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Framework and Policy Recommendations for the Exchange and Preservation of Electronic Records

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Citation Edit

National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Computer Systems Laboratory, Framework and Policy Recommendations for the Exchange and Preservation of Electronic Records (Mar. 1989) (not available online).

Overview Edit

The objectives of this project were to assist the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in developing a policy for the representation, transfer, access, and preservation of electronic records of permanent value. A lack of attention to the management, retention, and selective preservation of these machine-readable records will result in their loss. Even if the information is physically present on a physical storage device, without proper indexing or descriptive information, it will become unusable.

A major portion of this report is devoted to discussing the internal electronic information management requirements that NARA must satisfy to preserve its electronic information holdings. It is noted that this process will be complicated by two factors: much of the descriptive information that NARA must manage must be provided by the originating agencies, and constant changes in computer and storage technology will require constant monitoring and readiness to change methods of managing electronic record holdings. Various standards that now exist, or are expected to exist, are recommended for use by NARA in seeking solutions to the problems of managing electronic records.

A prototype software system for the exchange of documents produced under different word processor systems is presented to illustrate the application of these standards. Four appendices provide additional detailed information.

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