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records continuum


n. ~ A model of archival science that emphasizes overlapping characteristics of recordkeeping, evidence, transaction, and the identity of the creator.


The records continuum model deemphasizes the time-bound stages of the life cycle model.

(Steemson) A records continuum perspective can be contrasted with the life cycle model. The life cycle model argues that there are clearly definable stages in record-keeping and creates a sharp distinction between current and historical record-keeping. The record continuum, on the other hand, has provided Australian records managers and archivists with a way of thinking about the integration of record-keeping and archiving processes. ¶ The life cycle model sees records passing through stages until they eventually 'die', except for the 'chosen ones' that are reincarnated as archives. A continuum-based approach suggests integrated time-space dimensions. Records are 'fixed' in time and space from the moment of their creation, but record-keeping regimes carry them forward and enable their use for multiple purposes by delivering them to people living in different times and spaces. [Citing Sue McKemmish.]