Spies Politics

Archives and the Computer by Michael J. Cook (Auth.)

By Michael J. Cook (Auth.)

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The resulting print-out will be an example of Selected Dissemination of Information (SDI), and may be sent to potential users. However, there are disadvantages in using batch mode, especially where there is machine-searching. Users do not always select the best index terms, and archivists do not always give either the best terms or the best combinations while they are doing their 38 Computer systems listing and preparation of the input material; better terms or combinations of terms may occur to the user when he sees the result of his first search attempt.

A relatively recent development in packages and systems is the Data base Management Systems ( D M S ) . Although they are at the moment not widely available and are complex, these systems must be of interest to archivists, as they are essentially concerned with the manipulation of a data base. The root concept of a single multi-purpose data base used as the core of a complex system for supplying information to an organization would seem to be appropriate. One of the most difficult problems in D M S is the structure of the data base and the standardization of means of data capture.

They are all noisy, and are not suitable for siting in a searchroom. Other forms of output which are relevant for archival programs include output magnetic or paper tape (which may be used to produce hard-copy output in remote locations); but of increasing interest is the possibility of output to microforms ( C O M ) . Computers can produce microfilm, either as reel film or microfiche, at very great speed and with a high degree of excellence in the definition and clarity of the film, C O M units are becoming increasingly popular, and are likely to be of particular interest to archival users.

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