An exploration of records management in cathedrals:
: three case studies

  • Lucy Sarah Barrell

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Arts


Aims and objectives -
The research focused on the implementation of records management in cathedrals in the United Kingdom. The purpose was to provide recommendations for the cathedral and small private-based sectors in initiating successful organisational records management.

Methodology -
A literature review was conducted for the first stage of the research. It aimed to establish best practice through the analysis of relevant sources, including principles, standards and guidelines. The empirical stage of the research sought to understand how records management is currently implemented in the sector through a cross-case analysis of three case studies selected from the cathedral field. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with representatives in professional record keeping roles.

Findings -
The case studies were depicted at varying stages of progression in the implementation of records management. They ranged in size and circumstances, but were shown to approach records management similarly in an ad hoc manner. The main variables identified as determining the success of records management include: systematic planning within a holistic framework of people, policy, procedures, technology and tools; strategic backing and financial support from the governing body of the cathedral; formalised record keeping systems to ensure the ongoing access and preservation of records in all formats; adequate staff resources to implement and monitor records management; delivery of the strategy through a variety of tools; and an understanding of the central user’s requirements to promote information responsibility.

Conclusions and recommendations -
The research concluded that implementation of a successful records management programme requires a strategic and systematic approach incorporating planning, design, implementation and monitoring to demonstrate that information serves a corporate purpose, that its relationship to performance can be shown and that it is empirically testable. It is advisable to formulate a strategy within a framework that encompasses an understanding of the legislative and regulatory environment; technological context; and information culture of an organisation, delivered through a range of processes, controls and tools
Date of Award2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University

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