ARMA convention—from RIM to digits

The American Records Management Association’s focus is moving steadily from paper to digital systems.

The American Records Management Association’s (ARMA) 2005 convention, held in Chicago this month, reflected a shift in records and information management (RIM) from paper based systems to digital. In the IT and management session, Shell’s Debra Anne Duncan described the move from RIM systems to ‘back-office processes.’ The move has streamlined accounts-payable, sales and tax compliance at the expense of complex IT processes involving components from FileNet, Tibco, EMC—connected with a mixture of Visual Basic, Java and BEA WebLogic.


Susan Sullivan of the US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) introduced the PDF/A ISO standard for long term preservation of PDF documents. Current PDF formats are ‘unsuitable’ for archive purposes, but pdf documents are ‘ubiquitous’ in corporate and government archives. NARA is working on a toolkit to migrate legacy PDF to the open standard which embeds metadata in Adobe’s eXtensible Metadata Platform (XMP).


Joanna Fagan (Georgetown University) described how the US National CAD standard helps manage construction documentation and oversize drawings and project files. This protocol supports project management over the facility lifecycle. Other ARMA presentations address issues such as the use of RFID in physical records management, creating ‘order out of chaos’ with taxonomies and disaster planning and prevention in the digital age.

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