have a public role similar to libraries and museums, which includes the provision of public places where people enjoy exploring together what it means to be a human being/member of a particular society or community etc.
Q.7&8 School teachers and students are also a key taget group for getting the message about archives across to future generations. They are potentially significant but there is still a long way to go.
79 Politicians (Houses of Parliament and in local government)need to be educated, as well as school children
80 The profession is not valued by elected public officials and department heads. They still regard it as 'filing' and do not consider the risks associated wiht poor record keeping.
81 archivist/records manager
82 I think senior staff would be aware of the responsibilities to government, but the staff working in the area may not be so well informed or educated as to the significance of the work they do and accountability issues.
83 Basically, society has very little knowledge of what information is available to them, especially from an archive point of view. Heads of governments/organisations/departments/corporates etc say very little publicly about records and archives simply because most of them (especially private sector)work very hard trying to ignore the need for recordkeeping and associated costs, staffing and long-term value. Similarly, they usually ignore the issue in-house, relying on unused and mostly un-read policies. Records, Information and Archive professionals usually don't have the public forums in which to educate.
84 Archives will only survive as institutions if they can make themselves seen as an intregal part of promoting the mission of the sponsoring organization. Archivist must work first within thier own organization to strenghthen their position and value. Only if they are seen as beeing valused by thier sponsoring organizations can we expect the broader public to appreciate the value.
85 response to #11 = public sector / govt. analyst
86 For Q 9 - most officials & heads see archives & records centres & their staff as nothing more than a nusiance and a hindrance
87 They are of the opinion (as in the Heiner Case ) that they are the owners of archival documentation or evidence and can do with it as they seem fit; shredding, disposal and use their authority and legislative powers for subsequent cover ups
88 Link to Q9: Obviously these officers would see the importance of records for the public organisations in their jurisdiction, for the rights of citizens and for the community (now and in the future). Unfortunately, most of these entities do not see the importance. Only education (positive promotion) can bring about a change. It is possible, but it will take effort.
89 2 k. Establishing the rights of indigenous peoples
90 On a train trip from Florence to Vienna last year I struck up a conversation with a well educated American gentleman who thought I said 'Activist' when I said 'Archivist'. He didn't know what an archivist was or did - and I think this is very common world wide.
91 Q.9 In my view, they have very little appreciation of the potential value of good records management to their organisations.
92 women's clubs and organizations like the League of Voters
93 Records Manager for a small private organisation. Most consultants would only acknowledge my position in times of need. Most do not comply with my recommendations for better records management.
94 Information access and privacy oversight
95 I think that some writers, film and documentary makers and commentators have great potential to raise understandings about archives and records. William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, the science fiction writers, have raised issues relating to electronic archives amongst computer programmers and science fiction readers, both through their books and opinion pieces in magazines. Ken Burns and other documentary makers have used archives extensively in their programs. It may be time to get them to make programs about archives rather than with archives
96 9
there is a significant failing in the education of current government administrators (record creators) who are of the view as expressed to me by a senior executive in charge of billions of taxpayers' money that 'records/archives need to exist I guess -- but what's it do do with me?"
97 I think people's opinion of archives depends on whether they have had to use them or not - and the kind of experience they have had when they do (e.g.their success in tracking the information they were after; the perceived accuracy of that information; how easy it was to access; how 'welcoming' they thought the staff/institution was). Generally I don't think "archives" even cross people's minds.

In my opinion, record-creating organisation do give more thought to the way archives/records centres operate simply because they do with the institutions more often. They can see the value of being able to refer back to records without having to keep them all on-site, and in having someone else deal with the retrieval and basic access management of material in which the general public is interested.
98 9 - a small, insular subset of society exists within public records organisations - if they dont "perceive archives, records centers and the people who operate them" differently to society as a whole, then God help us all!! They must have differing perceptions due to the nature of their work, but they certainly need to disseminate their views widely, so the general populations understands the importance of good record keeping and doesn't think it means "filing"!!
99 Departmental Heads responsible for the ongoing image of organisations have a vested interest in being to call up records. This often gets them out of a furore or uncomfortable areas of debate where criticism can be deflected or allayed through researching past events and reasons for previous decisions of

This word "professional" is a much vexed topic. One could be professionally qualified but not overly successful or sufficiently committed to be "making a difference" (as they say. What about those caring and hard working individuals who have spent decades working in records management and/or archives, BUT not with qualifications? Are they "professional" in their application to the cause? This question is not meant to be a criticism of those who have received University or similar education, but to encourage tolerance and appreciation for the contribution of others who may have gained a high degree of knowledge, awareness or accomplishment working in the RM or archival situation. In other words to avoid a culture of "elitism" in the minds of those with academic training.

In answer to question 11, my expertise is based on 32 years of Governmental Records keeping, including 27 years more closely associatiated with a focus on archiving.

Here again I feel the need to mention that todays records, become tomorrows archives, hence the need for archivists to pay attention and tribute to the growing science of records management (and vice versa of course).
100 I have answered many questions as "neutral" as I don't really know what is happening in many areas. I currently work as a "default" records manager in a small rural local government and have done for the past 5 years. Previous main experience is library work, newspaper proofreading & numerous outdoor/labouring jobs.
101 I have been employed in an Archives Office and I believe the general public has a much more sympathetic attitude to historical records. I am at present involved in corporate records and the difference is staggering considering they too will be of interest like convict records - however at the moment they are perceived as just working papers.
102 Most don't care and in any sustained sense can't be made to care
103 11. experience as student and Archives officer
104 There is still a cultural cringe connected with Recordkeeping/Records Management. It has long been regarded as the Department to move on from, or the Department obliged to take staff nobody else wants. Until this perception changes CEO's, etc. are no different from society as a whole
105 What they perceive and what their priorities are, are usually two different things. For example, an archive's importance is directly related to the risk involved in not finding the records byyesterday.
106 In the public sector there is an understanding of the need to make records, even if its just for the 'paper trail'.
107 Records professional - why do you assume that an archivist and a records manager are different? That's not what it is in the rest of the world, regardless of whether the situation exists in some parts or not.
108 The big picture, purpose and benefit to society about what archivists achieve in preparing for the future by preserving the past - with a spin - the science of "retention", to create that positive spin, and therefore the positive spin that research can empower - enthusiastic and positive decision making - for a better future.
109 I live and work in South Africa
110 I come from an African society, where archives are seen are part of the agencies who limit access to information. Except for reserachers and historian the average citizen is unware of what archives are and what the role of the arhivist is. Some even percieve national archives as part of the police as they are fortifies and security gurads posted at the gates throughout the day. national Archivists, please open your doors to the ordinary citizen.
111 Manuscripts librarian/archivist, with 10 years experience in this field; many more years experience as librarian.
My replies are specific to South Africa, where we are emerging from a case where the National Archives was perceived to be an agent of the apartheid government. The archives service is struggling to regain credibility and is doing a pretty good job, though always room for improvement. It is probably difficult to draw conclusions from an international survey, when conditions vary so much from country to country.
112 I have stopped answering questions because the browser is resetting the survey after each question and most of the answers seem obvious. In general society does not care about archives or records and wish that they would go away except when they need to look up their relatives war record.
In summary they do not see any relevance for them. This is the same with CEO's who see archives and recordkeeping as an unnecessary overhead. Solution - making organisations understand that information resources need to be managed and accounted for with the same diligence and attention to detail as financial resources with similar penalties for non compliance may make them finally take notice. However, white collar crime and failure to keep records generally generates a big yawn in the general community and certainly does not seem to attract heavy penalties.
113 I think the questions are very poorly formulated. It is very confusing - I am sorry, I cannot waste my time on this.
114 7- Politicians, law makers and top management of business

8 Ditto
115 1. Archives and RM are not the same and ought to be perceived differently. Lumping them together does neither any favours.
2. As an archivist I am somewhat impatient with the profession's obsession with its image. In this country (UK) the Society of Archivists has under 2,000 members. It is a tiny and not very wealthy profession. The most important thing we can do is a professional job when called upon.
3. The continued professional distrust by archivists of historians (which I as one who moved from academic research to archives have experienced in a mild form) is potentially extremely damaging. They should be our greatest allies - especially with history proving so attractive to television.
116 (1) What to do with question 2a?
(2) Feel the need to emphasize the record continuum: it is (current) records AND archives we are talking about.
(3) Strongly support the notion that there is more than PUBLIC records and archives. (... No more ENRONs)
(4)Specification question 11: historian + archivist/educator.
(5) Understand that CITRA-members do see the world: can we assume their country (homeland) to profit considerably from their international meetings?
117 Most people dont even realise archives exist. If advertising isnt done how will they ever know?
118 Major differences are the interests of the organisation first and formost. There is no thought for the purpose of a record in the future whether for legal or historical needs. Most organisations are now keeping records due to legislative requirements and for accountablity.
119 The institutions and main responsibles have no sensibilization for the Archives produced before them and being produced now. Here in Azores the government when change offices and heads of departments put the documents in attics or storage houses, after in black bags and garbage. No planning for the archives.
120 We really need to abandon the stereotype of archives and records being old, dusty files locked in a warehouse a la Indiana Jones. It's time for that stereotype to go and for records and information to be recognized as dynamic, not dead. I am a records manager and archivist for a Fortune 200 company.
121 I work in the United States where most people with the exception of genealogists and historians do not know what an archivist is or does.
122 Archivists generally talk amongst themselves, speak to the already converted, in language that archivists understand, that is, we use jargon and exclude others through use of this language. We do not generally do a very good job at speaking to a wider audience, at selling the value of archives to the wider public. Partnerships with other professionals would go a long way to bridging gaps in understanding and value that we, as archivists, struggle with every day. In particular, partnerships with educators to produce tools or kits that expose children in primary and secondary schools to the value of history demonstrated through use of archival documentation of events that have meaning in their own lives - local, community. The Nazi gold example is good, at a higher level, but local connections are more tangible and stand a chance of touching more people in a memorable way. Children thus exposed will be more open as they get older to the notion of value/archives, they will have seen it first hand. But other partnerships are important as well, vis, with IT professionals in particular, with the software and hardware industries to address archival issues in electronic record keeping, standards, etc. We need to get out there.
123 #9. I think the general populace vaguely knows of our existance, but has never had to think about us in a concrete way. Information is kept, we have it, people can go there to retrieve it. Unfortunately, elected officials' level of knowledge and understanding seem the same. yet these are the very people upon whom many of us depend for funding. They mandate we exist, yet do not supply any concrete means for the work to be done. This is probably the most significant area of lack in any group.
124 11. Archivist / Public Librarian
125 Interesting questions but, to be honest, "society" really doesn't think about archives or records management at all. Unless it touches them directly, (usually through genealogical research and/or donations to archival institutions) most people haven't a clue about what archives are or what archivists do. As for people who work in government institutions, they are not much better. Again, only if they have been told about the necessity of good records-keeping and the potential archival nature of the records they create will they be aware that archives even exist! In my personal opinion, far more work needs to be done to increase society's awareness of archives and records management and, in particular, the very important role that archives play in the management of information -- i.e. we should try to get away from the stereotypical image of archives as dusty basements and only concerned with "old" records. This is, however, more of a problem in North America. I think that Europeans have a greater awareness and appreciation of archival institutions simply because they have a greater sense of their own culture and history. I'm not sure what their perceptions of records management are, however.

Good luck with the survey!
126 I live in an area (Boston MA) rich in archives and historical assoc and sites. Usually when I say I am an archivist, people light up and find that very interesting. Also I have friends who work on OPen Meeting Laws and are concerned with open govt documents. so I believe my views are accuarate for an area like this. I suggest that the view of records mgt etc. varies a lot by geography.
I think that historians and geneologists have less clout in advocating for records/archives because they have an obvious vested interest. Elected officials; people from Secry of Stste office in US states, speaking on the subject would help. Librarians are of course good allies. Educators? legislators. I would like to see people who don't have an obvious interest in records/archives speak / do psa about them.
my experience in the last 3 years has been as a research assistant in a specialized field, women's history.
127 Generally, I think archival and records mgt professional organizations have not done enough to seek out and inform other communities about the value of records and records keeping. We have done a good job of talking to each other, but not so good at educating others outside our professional spheres. This is changing slightly in some corners. -- I am both an archivist and a records manager.
128 we need to use public relations experts.
129 The record creators have unrealistic expectations of archivist, e.g. find information from the past immediately and present it in condensed form for a report but funds are not allocated for the proper housing of the records nor for the personal to proces the records and/or do the required research.
130 I am guessing about society as a whole and the various mentioned professions. The questions should be about my own perceptions, not my perceptions about other's perceptions.
131 The general public does not know what an archivist or records manager is and cares less. Among those who should know, such as public officials, I would guess that their knowledge and appreciation for our pro-fession(s)is in proportion to their need to use the information we acquire, maintain, preserve, and make accessible. The best means of educating the public lies, I believe, with the media. The more positive exposure on TV, radio, and in print, the better. We do not do a good job of publicizing our successes. Our leaders in the information professions need to do a much better job of networking with other shapers of information and opinion. My university, for example, does not see a pressing need for having a records management program. If the SACs review of colleges and universities REQUIRED institutions of higher education to have records management and a depository or archives of some sort we would have regulations on our side. Why don't we work more with the ALA? Why do library schools have so few archival courses? Legislators are the other influential group to educate and woo. If information organizations would work together, we might be able to assert some clout. As it is, improvements and reforms are piece-meal. I have been a graduate student in library school for two and one half years while working in the archives of a small university almost full time. My efforts to establish a records management program for the university and to follow good archival practice were not appreciated by the Library Director or the university. I was forced out of the position and now I am a grant & proposal writer (at the university) until I finish my library degree, one course per semester. My experience leads me to believe archivists and records managers are largely unappreciated and ignored. I hope you will receive replies that make my observations a minority report.
132 Minister of religion
133 It is difficult to talk about society as if it were a single person. In general most people are indifferent to archival/record storage functions
134 I have tracked since 1995 English language society's perception of archives as represented in fiction. There appears to be an increased understanding of the importance of archives as seen through the popular media (principally film and television). See http://www.victoria.tc.ca/~mattison/ficarch/index.htm
135 1) In my experience most people don't know what archives are and have no perception of them. Since in my opinion, most people don't know what archives are, they have no sense of the value of archives nor do they see a need to change a perception that generally does not exist.
Those who can close that gap are those who use archives and work in archives and RM. But this sort of work must reach the public via media that is widely used by the public. Otherwise we are preaching to the already converted which does nothing to close the gap.
Those who create records may recognise the importance of records management and archives but they will not put the resources needed to carry out programs that support control and preservation. Recognition of the problems of RM and Archives is largely reactive to some sort of "bad press" and then gratuitous until the bad press goes away.
Whereas the internet is clearly a good resource for closing that gap, it should not become merely a showcase for pretty stuff or telling stories, esp for archives. That is doing the work of researchers rather than making records accessible through on-line information about holdings.
136 I think public and government have different and sometimes conflicting needs when it comes to access and use of records. Electronic services to public are dictating policy without committment to an infrastructure to support these demands.
137 archival expert
138 The majority of people do not think of archives at all until they have a very specific reason to do so. I think this leads to severe misconceptions about what archives are and what the role of archivists and records managers is.
139 11m. I work as an archivist/records manager (a combined program)
140 Private citizens who are not necessarily direct users of archives or records centers or part of the profession of archives or records management might have some potential to make contributions towards positive changes in society's perceptions of archives/records centers and the people who operate them.
141 I believe that archival organizations need to understand society and its needs in order to atrract more use/interest and therefore more positive perceptions. Maybe the reason why we're perceived badly, if at all, is because we aren't connecting to peoples' actual needs. Your questions are biased by a certain sense of it's society's fault Archives aren't highly valued. In my opinion, the lack is on both sides.
142 The need for and/or the status of archives/records management is not significantly questioned by those in positions of power. There continues to be a struggle to make them understand the importance of the archives/records management programs.
143 #9:They are aware of the function of records keepers, though they still may not appreciate it.
#11 I am an archivist who is also currently doing research an writing on electronic records management.
144 When people inquire about my job, the majority don't know what an archivist does. It's a foreign term to many.
145 Cannot hold publicly to account or detect deception without good records management (Henry McCandless, author of A Citizen's Guide to Public Accountability - www.accountabilitycircle.org)
146 I don't think the general public has much awareness at all of archives and their uses unless they see it brought up in the media or have personal, individual experience with a need for them. While I think the number of members of the public who are achieving that awareness is growing, I still don't believe it is widespread enough to be considered a part of one of the considerations of society as a whole. There doesn't seem to be that critical mass of awareness yet.
147 # 11 and educator and administrator.
148 13-Canada
149 #11 Archives & recordkeeping policy
#13 International
150 Teachers at high school level should be made more aware of archive services through some kind of in-service opportunities and then they should be solicited to pass on the varied values of records and records institutions to their students.
151 Qn 7 Others - Government needs to make more money available to allow for proper care of archives. External resources immediately raise the profile of any service, and the threat of removal of these sources is a big threat. Once standards for storage have been met and adequate space has been found, principal day to day crises are removed. More time can then be spent on Advocacy, outreach and publicity.
152 Re: #9 My perception is that while many (but hardly all) recognise the need for archives and records centers, few of them feel the need to encourage their clients/general public about the significance of their organisation's archives/records centers.
153 Q11. Archivist & Records Manager
154 In my view, most Americans perceive archives as entirely neutral, conservative (literatally) and a reliable mirror of the status quo. They have absolutely no awareness of their political or legal significance.
155 9. See archives, etc. and money pits, no political return for money invested, not vote getters, etc.
156 Forget journalists, the few with any sense are far out-weighed by the headline grabbers who, if they use archives at all, can't understand what they are reading anyway.
It takes more than a ten second grab, or its print equivalent, to justify spending on all that "old stuff".
157 You forgot to ask about peoples from the economical world.
158 archivist & attorney
159 electronic records in general and the access to WWW for posting metadata about records and in csome cases the complete record is drastically changing preceptions and demands / use among most professions and the general public or individual user.

# 11 Profession = archivist, records manager, information access and project development

#13 International Community
160 7# Head of IT companies
161 THis is based on the opinions of a society based on a reliance on oral history, that distrusts the written word -in other words the society in which this particular archive ioperates, not on the society that I come from. I work in a variety of fields, principally as an Archaeologist, but also as an archivist - which I am doing at present - also records management, clerical, library etc etc. My present position I have held for 4 months. A small archive, still trying to convince people that an archive is important and actually has a value - both to them personally and to society
162 11. Communication manager introduction RMA/DMS
163 I think in this hectic digital world there is no interest for somtehing so no trendy -records and archives
164 7o individual businesses need to be encouraged to retain records, not simply as useful to themselves (which in itself need to be more widely encouraged, for example technical records for major infrastructure is of great importance to engineers/architects/planners/environmentalists for the life of the structure and beyond, which may be upwards of 150 years) but also as part of the cultural heritage of the countires they are in.
165 More international support is needed and the mainstreaming of records and archives management programmes in the development agenda. More fohelp and focus is needed in Africa especially in the area of records management on the subject of managing electronic records. The ICA should do more in these areas. More support is needed to support archival training schools in Africa where resources are so few and books and journals are hard to find. The ICA and other organizations need to do much more.
166 I think archival world is poorly perceived as the contrary of "action man" by most people who do not know what they are talking about (this is enforced by litterature, cinema and media widely sprea. Those who know a litlle have respect and even some fear of archives ans archivists (they know all, they keep all our secrets, they have power over us, they are governement servants, etc. ...)
Most society NEED to weaken archives and archivists in order to get rid of controls in their action legal or illegal. Question od power, which have nothing to do with law or profesionnal deontology (sorry, I am a professional archivist without any illusions)
167 Enabling legislation along with compliance mechanism is paramount.
168 Universities teach a lot of theory and not enough practicality, thus people aren't aware of the costs when there are no(or procedures not followed) records management programs established within the organization. Today's children are brought up in a throw away society and don't even know how long to keep their personal records and don't care. We need to change that attitude first.
169 #9 elected public officials usually ignore the archives until budget cutting time.
170 If we want to create awareness for good recordkeeping practices, and purport their value to the greater community. Then as information professionals/societies and organisations we need to lobby and ensure that all tertiary courses include a module/unit that creates awareness to best practice. Education is a must whether it is formal/informal.....
171 society doesn't react to anything unless it hits it in its face. Archives and records are mute instruments and those who care for them are passive. Records are not important until there is a need for them then they are valued and lamented if they have been destroyed.
172 #11 - I am also the Agency Records Officer. We have one official policy, with little support (budget/personnel - I am the only person in Records Management) for over 3000 employees statewide. Info Tech has not included me in any discussions, and we are scanning sensitive public records without a policy for file formats, proprietary issues, etc. As much as I want to increase awareness in the Agency, I have been thwarted by being told not to discuss the issues with any one in the Agency or outside the Agency, and to accept all paper records, without proper documentation. I trained over 170 records liaisons in the past two years, have set up a functional Records Center (~7000 cf), created standard operating procedures, included forms, etc., on the Agency Intranet. We were awarded the "Award of Achievement" by the State Archives in May 2001, and to date, the Agency Director has not accepted that award. We could have been selected last year for the Award of Achievement, but because the Director had not accepted the first one, the supervisor was "emabarassed" and did not submit the paperwork. I would have submitted the paperwork, had I known it was proper for the Records Officer to do so. However, when the Agency needed records for a Highway Patrol class action suit, I located all the information within twenty minutes for pick up. Does that tell you how people feel about Records? South Carolina, USA
173 #8. I think we as archivists and records managers need to spend more time talking with our constitutents. However, it is really up to those in administrative positions of power, eg. campus president and deans, business ceo, etc., need to write letters of support for our programs to get records retention and disposition schedules implemented.
#9. Department heads who create the records that will eventually in up in the trash, records center, or archives need to work more closely with records management officers to ensure the proper disposition of records. Records management officers and archivists should be able to make final judgement calls on implementation of schedules. Here in the City of Los Angeles for example, department heads are solely in charge of determining what and what will not be sent to the records center and archives. I do not believe they should have this sole responsibility.
174 We used to have researchers. Now we have users and shoppers. And these users do not want to credit where they obtained the archival materials on which their work and products are based. No wonder it is difficult to obtain visibility for archives and advocate for core funding and infrastructure.
175 I have worked in Records Managemnt for over 10 years and most people I speak to have no idea or concept as to what that entails or its importance.

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176 Land rights

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