Role of the archivist

The Archivist has an obligation to ensure the preservation of valuable records, both past and present. 

In appraising records for retention or disposal, the Archivist acts as the agent of future generations and must be as diligent in disposing of records that have no significant or lasting value as in retaining those that do. 

The Archivist must protect the integrity of records and guard them against defacement, alteration, or theft; protect them against physical damage by fire or excessive exposure to light, dampness, and dryness; and ensure that their evidentiary value is not impaired in the normal course of rehabilitation, arrangement, and use. 

The Archivist should promote access to records to the fullest extent consistent with the public interest but should observe any legal or prudent restrictions on the use of records.

The Archivist should respond promptly and courteously to research requests—not discussing the work of one researcher with another except where a clear duplication of effort is apparent.

The Archivist must not profit from any commercial exploitation of the records in custody, nor withhold from others any information gained as a result of official duties. 

The Archivist should add to the body of archival and historical knowledge and leave to successors a true account of the records held in custody and of their organization and arrangement. 

[Adapted from The Archivist's Code, National Archives]

Copyright 2019, New London Town Archives