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Medical Archives: What they are and how to keep them

By: Barbara L. Craig

Published: AMS (2000)


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The Introduction to Medical Archives ...

This booklet is directed to health care professionals and their families, to societies of health professionals, and to the organizations in which they work. Its aim is to provide some basic advice and guidance concerning the care and management of archival materials. To this end it places archives in the context of current records-keeping. Archives arise, in the first instance, as practical instruments of daily work and communication. These origins suggest it is prudent to consider them within the context of the needs and requirements for effective current records-keeping. The text also places archives in their more traditional surroundings within the larger framework of history including the historical study of people, professions, medicine and health care in general. The appendixes provide useful tips and reference to literature and other sources of information and assistance on the internet. I have tried to be eclectic in my choice. Readers should be aware that web-sites are unstable. Our information is current in September 2000.

The booklet is not a manual of practice nor is it a comprehensive guide to sources. However, it should help you, the reader, to ask the right questions of those people who may be able to guide and assist. Its objective is to introduce the notion of archives, and to connect it with the larger enterprises in which archives and records-keeping are integrated and integral.

Many of the most frequent questions are addressed directly in the text. However, none can be answered comprehensively because critical details of specific cases cannot be foreseen. Moreover, the on-going re-engineering of health care organizations and the re-organization of health care delivery may render any fixed model immediately out of date. Hence I have decided to keep the text and its specific responses to questions as generic and concept-based as possible thereby underlining principle rather than specific instance.

I hope you find the information here to be useful.

Medical Archives2.86 MB