| The impact of computerization on archival finding aids: A ramp study |
|4. Current research and development|
In a number of countries, the application of computers to archival finding aids has triggered a great deal of research and development aimed at solving some of the larger problems of technology and methodology associated with this new means of handling archival information.
Much of this research has been widely covered in the professional and technical journals including ADPA, the journal of the ICA's Committee on Automation, and the Archival Informatics Newsletter edited by David Bearman (USA) both of which deserve to be brought to wider attention.
The technology is developing very rapidly, however, and in some countries so are archivists' responses to it. It is becoming unsafe to place too much credence even in articles which were written only a few years ago, since many of the problems and developments which they describe have already been overtaken by events.
This report could not attempt to provide a summary of all research completed or in progress. The more limited purpose of this chapter is to highlight three of the principal areas which, to judge from returns to the questionnaire, are of greatest current concern to archivists:
(1) The formulation of nationally and internationally agreed standards covering archival description including the control of terminology and authorities used in the validation of archival information.
(2) The means of communicating automated archival information nationally and internationally, through the development of data exchange formats and networks.
(3) The development of new technology such as optical disks and multi-media presentations.