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close this bookArchives and Records Management for Decision Makers: a RAMP study (UNESCO; 1990; 79 pages)
View the documentPreface
View the document1. Introduction
Open this folder and view contents2. Origins of records and archives
close this folder3. Records and archives in decision making
View the document3.1. The relevance of records and archives
View the document3.2. Usage of records and archives
View the document3.3. The beneficial use of records and archives
View the document3.4. Adverse consequences of not using records and archives
View the document3.5. The decision makers view of the relevance of records and archives
View the document3.6. Decision making
Open this folder and view contents4. Records management
Open this folder and view contents5. Archives
Open this folder and view contents6. Planning for archives
Open this folder and view contents7. Legislative authority
Open this folder and view contents8. Staffing
Open this folder and view contents9. Conclusion
View the documentAppendix 1 - List of national archival institutions that responded
View the documentAppendix 2 - List of respondents to second questionnaire
View the documentAppendix 3 - Staffing levels in relation to population
 

3.3. The beneficial use of records and archives

It was evident for the responses that there is to a large extent merely a general idea on the part of the custodians as to what records and archives are used for. Answers such as for current administration! historical purposes, decision making, or for reference purposes were therefore not surprising. This is borne out by the responses received to the question that requested for examples of the way in which records and archives had been used in demons/ratably and positively beneficial ways.

Only eleven institutions were able to give significant examples of the way records and archives had been used in a beneficial way for the following purposes:-

3.3.1. in Botswana to prove ownership of disputed lands

3.3.2. in Ireland to create a genealogical data base for use in the tourist industry

3.3.3. in the state of Maine in the United States of America to identify the relative of a person potentially needing a bone marrow transplant

3.3.4. in the province of Ontario in Canada to settle court cases in mining and timber claims and to defend the provinces position in a law suit concerning the takeover of a business

3.3.5. in Western Australia to support cases for minority groups and in court cases relating to sufferers of asbestosis.

3.3.6. in the Republic of Kiribati to prove ownership of land

3.3.7. in Canada to handle native land claims and for the assessment of redress for Japanese Canadians affected by the actions taken by Canada during World War II

3.3.8. in the Netherlands to award pensions for damages to people persecuted for political reasons during previous regimes and for reconstruction after wars and natural disasters

3.3.9. in Poland for the recultivation of agriculturally important low lands in the mouth of the Vistule River after the Second World War, for the reconstruction of a new hotel on old foundations in the city of Poznan and to render assistance during mining industry catastrophes

3.3.10. in the United States of America to compensate Japanese Americans interned during the Second World War

3.3.11. in Cape Verde for the reconstruction of the old city of Cedade Velha

3.3.12. in Kenya for the purpose of determining constituency boundaries and to determine the tribes and clans that owned the "White Highlands" before and at the time of colonisation

Most of the other institutions could only give generalised examples of how records and archives were used for historical and academic research, local history, genealogy, publication, education, pension, exhibits, promotion of historical and national consciousness and identity, biography, radio and television. Sixteen institutions were unable to respond to the question and thus to give any examples at all. As we shall see later, the inability of the custodians of records and archives to identify the particular and individual needs for their records and archives and to quantify that need has profound consequences on the decision makers ability to use these materials. The inability also to identify particular and outstanding examples of the value and usefulness of archives has implications in terms of the marketing of records and archives as necessary inputs in decision making.

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