A study of the management processes in university and college archives in the United Kingdom and Canada
The objective of this thesis is a study of the management processes in university and college archives in the United Kingdom and Canada. Assumptions raised in the literature, which have not been systematically examined, were investigated. The archivists' responses to five external pressures were determined, namely, the electronic revolution, information management, new legislation, the increase in the volume of records and in the number of users. Three internal issues were also examined, namely, the image of archivists, the relationship between archives and libraries and the education and training of archivists. Research methods were used to conduct the study. Two populations, university and college archives in the United Kingdom and Canada, were defined and stratified random samples were selected. Two instruments were used (a) an interview format containing questions about management processes and (b) a three-part questionnaire: (i) a climate survey of perceptions of the work environment and the amount of change required (ii) the most favoured aspects of work and the most serious problems and (iii) classification information. Copies of written policies and procedures were requested. A pilot project to pre-test the instruments resulted in some modification.Arrangements were made to visit the head archivists of the selected archives and the two instruments were administered. The results were analysed by tabulation, content-analysis and the use of statistical tests. The quantitative and qualitative findings demonstrated the archivists' responses to external and internal pressures. Numerous similarities in the two groups were confirmed and some significant differences were identified. Many of the assumptions raised in the literature were verified; others, however, were not validated. The results of the various sections re-enforced one another. Conclusions and recommendations were presented. The study confirmed that systematic research provided explicit information regarding the management processes of the two populations.