Journal article

Archivists 2.0: redefining the archivist´s profession in the digital age


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Publication Details

Author list: Kallberg, Maria

Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Publication year: 2012

Start page: 98

End page: 115

Number of pages: 18

ISSN: 0956-5698



Purpose - public organizations are investing in e-government development and e-services to improve the interaction and services to the citizens. Archivists need to act more pro-active to capture and manage records in order to be accessible both in the present and in the long-term. Archivists need to understand the conceptual context and business processes in which the records are created. This study aims to focus on an ongoing process within a specific context, which may have direct, but also future implications for archivists`professional identity. Professional identity is understood as a sense of shared understandings an skills, experiences, common way of perceiving problems and their possible solutions. This study is meant to answer the overall research question and sub questions: What is the status of archivist professionals`positions and practice within public organizations? What organizational effect has the change from paper-based to electronic record keeping had on archivists`professional positions and practice within organizations? How do archivists perceive themselves in their professional roles, i.e. identity? Are there any critical competence issues that need to be solved that are connected to new requirements in working methods related to electronic record keeping? and How do archivists define their skills and working performance?

Design/methodology/approach - The data presented and analyzed in this article are based on a literature review and an empirical study. The literature covers areas related to archivists`professional practice and future role. The empirical study is based on interviews with nine municipality archivists at nine different Swedish municipalities identified by the Swedish Association of Local Government and Regions as ""good example"" e-government municipalities. All interviews were undertaken during January and March 2011.

Findings - The findings provide information on how archivists define their current and future professional role in relation to the organization and the development of information technology: the status of archivist professionals`positions and practice, for example, within public organizations. It explores the importance of strategic approaches to managing electronic records - from their creation throughout their whole existence, including long-term preservation - and considers necessary changes to the professional image and the skills they need.

Orginiality/value - This article will be of interest to record keeping practitioners working in the shift to e-government in local contexts and also to educators, as there appears to be a shift in the skills and knowledge required by those working in local government.


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