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close this book The archival appraisal of records containing personal information: A RAMP study with guidelines
View the document Preface
View the document Foreword
Open this folder and view contents 1. Introduction
Open this folder and view contents 2. Records containing personal information: definitions, characteristics, and special categories
Open this folder and view contents 3. A theoretical model
Open this folder and view contents 4. Appraisal methodologies, criteria, and options
View the document 5. Guidelines
View the document Appendix: Appraisal considerations, FBI project
View the document Select bibliography


In order to aid Member States, particularly developing countries, to meet their needs in the specialized areas of Archives Administration and Records Management, the Division of the General Information Programme has developed a long-term Records and Archives Management Programme (RAMP).

The overall objectives of RAMP are:

- to create awareness and promote understanding, among and within governments of Member States, of the values and usefulness of records and archives as basic information resources;

- to assist countries and regions, upon request, in the organization and development of their records and archives management systems and services necessary for full and effective utilization of these basic information resources;

- to promote and assist the advancement and dissemination of knowledge through the training of professionals in the field of archives and records management, which is the basis for sound archival policies and harmonious archival development.

RAMP activities concentrate on: infrastructure development; training and education; protection of the archival heritage; promotion of the development and application of modern information technologies and research in archival theory and practice.

This study, which was prepared under contract with the International Council on Archives (ICA), is-intended-for archivists working with records containing personal information. the meaning of "personal information" is defined and the characteristics of records containing such information are outlined. Special consideration is given to personnel records of government employees. The appraisal of these records, "an important part of our collective memory", encounters numerous problems for which the study proposes general guidance. A conceptual model ("macro-appraisal") and its application in practical archival work is presented. The study closes with a useful summary of the guidelines and a select bibliography.

Comments and suggestions regarding the study should be addressed to the Division of the General Information Programme, UNESCO, 7, Place de Fontenoy, 75700 Paris, France. Other studies prepared under the RAMP programme may be obtained at the same address.