What is an Archives?
Archives collect, preserve, and makes accessible non-current records that have enduring value -- meaning that the records are worthy of permanent preservation because they tell us about the history and culture of the organization that created them.
In the case of Parkland College, records like founding documents, course catalogs, correspondence from the president, and board of trustee meeting minutes give us a glimpse of Parkland College in the past, and help us decide what we want Parkland College to be in the future.
How do Archives Differ from Libraries?
Archival collections differ from library collections in that they contain unpublished, original and unique records. Library collections on the other hand contain published books that can be accessed through open-shelf browsing. Because of their uniqueness, archival collections can only be accessed ordering specific records that must be viewed in secure reading rooms. Also, archival collections are arranged in the order in which their creator maintained them. A library, on the other hand, arranges its collection according to subject.
What is a Record?
A record is an item created by an organization in the process of routine activities or transactions. A record has content (the data or information), has been fixed on some media (for example, on paper or audio tape), has structure, and context ( the organizational, functional, and operational circumstances surrounding a record's creation). Not all records are worthy of long-term preservation.
Are Emails Records?
Emails are created by individuals during the course of business, so yes, emails are records. Most emails do not have enduring value. Emails that document decision making processes or that include correspondence to or from important persons may be worthy of inclusion in an archives.
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