Establishing a University Records Management Program from the Inside Out

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Records management and archives have shared common ground throughout history. Records-related concepts like authenticity and provenance have gained considerable attention in recent times, particularly since the dialog has expanded to include electronic records and digital preservation.' Regardless of renewed interests in these age-old issues, records management in higher education is often poorly funded and not a high priority. During a climate of budget cuts, the Archives of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign reframed its approach to records management by launching an initiative using an "inside-out" approach, emphasizing information needs rather than mandates, and embedding information professionals inside departments and units. This article explains how this approach gained traction through early projects with the campus power plant and facilities departments, how these projects created momentum for other projects, and how they garnered support for records and information management in a more formalized and financially sound way. Concluding remarks include an overview of the elements that made the projects successful, and describe current efforts to extend the program to a university-wide, permanently funded entity.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-33
Number of pages11
JournalArchival Issues
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Records management
  • Discarding of manuscripts, etc.
  • Records -- Reproduction requests
  • Momentum spectra
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


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