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Journal cover: Records Management Journal

Records Management Journal

ISSN: 0956-5698

Online from: 1989

Subject Area: Information and Knowledge Management

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Non-conformist records management in Great Britain: a review

Document Information:
Title:Non-conformist records management in Great Britain: a review
Author(s):Philip Thornborow, (University of Northampton, Northampton, UK)
Citation:Philip Thornborow, (2007) "Non-conformist records management in Great Britain: a review", Records Management Journal, Vol. 17 Iss: 3, pp.169 - 178
Keywords:Churches, Records management, Religion, United Kingdom
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/09565690710833071 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to review the current state of knowledge of records management within non-conformist churches in the UK, in the context of them not being public records or covered by specific legislation.

Design/methodology/approachSurveys, interviews, a literature review and documentary analysis carried out in the course of an MSc dissertation provided evidence for an analysis of two approaches currently being taken to records management in the organisations studied.

FindingsDiscontinuities between practice at national and local levels of the churches were noted. One organisation was discovered to be much more proactive than the others, and more concerned with the whole records cycle. The reasons for these discontinuities and differences are discussed.

Research limitations/implicationsThe major focus is on one organisation, and within that organisation a small sample was taken of one key set of staff. In the other three organisations surveyed, only the view from the centre was sought. More work is required on the “sacred-secular divide” – how being a religious organisation affects administration.

Originality/valueThe review is the first carried out of the records management practices of a group of religious organisations whose records are characterised as “private” rather than “public”, and therefore less subject to legislation and inspection. The governance of the organisations studied is driven by theological rather than any other consideration.

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