Records Retention FTW!

“A records life cycle begins when a discreet parcel of useful or relevant information arrives at or is created within an organization” (Hoke, 2011, p. 29).

I had a great experience with records this week in regards to identifying a grinning man sitting at the table of what had to have been a business meeting (second from left).


© American Crafts Council, 2013

Look at him! I was certain I had seen him before. I called Dulcey, the library assistant, and Jessica, my supervisor – the librarian, over and asked them. “Doesn’t he look familiar to you?” We often can help each other identify people in the images because the American Craftsmen’s Council met frequently for conferences. I am doing the 1960’s, Jessica does the conference/exhibit catalogs, and Dulcey works on the 1970s. He did not look familiar to either of them.

I thought about him for awhile. Then looked through my old collections. I couldn’t find him. Again, I thought. Then I realized that the council had to have archived the officers serving in the SE region. So, into the stacks I went. I stuck gold. In the folder, I found six photographs, four of which had writing identifying the individuals pictured. Several of the people attending what I was sure was a business meeting were in the photos I found.

Then, a list of all regional officers, each position typed on a separate page. The President/Chairman, Vice-president, etc. Thank goodness for archival records!

The smiling man is Charles Counts, the Southeast Region Newsletter Editor. He looked familiar to me because he appeared in many of the photos of this series. Occasionally he is holding a camera – and older model Poloroid with and expanding, fold-out lens – much like the one my dad used. I paid attention to him for that reason. He reminded me of my dad and his camera.

Later Dulcey said she thought I was clever to think to look at the council officers. That was great praise, but it is the records life cycle that made it possible!


American Crafts Council (2013). “Southeast regional assembly meeting…” Retrieved from

Hoke, G. (2011). Records lifecycle: A cradle-to-grave metaphor. Information Management, 45(5), 28-32.


About Susan Wolfe

In the midst of a career change, moving from educator to codifier of knowledge. I desire to be a technical writer - transferring knowledge through the written word. I received my Master's of Archives & Records Administration from San Jose State University. My research focus was developing strategies enabling effective the capture of tacit and implicit knowledge from Communities of Practice (Professional Learning Communities) so that it can be can be collected and codified. I exist in the real world and online soaking up Best Practices for Knowledge Management and Immersive Education. Specialties Knowledge Management [KM]: Communities of Practice, Digital Asset Management [DAM], Project Management. Content Management Systems [CMS]: Moodle, WordPress, Drupal, Blogger, Open Wonderland, MOOCs STEM Education [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math]: Career and Technical Education [CTE], Instructional Design, Immersive Education, Graphic Design, Digital Photography
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