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Professor Sue McKemmish
Phone: +61 3 990 31060
Fax: +61 3 990 31077

Lecturer(s) / Leader(s):


Professor Sue McKemmish
Phone: +61 3 990 31060
Fax: +61 3 990 31077

Contact hours: Appointments arranged by email

Ms Kate Lazarenko
Postgraduate Student
Phone: +61 3 990 31405
Fax: +61 3 990 31077

Contact hours: Appointments arranged by email


NOTE: To access the unit webpage, go to and enter your authcat to access the site. All study materials and assignments, a discussion list, online submission of assignments, feedback on assignments and online chat rooms are available via the site.

Welcome to FIT5087 Archival Systems, a  6 point unit relating to the fundamental role of recordkeeping professionals in society - to provide access to recorded information in the form of essential evidence of social and organisational activity for business, commercial, governmental, social, and cultural purposes. 

This is one of six units within the Library, Archival and Recordkeeping Professional track in the Master of Business Information Systems program (MBIS) and Master of Information Management and Systems, and the Graduate Diploma in Information and Knowledge Management. It is part of a specialisation in archives and records which is accredited by the Australian Society of Archivists (ASA) and Records Management Association of Australasia (RMAA) as a professional qualification for archivists and records managers.

Unit synopsis

This unit relates to the fundamental role of recordkeeping professionals in society - to provide access to recorded information in the form of essential evidence of social and organisational activity for business, commercial, governmental, social, and cultural purposes. It covers the role of recordkeeping in society and organisations, functional requirements for evidence, the formulation of recordkeeping policy, strategies and tactics, the establishment of recordkeeping regimes, business functional analysis, appraisal and disposal, the development of metadata schemas and their implementation in recordkeeping systems.

Learning outcomes

At the completion of this unit students will:
  • understand the role of records and archives in organisations and society;
  • understand and apply theories and models relating to recordkeeping and archiving;
  • be able to specify recordkeeping requirements relating to the creation, management, and accessibility of records as evidence of social and organisational activity in a range of business and social contexts;
  • have the skills to develop appraisal and metadata management programs in relation to contemporary and historical recordkeeping systems, including electronic recordkeeping systems; and
  • be able to formulate appraisal and metadata management policies, strategies, tactics and tools with reference to international and national standards and best practice.

Contact hours

3 hrs seminar/wk


Workload commitments are:

  • three-hour seminar attended in person (on campus students) or accessed online via MULO (off campus students)
  • a minimum of 3 hours of personal study per one hour of contact time in order to satisfy the reading and assignment expectations, and contribute to online discussion groups.

Off-campus students generally do not attend the seminar (although you are welcome to attend when feasible) but access it via MULO, Monash University Lectures Online.

Unit relationships



Teaching and learning method

Teaching approach

  • Seminars (or their electronic equivalent)
  • Class discussion and activities or their electronic equivalent
  • Regular home study and reading
  • Internet browsing
  • Assignments and assessable activities
  • Communication with other students and staff via discussion groups

Timetable information

For information on timetabling for on-campus classes please refer to MUTTS,

Tutorial allocation

On-campus students should register for tutorials/laboratories using the Allocate+ system:

Unit Schedule

Week Date* Topic Key dates
1 01/03/10 Introduction to FIT5087 Archival Systems 3 March
2 08/03/10 Archival Systems, Evidence and Metadata: Key Concepts 10 March
3 15/03/10 Recordkeeping Contexts: Cultural, Social, Legal, Organisational Part 1 17 March
4 22/03/10 Recordkeeping Contexts: Cultural, Social, Legal, Organisational Part 2 24 March
5 29/03/10 Professional Frameworks Part 1: The Records Continuum Model 31 March
Mid semester break
6 12/04/10 Professional Frameworks Part 2: Archives in Australia 7 April
7 19/04/10 Appraisal Frameworks and Theory 21 April
8 26/04/10 Appraisal Policies, Strategies, Tools 28 April
9 03/05/10 Metadat Frameworks, Standards and Schema 5 May
10 10/05/10 Metadata in Recordkeeping and Archiving Systems Part 1 12 May
11 17/05/10 Metadata in Recordkeeping and Archival Systems Part 2 19 May
12 24/05/10 Archival Systems Research Part 1 26 May
13 31/05/10 Archival Systems Research Part 2 2 June

*Please note that these dates may only apply to Australian campuses of Monash University. Off-shore students need to check the dates with their unit leader.

Unit Resources

Prescribed text(s) and readings

Sue McKemmish, Michael Piggott, Barbara Reed and Frank Upward, Archives: Recordkeeping in Society (Wagga Wagga: CIS, 2005).

Available from CITSU Bookshop, Monash University. You can also order via post (28 Sir John Monash Drive, Caulfield East, Vic 3145), telephone (9571 3277), fax (9563 5948) or email (  Mail order is also available direct from the publisher – go to

Considerable use will be made of the Australian and International Standards, AS ISO 15489 and AS ISO 23081, available through the Monash Library’s Standards On-line Premium  Database.

Recommended text(s) and readings

Recommended texts:
Jay Kennedy and Cheryl Schauder, Records Management, A guide to Corporate Recordkeeping, 2nd edition (Melbourne: Longmans, 1998)

Purchase of this book is strongly recommended. It is available from the CITSU Bookshop, Monash University. You can order via post (28 Sir John Monash Drive, Caulfield East, Vic 3145), telephone (9571 3277), fax (9563 5948) or email (

Other references:
Electronically delivered course notes, resource material and internet references will be provided during the course, available from the unit website.
Books and electronic material available through the Caulfield campus library will be made available from a unit reading list
Articles from the following journals are frequently cited:

  • Archivaria (journal of the Association of Canadian Archivists)
  • Archives and Manuscripts (journal of the Australian Society of Archivists)
  • iQ: the RMAA Quarterly [previously called Informaa] (journal of the Records Management Association of Australasia)
  • The American Archivist (journal of the Society of American Archivists).

Keeping up to date with the professional literature is an essential component of working in any field. It is recommended that you check on the availability of the key journals listed above via the Monash Library or at a library in your area. It is also recommended that you consider subscribing to Archives and Manuscripts It will be assumed throughout FIT5087 that you have access at least to Archives and Manuscripts.

Required software and/or hardware

No specific software is required for this unit. You will need a browser to access the study masterials on MUSO, use electronic resources in the library, and to read and send email.

Equipment and consumables required or provided

Students studying off-campus are required to have the minimum system configuration specified by the faculty as a condition of accepting admission, and regular Internet access. On-campus students, and those studying at supported study locations may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook.

Study resources

Study resources we will provide for your study are:

All study materials and resources are provided via the Unit Website or Monash Library. They include:

  • Unit Guide 
  • Assignment specifications
  • Detailed lecture notes and ppt presentations for each week on the unit web site
  • Recordings of lectures via Lectures Online available via the Monash University Library website (
  • Reading lists for each week on the unit website
  • Electronic and class discussion topics
  • Books and electronic material available through the Caulfield campus library.

To access Unit Website, go to and enter your authcat.



Class activities and discussion (or electronic equivalent): 25%; Practical exercises: 25%; Formal supervised assessment: 50%

Faculty assessment policy

To pass a unit which includes an examination as part of the assessment a student must obtain:

  • 40% or more in the unit's examination, and
  • 40% or more in the unit's total non-examination assessment, and
  • an overall unit mark of 50% or more.

If a student does not achieve 40% or more in the unit examination or the unit non-examination total assessment, and the total mark for the unit is greater than 50% then a mark of no greater than 49-N will be recorded for the unit.

To pass this unit, you  must: 

  • achieve at least 50% of the total marks for the unit

Assignment tasks

Assignment coversheets

Assignment coversheets are available via "Student Forms" on the Faculty website:
You MUST submit a completed coversheet with all assignments, ensuring that the plagiarism declaration section is signed.

Assignment submission and return procedures, and assessment criteria will be specified with each assignment.

  • Assignment task 1
    Assignment 1 Five email discussion topics worth 5% each
    A detailed assignment specification will be provided.
    Due date:
    See assignment specification
  • Assignment task 2
    Assignment 2 Appraisal and/or metadata exercise
    Details will be provided in the assignment specification.
    Due date:
    Will be provided in the assignment specification
  • Assignment task 3
    Assignment 3 Major project
    Students will be required to complete either a Research Essay, or an Archival Product or a Project Report (3000-4000 words).  Further details will be provided in the assignment specification.
    Due date:
    Will be advised in the assignment specification

Due dates and extensions

Please make every effort to submit work by the due dates. It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are not regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. Students are advised to NOT assume that granting of an extension is a matter of course.

Students requesting an extension for any assessment during semester (eg. Assignments, tests or presentations) are required to submit a Special Consideration application form (in-semester exam/assessment task), along with original copies of supporting documentation, directly to their lecturer within two working days before the assessment submission deadline. Lecturers will provide specific outcomes directly to students via email within 2 working days. The lecturer reserves the right to refuse late applications.

A copy of the email or other written communication of an extension must be attached to the assignment submission.

Refer to the Faculty Special consideration webpage or further details and to access application forms:

Late assignment

Late submissions may be penalised. If you believe that your assignment will be delayed because of circumstances beyond your control such as illness you should apply for an extension before the due date. Completion of special consideration forms, medical certificates or certification supporting your application may be required (see the following URL for more detail:


  •  Assignments in this unit are no less important than those of other units. Your inability to manage your time or computing resources will not be accepted as a valid excuse. (Several assignments falling due at the same time is often unavoidable.)
  • Backup copies are required to be made of all assignments and retained for 12 months, in case of loss.
  • Hardware failures are not normally recognised as a valid reason for obtaining an extension or handing in a late assignment.

Return dates

Students can expect assignments to be returned within two weeks of the submission date or after receipt, whichever is later.


Please visit the following URL: for further information about:

  • Continuous improvement
  • Unit evaluations
  • Communication, participation and feedback
  • Library access
  • Monash University Studies Online (MUSO)
  • Plagiarism, cheating and collusion
  • Register of counselling about plagiarism
  • Non-discriminatory language
  • Students with disability
  • End of semester special consideration / deferred exams