The national records management system of the Korean Government has been developed in a close relationship with changes in the administrative system. The national records management system established immediately after the establishment of the Korean Government, began to be reformed as a system with a new feature during the quick transition of the administrative system during the early 1960s. Particularly this new system holds an important meaning in that it began to cope with the mass production system of records and was established on the government level for the first time since the establishment of the government. Also this was a basic framework that defined the records management pattern of the Korean Government for the later 40 years. Therefore, this study aims to identify the origin and the meaning of the national records management system established during the early 1960s.
At the time of establishing the government, the administrative system of the Korean Government was not completely free from the framework of the administrative system of the Chosen General Government. This was mainly because the Korean Government had no capability to renovate the administrative system. This was not an exception also for the national records management system. In other words, the forms and preparation methods of official document, an official document management process, and the classification and appraisal system used the records management system of the Chosen General Government without any alteration.
Main factors that brought about the reform of the national records management system as well as the change in the Korean administrative system during the early 1960s, were being created in Korean society, starting from the mid 1950s. This resulted from the growth of Korean Army, public officers, and students of administrative science as being the intrinsic elites of Korean society through their respective experience of the US administration. In particular, the reform of the creation, classification, filing, transfer, and preservation system shown during the introduction of a scientific management system of the US Army in the Korean Army was a meaningful change given the historic developing process of Korean records management system history. This change had a decisive effect on the reform of the national records management system during the early 1960s.
As the Korean Army, public officers, and students of administrative science, who had posted growth beginning in the mid-1950s, emerged as administrative elites during the early 1960s, the administrative system of the Korean Government brought about a change, which was different from the past in terms of its quality, and the modernization work of documentary administration pursued during the period, became extended to the reform of the national records management system. Then, the direction of reform was ‘the efficient and effective control’ over records based on scientific management, which was advanced through the medium of the work that accommodate the US office management system and a decimal filing system to Korean administrative circumstances. Consequently, Various official document forms, standards, and the gist of process were improved and standardized, and the appraisal system based on the function-based classification were unified on the government level by introducing a decimal filing system.