- RT: custody
n. ~ A theory that archives would not serve as a central repository and protector of records, but that creators would retain custody of their records with external oversight for preservation by the archives.
Post-custodialism focuses primarily on electronic records. The theory grew, in large part, out of the assumption that archives would not have the resources (hardware, software, technical expertise) to maintain records in an online system, but that the record creators' active records systems could also be used for non-current records.
- SAA Glossary 2005 (†241 ): The idea that archivists will no longer physically acquire and maintain records, but that they will provide management oversight for records that will remain in the custody of the record creators.
- Duranti 2013 (†408 ): The 1991 article by David Bearman, “An Indefensible Bastion: Archives as a Repository in the Electronic Age,”5 significantly shook all established assumptions about archives, claiming that the existence of archival institutions or organizations having the physical and legal custody of archives was due to conditions that no longer existed: 1) the need to protect the physical integrity of the records, 2) the economic advantage of concentrating historical material in one place, and 3) the benefit to users of having related materials accessible in the same place. Bearman’s proposal was for archivists to leave the electronic records with the creators as they could be easily copied and made accessible on disc, and to limit their responsibilities to keeping paper records and to providing creators with directions for preservation and dissemination of electronic records, monitoring the way in which they carried out such activities. . . . ¶ This trend, which came to be called “postcustodialism,” found much support in Australia and some in the Netherlands, but generally was not accepted by the international archival community, and appeared to have been definitely buried in 1998 by the renaming of the Australia Commonwealth Archives Office “National Archives of Australia” and the attribution to it of the primary mandate of preserving the “national archival collection.” However, fifteen years later, albeit by another name, the idea of postcustodialism is again raising its ugly head, but this time it is not concerning only electronic records created by government agencies, but all records, born digital and digitised, be they indivisible archival aggregations or isolated documents only virtually connected, public or private, old or new, open to access or not, destined to be kept forever or for a nano second. Today’s postcustodialism is called “Cloud computing.” [Notes omitted.] (†490)
- Duranti 2013 (†408 ): Fifteen years later, albeit by another name, the idea of postcustodialism is again raising its ugly head, but this time it is not concerning only electronic records created by government agencies, but all records, born digital and digitised, be they indivisible archival aggregations or isolated documents only virtually connected, public or private, old or new, open to access or not, destined to be kept forever or for a nano second. Today’s postcustodialism is called “Cloud computing.” (†491)
- Duranti 2013 (†408 ): While the original postcustodialism was a form of distributed physical and legal custody of archival material, whose care would be entirely entrusted (admittedly, under monitoring by the archivist) to those who have the highest interest in modifying or destroying that which does not serve the image they wish to project of themselves – the creators, the new postcustodialism requires that centralised legal custody and intellectual control responsibility be left with the archives, but it delegates physical custody and technological access provisions to the Cloud provider, which can be the archives itself (private Cloud), an archival community (community Cloud), a commercial provider (public Cloud), or a mix of the three (hybrid Cloud). Thus, while it is clear that creators could not be trusted with the historical documentary memory of our times, we are left wondering whether the Cloud should be trusted, and consequently whether the object of its custody, the historical documents it stores, would be trustworthy. (†492)