National Archives of the Netherlands (Ministry of Education, Culture and Science)

Records Management

The identification, classification, archiving, preservation, and sometimes destruction/disposal of records is called records management.

The ISO (international Standards Organisation) describes records as 'information created, received, and maintained as evidence and information by an organisation or person, in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business'.

The International Council of Archives describes a record as 'a specific piece of recorded information produced or received in the initiation, conduct or completion of an institutional or individual activity and that comprises content, context and structure sufficient to provide evidence of the activity'.

Although the definition of a record often corresponds with the definition of a document, a record can - in contrast with a document - be either physical or digital, so long as it has value for an organisation.

The NEN-ISO 15489 standard is the Dutch equivalent of the ISO 15489 standard. It defines records management as the aspect of management that is responsible for the efficient and systematic control over the creation, receipt, maintenence, use, and availability of records, including the processes for capturing and maintaining evidence and information about business activities and transactions in the form of records.