The readings for this week revolve around the similarities and differences between records management and archives and how the two professions can work together. Sue Myburgh’s 2005 piece, “Records Management and Archives: Finding Common Ground,” efficiently summarizes the differences between these two professions. She writes that these similarities include that both: must determine which documents or records they will manage, must maintain their records’ physical and intellectual integrity, and must describe and arrange their records and provide context as well as access. A key difference is that where archives are political (in the sense that they preserve what records they choose for a reason, and even how the records are organized implies a stance) records management maintains their records for the governing organization’s productivity and efficiency.
The most interesting point of comparison to me, however, is how archives and records management determine what records to keep and what to discard or deaccession. Here emerges the continuum theory which Myburgh also addresses in her article. The continuum model, “emphasizes that as records end up in archives, records managers should have equal social responsibilities in deciding what is captured and preserved for posterity.” In other words, it encourages records managers and archivists to collaborate at critical junctures along this continuum, particularly when records are created and when they are to be discarded. In examining the other websites that Prof. Sly assigned for this week, I was fascinated by the plans records managers establish for when to discard certain records; something that is established temporally. For example, the Better Business Bureau has a record retention schedule, and states that records like accident reports and claims, expense analyses and distribution schedules, and subsidiary ledgers need only be retained for seven years. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has a similar set of retention and disposition schedules for County and Municipal Governments. From the County retention and disposition schedule, I learned that records like deeds to county-owned property must be retained permanently for “administrative, legal and historical reasons.” Alternatively, some election records, like absentee ballot records, need only be retained for two years. What I remain curious about, is how records managers determine what length of time a series of records need to be retained, and how archivists determine at what point they need to review their collections for potential deaccessions.
 Sue Myburgh, “Records Management and Archives: Finding Common Ground,” The Information Journal (March/April, 2005): p. 25.
 Ibid, p. 26.
 Better Business Bureau, “Records Retention Schedule,” https://www.bbb.org/storage/0/Shared%20Documents/secure%20your%20id%20day/bbb%20records%20retention%20schedule.pdf. Accessed 10/20/17.
 Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and the Bureau of the State Archives Harrisburg, “Administrative and Legal Records,” in County Records Manual, 2002 Edition. (Updated April 2017): p. 2
 Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and the Bureau of the State Archives Harrisburg, “Election Records,” in County Records Manual, 2002 Edition. (Updated April 2017): p. 1.