Why Records Management Matters Discussion with Laura Millar and Anthea Seles


To conclude our series on the importance of all aspects of Records Management, we are delighted to be joined by Laura Millar, writer and consultant, and Anthea Seles, Secretary General of the International Council on Archives, as they discuss the issues raised in previous webinars and generally explore why particularly in these difficult times, records management matters. Truth, justice, accountability are fundamental to human rights but in many parts of the world, are in short supply. It has always been in the interests of authoritarian regimes to distort truth, pervert justice and avoid accountability. Worryingly, it is becoming more mainstream in western societies for governments and big corporations to play fast and loose with ‘evidence’ and data, making it increasingly difficult to distinguish between truth and lies. ‘Alternative facts’, fake news, deep fake technology, and the rise of the alt-right scandal make us question evidence. What should we believe? Who can we trust? The role, therefore, of archivists and records managers in particular, in safeguarding authenticity and safekeeping personal and corporate information is more important than ever. Democracy is underpinned by the management and storage of evidence based on principles of best practice not political advantage or priorities.

At a time where data and its management are proving vital to fight the virus, we are routinely reminded of the importance of effective records management and how fundamental it is to society; it ensures that organisations, in both the public and private sector, are efficient and effective. By processing data, physical and digital, ensuring legislative compliance, preserving corporate memory, enabling access to information and helping organisations to meet administrative, financial and legal requirements, records managers support strategic objectives and business outcomes.

Laura Millar is an independent consultant and scholar in records, archives, and information management. She has consulted with governments, universities, colleges, professional associations, non-profit organizations, and other agencies in Canada and around the world. Dr Millar’s most recent book, A Matter of Facts: The Value of Evidence in an Information Age (2019), explores the concept of evidence and discusses the ways in which records, archives, and data are not just useful tools for our daily existence but also essential sources of evidence both today and in the future.

Anthea Seles holds a Doctorate in Information Studies from the University College London. She has developed a considerable expertise in digital records management and preservation during her career, including at the National Archives UK. Dr Seles was appointed Secretary General of International Council on Archives (ICA) in 2018.

Registration: Registration is now closed, but you can access the event live on YouTube here, from 17:00 (GMT) on 3 December 2020.