Electronic Recordkeeping

NHPRC Project at the University of Indiana

by Phillip Bantin

In June, 1995, Indiana University (IU) began a two-year project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) and Indiana University to implement functional analysis methodology and to test the ideas regarding functional requirements for recordkeeping and the critical role of metadata put forward by David Bearman, Richard Cox and the project personnel associated with the University of Pittsburgh Electronic Records Project. IU Project personnel identified four stages of development for the Project:

Stage 1: Functional analysis of business units, identification of business transactions and identification of basic information categories necessary for establishing evidence of specific business transactions;

Stage 2: Identify and describe existing information systems which store the data on the previously identified business transactions;

Stage 3: Evaluate the existing systems in terms of the Functional Requirements for Evidence in Recordkeeping and the "Metadata Specifications Derived from the Functional Requirements" developed at the University of Pittsburgh; and

Stage 4: Analyze results and report on findings.

The goal is to complete at least two field tests of the methodology before the end of the project. The first field test was scheduled to begin at the end of April, 1997, and will focus on the business area of student financial aid.

Project deliverables will include:

1. Evaluation of results derived from the field tests of the methodology.

2. An evaluation of the attempt to create recordkeeping systems from information systems.

3. An analysis of costs associated with implementing the methodology.

4. Rationales for selecting a subset of the Pittsburgh "Functional and Metadata Requirements."

5. A methodology for evaluating recordkeeping systems based on several field tests.

Documentation on the IU Electronic Records Project can be found at the following URL:www.indiana.edu/~libarche/index.html.

Phillip Bantin is director of the University Archives Project at Indiana University. He is also co-director of the IU Electronic Records Project described in this article.