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Title: Records management in the English New Towns, 1961-1999
Author: Biggs, David Robert
ISNI:       0000 0001 3463 8975
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis illustrates and examines issues, situations and concepts which faced, and still face, archivists and records managers dealing with the records of finite, changing and disappearing organisations. Using the lessons and conclusions that can be drawn from the case study, the thesis develops a strategy and recommendations for how records management should ideally be applied to such situations. British new towns result from the large-scale government planning project launched in the New Towns Act, 1946, although there are antecedents. The case study involves prodigious quantities of modem records of relevant central government organisations, held within those organisations or in national and local archive repositories. It demonstrates various types of organisational change, the development and implementation of records management policy and practice, and other issues of concern to those dealing with all stages of the records life cycle. The thesis focuses on the Commission for the New Towns (CNT) which from 1961 was the residuary body for the development corporations of the twenty one English new towns, and Cwmbran in Wales. In 1998 CNT was given responsibility for eight urban development corporations and named as the residual body for the six housing action trusts for when they closed from 1999 onwards. The source material concludes when CNT was combined in 1999 with the Urban Regeneration Agency to operate as English Partnerships. The records held by CNT and associated bodies largely date after 1946, but are not exclusively modem as corporations inherited records from predecessor authorities and acquired old property deeds. The study examines how CNT and associated bodies handled these records, the impetus for organised records management, how resources were applied, and the results achieved. The effects of organisational trends and change, technological developments, the attitude and influence of individuals and external bodies, and legislative requirements are analysed. The particular facts of the case study are established, and related more widely to the issues facing those involved in managing, disposing of, or receiving records in and from changing, finite and disappearing organisations. The thesis concludes by summarising the lessons learned from the case study and in offering recommendations for the management of records in this context.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available