4.7. Records centres
After records have been in the storerooms and strongrooms of the records creating agency for a period of time, when such formalities as audit have been done and when the rate of usage has declined from the occasional to the once in a blue moon, then the records should be transferred to a Records Centre. It goes without saying that Records Centres are not there to store records which are still required by the creating agency on a rather frequent basis.
The Records Centre concept is a self-justifying one. Office accommodation generally outstrips the ability of offices, registries and storerooms to store records and yet the records are required for varying reasons and varying periods of time and need to be retained for some time. In these circumstances it becomes necessary to provide a Records Centre. The Records Centre can be there to serve the in-house needs of a single and specific organisation or it can be created in order to meet the needs of several records creating agencies. There are certain basic concepts related to Records Centres.
4.7.1. They are built away from city centres in areas where land is relatively cheap.
4.7.2. They are situated in areas where there is minimal atmospheric pollution.
4.7.3. They utilise high density shelving in order to maximise floor area usage and lower storage costs.
4.7.4. They provide secure accommodation for records, protecting them from dust, dirt, heat, humidity and sunlight.
4.7.5. They provide access facilities enabling depositors to request and use the records as need arises.
4.7.6. They are also able to act as filtration plants, enabling records of an ephemeral and short term value to be identified and disposed of and those of a permanent and enduring value to be protected and preserved.
The extent of involvement of archival institutions in the management of semi-current records differs widely as the responses below show.
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