A place of preservation : post-custodial preservation of students' electronic records at the University of Texas at Austin



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Students' records are essential to the operation of a university and are considered to be vitally important records. At UT Austin these records remain in the custody of the Office of the Registrar indefinitely. As the official custodian of students' records, the Office of the Registrar controls all access to the records, makes certain that users of the records comply with state and federal policies, and manages the long-term preservation of the records. These circumstances presented an opportunity to explore a "post-custodial" environment seemingly unwed to the archival profession and uninfluenced by the archival theory of post-custodialism. Using as a framework the process of functional analysis as described by Helen W. Samuels in "Varsity Letters", this thesis chronicles the evolution of the duties charged to the Office of the Registrar and the resulting records of those duties (specifically students' records). The result is an administrative history of the Office of the Registrar which identifies the forces which have shaped and continue to guide the custodial practices of the office. The thesis argues that Office of the Registrar is an adept "custodian of records", having decades of "post-custodial" experience preserving reliable and authentic electronic records.