Managing Records

Dec 2003 | 144pp

Price: £54.95
CILIP members price: £43.95

eBook (PDF)
How to buy eBooks turqoise_arrow

Share this page

Join our mailing list

Managing Records
A handbook of principles and practice

Elizabeth Shepherd and Geoffrey Yeo

Many organizations do not yet have a formal programme of records management, but increasingly they are recognizing the benefits of well managed records and the serious consequences of inadequate records systems. Establishing records management and maintaining an effective programme requires specialist expertise. This essential manual of practice provides a detailed guide to the concepts, skills and techniques of records management for organizational staff who have a responsibility for setting up, maintaining or restructuring a records management programme. It offers invaluable advice on the management of records in both electronic and traditional paper media, and focuses on the following areas: 

  • understanding records management
  • analysing the context for records management
  • classifying records and documenting their context
  • creating and capturing records; managing appraisal, retention and disposition
  • maintaining records and assuring their integrity
  • providing access
  • implementing records management.    

The appendices provide a wealth of additional information including a list of standards for records management, an annotated bibliography and sources of further information, and details of professional and advisory bodies. 

Readership: This much needed manual is an indispensable purchase for organizations wishing to introduce better practices for managing their records. The book is intended to be of value to experienced records managers as well as LIS practitioners and newcomers to the field. It should be on the desk of every manager and every information professional with responsibility for records management.


  • Why keep records?
  • Why is good records management important?
  • How can this book help? 

1. Understanding records management  

  • Defining key terms in records management
  • The life of the record
  • Records as evidence and as a source of information
  • Records, documents and data
  • Records management and related disciplines
  • Managing paper and electronic records: the hybrid environment
  • Records management programmes, systems and standards
  • Managing the life of the record

2. Analysing the context for records management  

  • Using analytical techniques
  • The organization and its environment
  • Understanding organizational cultures and structures
  • Understanding organizational systems, functions and activities
  • Analysing and modelling systems
  • Elementary and aggregated records
  • Surveying records and records management systems
  • From analysis to implementation 

3. Classifying records and documenting their context  

  • Understanding the context of records
  • Designing a classification scheme
  • Organizing and classifying records in paper-based systems
  • The architecture of a paper records system
  • Metadata for paper records
  • Classifying electronic records
  • Classifying records in hybrid systems 

4. Creating and capturing records  

  • Principles of records creation and capture
  • Creating records 
  • Capturing records into a records management system
  • Ensuring that records are captured systematically
  • Capturing records of routine processes
  • Capturing records of creative processes
  • Capturing information products in a records management system
  • Capturing data records and datasets
  • Capturing dynamic digital objects
  • Registering records
  • Assigning unique identifiers
  • Assigning metadata 

5. Managing appraisal, retention and disposition  

  • The need for retention controls
  • The development of appraisal: theory and practice
  • Appraisal strategy: a framework for decision making
  • Appraisal criteria
  • Documenting and applying retention decisions
  • Reviewing retention decisions after the creation of records
  • Retention of 'legacy' records
  • Disposition
  • Quality control and documentation 

6. Maintaining records and assuring their integrity  

  • Storage systems for paper records
  • Establishing and managing a records centre
  • Options for electronic records
  • Managing archives
  • Selecting and using storage media and equipment
  • Storage location control
  • Conversion to an alternative medium
  • Preserving electronic records over time
  • Protecting records against loss, misplacement or alteration
  • Threats and hazards: risk assessment and reduction
  • Business continuity planning

7. Providing access  

  • Meeting the needs of users
  • Approaches to retrieval
  • Confidentiality and rights of access
  • Managing external access to records 
  • Archival services 

8. Implementing records management: practical and managerial issues  

  • Getting started
  • Developing records management programmes and systems
  • Maintaining the impetus
  • Recording records management 


Appendix A: Bibliography and sources of further information  

  • Records management websites
  • General works in print
  • Journals
  • Selected further readings on specific topics 

Appendix B: Select list of national and international standards  

Appendix C: Professional organizations for records managers in English-speaking countries

"Exactly as the title implies, this is an incredibly detailed volume about the practice of managing records within an organisation."
- Managing Information

"I believe this is one of the best records management textbooks to appear in a very long time."
- Journal of the Society of Archivists

Geoffrey Yeo is an Archives and Records Management specialist at the Department of Information Studies, University College London. 

Dr Elizabeth Shepherd qualified as an archivist and worked in archives and records management in local government before becoming a records management specialist at TFPL Ltd. In 1992 she was appointed in the Department of Information Studies at University College London (UCL), to update and revise the MA in Archives and Records Management of which she was programme director until 2002. In 2003 she was appointed a senior lecturer, in 2007 Reader, and Professor of Archives and Records Management in 2011. She teaches concepts and contexts and the recordkeeping professional and co-ordinates the research skills module for doctoral students in DIS.

More titles in this category >>