Legislation, literature and practice in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
The beginning of the nineteenth century saw the start of the rapid expansion and development of archival activity on a global scale. This chapter provides a survey of some significant developments in the 200 years before the introduction of information technology in the late twentieth century radically changed the archival landscape once again. These include, in particular, developments in archival legislation, an outpouring of professional literature and the articulation of theory and practices for dealing with hitherto unimaginable amounts of paper. The chapter discusses the technological developments prompted re-evaluation and development of the principles and models. The 1980s and 1990s in particular were characterised by the recasting of many archival principles which were formulated in the previous century. The most significant of these is probably the emergence of the records continuum model which focuses attention on the use and users of records, both present and potential, as much as on the systems and agencies which produce the records.