of records-creating functions to help them connect the documentary needs with the records themselves." In this way, [31] there is an "immediate transition" from his admittedly amorphous attempt earlier to define societal values through public opinion research to a very concrete focus on the provenance of records as expressed through the functionality of their creators, which, in Booms' words, "is why [and how] provenance must remain the immutable foundation of the appraisal process."38 Booms' approach of mirroring societal values through the functions of the record creator is also the direction of the new macroappraisal acquisition strate gy implemented in 1991 at the National Archives of Canada and articulated in my own theoretical writings since the late 1980s. This new conceptualization is finding increasing favour in some international circles. In this Canadian ap proach, the older archival focus on the subject content of records, and on having that content directly reflect public opinion or users' needs or historical trends, has been replaced by a new focus on the larger or "macro" context of the records, as revealed through their creators' functions, programmes, activities, and trans actions, that is, through the context and process of the records' own creation. I drew inspiration for my own theoretical work and for the National Archives practical models from Booms' societal ideals, and those of his colleague, Siegfried Buttner. I did so, however, at a philosophical level (i.e., archival "value" should be defined by social constructs and societal functions, rather than by either Jenkinson's creators or Schellenberg's users). I did not do so at the strate gic level (i.e., an appraisal methodology, like Booms' first model, whereby archivists would research directly into societal trends and public opinion issues to try directly to "document society." Rather, the National Archives has adopted a functional-structural macroappraisal methodology that focuses research instead on records creators rather than directly on society, on the assumption that those creators, and those citizens and organizations with whom they inter act, indirectly represent the collective functioning of society. This is similar to Booms' 1991 concept of an "immediate transition" from amorphous societal functions to the concrete provenance-based institutional manifestations of those functions. I thus consciously placed my writings and the National Archives appraisal methodology in a context-based, provenance-centred framework rather than in a content-based, historical-documentalist one.39 This Canadian reinterpretation of provenance makes that principle more conceptual than physical, as is appropriate for the age of the electronic record. The "new" provenance is also more functional than structural, as is fitting for an era where organizational stability is everywhere disappearing. But it is provenance nonetheless, whereby the contextual circumstances of record creation are again made the centre of the archivist's universe of activities, rather than some external criteria such as use, public opinion, or historiographical trends. The Canadian approach is not driven by the Dutch or Jenkinsonian literal provenance principles based on arrangement and description, which asserted an exact congruity between creator function, creator structure, and record-[32]keeping system. Nevertheless, the Canadian approach does recognize and respect the intent behind those older principles, which was to link recorded information with the organic context of institutional (or personal) activity. That organic context of activity can no longer be determined, initially at least, by trying to appraise billions of records in paper form, let alone their more elusive electronic or visual counterparts. Rather, the focus must first be on the organic context itself of record-keeping, and thus on analyzing and appraising the impor tance of government functions, programmes, activities, and transactions -and citizen interactions with them- that cause records to be created. Then the appraisal conclusions so derived are tested before they are finalized by a selective hermeneutic "reading" of the actual record "texts" -but only after the macroap praisal of functions and business processes has been completed.40 The state archives in the Netherlands has adopted at the very same time as the Canadians a similar method of appraising government functions rather than appraising individual records. In its well-known PIVOT project, the Dutch decided that, "instead of looking to traditional principles of archives and records management, which in fact tend chiefly to select and retain information genera ted by the administrative processes, the proposed strategy bases the evaluation of information on its role in government activities and tasks. Following such an approach, agencies would first analyze the processes critical to their missions ARCHIEFWETENSCHAP 38 Ibid., pp. 25-33 (quotations from pp. 31-33). 39 See Cook, Archival Appraisal of Records; and "Mind Over Matter: Towards a New Theory of Archival Appraisal." Those who do not read my work carefully can occasionally get this important distinction con fused, or even reversed, between the philosophical warrant for "societal" archives and the actual provenan ce-based appraisal strategies and research methodologies developed to realize that warrant. As a result, some have even suggested that my work is part of the "archivist as subject-content historian" or "European documentalist" traditions—which are exactly the traditions against which I have been reacting (and have so stated explicitly) in articulating these new approaches! Attempting to reposition archivists from being passive receptors of records to active appraisers does not mean advocating their abandonment of provenan ce as the basis of archival decision-making (including appraisal), or nostalgic hankering to transform archivists into either European documentalists or Schellenbergian historians. For the critiques, see Angelika Menne-Haritz, "Appraisal or Selection: Can a Content Oriented Appraisal be Harmonized with the Principle of Provenance?," in Kerstin Abukhanfusa and Jan Sydbeck, eds., The Principle of Provenance: Report from the First Stockholm Conference on Archival Theory and the Principle of Provenance 2-3 September 1993 (Sweden, 1994), pp. 103-31, abridged as "Appraisal or Documentation: Can We Appraise Archives by Selecting Content?" American Archivist 57 (Summer 1994), pp. 528-42; and Terry Eastwood, "Nailing a Little Jelly to the Wall of Archival Studies," Archivaria 35 (Spring 1993), pp. 232-52; which I have rebutted with Terry Cook, "'Another Brick in the Wall': Terry Eastwood's Masonry and Archival Walls, History, and Archival Appraisal," Archivaria 37 (Summer 1994), pp. 96-103. 46 TERRY COOK WHAT IS PAST IS PROLOGUE In an otherwise interesting slant on the archivist's métier, Elizabeth Diamond assumes that archival "value" in my approach would be determined by judging the importance of records to the "administrative historian;" see her "The Archivist as Forensic Scientist—Seeing Ourselves in a Different Way," Archivaria 38 (Fall 1994), pp. 145-46. In so stating, she confuses methodology with theory. While the archivist doing macroappraisal must obviously do sustained research into the records of administrative activity (func tions, business processes, structures, activities), he or she does so in order to discern the degree of sharp ness of the societal image and citizen-state interaction revealed by the record-creating processes within those general administrative activities, not to focus on the history of administrations per se. It is research into the history and character of records, not administrations, to learn how and why records were created, and what those records-creation, records-organization, and contemporary record-use processes reveal about societal functions, citizen-state interaction, and governance dynamics. The records which after this research are found to mirror most succinctly those societal functions and interactions are judged to have archival value. The theoretical stance and focus is societal, therefore, not administrative. Perhaps it is enough to say that research into records to understand their context is not the same as appraising records. 40 For the actual approach, see Terry Cook, "An Appraisal Methodology: Guidelines for Performing An Archival Appraisal," (December 1991); and Terry Cook, "Government-Wide Plan for the Disposition of Records 1991-1996" (October 1990) both internal National Archives reports. For a proposed sophistica tion of these methodologies, although one still requiring fuller implementation strategies, see Richard Brown, "Records Acquisition Strategy and Its Theoretical Foundation: The Case for a Concept of Archival Hermeneutics," Archivaria 33 (Winter 1991-92), pp. 34-56; and Richard Brown, "Macro-Appraisal Theory and the Context of the Public Records Creator," Archivaria 40 (Fall 1995), pp. 121-72. 47

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