| The archival appraisal of records containing personal information: A RAMP study with guidelines |
15. There are various limitations to this study, in terms of what it covers and what it leaves out:
a. It covers only records created by governments or the state. While its observations and conclusions may be useful to archivists appraising records containing personal information created by businesses, universities, labour unions, churches, or private individuals, archivists responsible for the records of such institutions will not find those situations explicitly addressed here. The author's bias in argument and examples is furthermore towards national archives.
b. It deals almost exclusively with records containing personal information in paper (or textual) format. Micrographic or electronic versions of these records are mentioned only as they interrelate with paper records. Similarly, personal information recorded on maps, photographs, and film is also only mentioned briefly in passing.
c. This study focuses tightly on appraising records containing personal information. Five closely related and germane subjects -- appraisal in general, records management and the records disposition processes, machine-readable records, privacy, and sampling – are not dealt with directly. These are all the subject of other RAMP studies, and there is no intention here to repeat that work. Some conclusions from these studies, especially regarding sampling, are summarized for the reader's convenience, but the full argument and analysis in those reports is not restated.
d. Additional limitations concerning the types of records containing personal information covered by this study will become apparent in the next chapter, where definitions will be advanced which will narrow the topic to manageable scale.