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I don't think archivists have the time either to appraise records based on their perceived harmfulness. As an archivist for several years at Yale University, I appraised thousands of records from nearly every department on campus and never even considered using liability as a factor. Like Gary, I appraised based on administrative, financial, legal and historical values -- This is the foundation of archival appraisal. It is not the role of the archivist to sanitize materials. 

Archivists and records managers are not so different in what they do and how they do it. Back in the day, all records managers were archivists. It was FDR's New Deal and WWII that ushered in the era of mass information  generation and its subsequent management. Proponents in the National Archives, started in earnest during the Truman administration, developed what came to be records management as a way to handle the massive volumes responsibly. And apart from Australia, UK, and Canada, most of the rest of the world just has archivists serving both functions.

My 2 cents.

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Stephen E. Cohen, CRM
Records Manager
MetLife | Legal Affairs
( 212-578-2373 

-----Original Message-----
From: Records Management Program [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Peter Kurilecz
Sent: Thursday, December 05, 2013 3:52 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: RM Appraisal and Ethics

The key thing to remember when reading this blog post is that it is for archivists who are also working as records managers. The post assumes a lot of things not in evidence with regards to how records managers operate. I would say it is more likely that an archivist would be the one to "identify classes of documents that might cause harm.." considering the volume of records (physical and digital) I don't believe that RMs have the time to look for such documentation. A more likely scenario is that the creator will be the one to do the destruction.
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