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ERPANET Invitational Event

Managing and Archiving Records in the digital era: the same discipline or a difficult partnership of two different professions?

Bern, 25-26 October, 2004

Purpose and motivation:

In the workshop to be held in Bern, ERPANET will bring together a group of experts to explore how challenges posed by digital objects are reshaping the archival and records management disciplines.

In the past three years ERPANET has focused on a wide range of topics in the field of digital preservation. However, every discussion was underpinned by archival and records management issues. We realized that the fundamental theory underlying the practice of these disciplines is not yet sufficient to serve as a sound base and framework in the digital information world.

With this workshop, ERPANET hopes to move forward archival and records management theory and find innovative ways to further develop fundamental principles of both disciplines.

Main questions of the workshop:

  1. What are the main challenges when managing and preserving digital information and records?
  2. Will the new digital order change user needs or expectations of information, records and/or archives management?
  3. Are the existing archival paradigms adequate to meet the challenges of the new digital order? What impact will the new continuum paradigm have on the way records and archives management are organised now? Do traditional archival traditions still offer us other - additional - different options?
  4. What new organisational or business models does the new technology offer us to organise records and archives management? Will there perhaps be a shift in responsibilities from archives to records management or the other way around?
  5. What impact will the new digital order have on the interaction with related disciplines, such as information management, libraries, content management, knowledge management etc.?
  6. What impact will all this have on the archival or records management discipline?


  1. A framework for archival and records management practices and studies.
  2. A print publication containing an introduction, the finalized papers of the invited experts and the minutes of the expert debates during the workshop


Participants Invited experts:
Bruno Delmas, Wendy Duff, Christoph Graf, Eric Ketelaar, Angelika Menne-Haritz, Michael Moss, Alan Murdock, Barbara Reed, Elizabeth Shepherd, Meg Sweet, Ken Thibodeau, Helen Tibbo.

Seamus Ross, Niklaus Bütikofer, Mariella Guercio, Hans Hofman, Joy Davidson, Georg Büchler, Peter McKinney.

Invited experts delivered a paper which answers to the above questions in form of a couple of thesis and which describes:
· the tradition and position from where they come,
· their position towards the above mentioned background questions,
· their own principal theses regarding the archival and records management paradigms.

After the workshops invited experts are expected to finalize their paper by 1 December for publication.

Public Lectures

Seamus Ross, 'New Organisational Structures Responding to New Challenges: The Digital Curation Centre in the UK'. [view pdf]

Ken Thibodeau, 'Electronic Records Archives Program'. [view pdf]