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The Historical Understanding of the U. S. Secret Records Management

  • The Korean Journal of Archival Studies
  • 2010, (23), pp.257-297
  • Publisher : Korean Society Of Archival Studies
  • Research Area : Interdisciplinary Studies > Library and Information Science

Lee, Kyong Rae 1

1중앙대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The U. S. government has a long history to classify and manage governmental records which are created, collected, and preserved for itself. During the colonial period before the independence, the U. S. mostly practiced the maintenances of secret records and restrictions of access to the records following a long convention without any specific legal authority. Since establishment of the U. S. Constitution, the government had kept secret records on the basis of constitutional authority. However, the U. S. government began to take shape the secret records management system when it participated in the World War I, which required the system to reflect the needs in reality to manage drastic increases in important military and foreign relation documents. The World War II made the U. S. government strengthen its secret records management system, and its conception of secret records management system at that time has sustained until now. It can be said that the current secret records management system of the U. S. government continues to be managed by constitutional authorities and the executive orders which are opt to change. This article intends to review the secret records management system of the U. S. from the initial history of the U. S. to the Cold War. To understand its system of secret management, the paper investigates the U. S. secret records management history by dividing into three periods: the period of establishment of its tradition(the Colonial era~just before the WWI); the period of taking shape of its system (the WWI~the WWII); and the period of current conception of its system. The criteria of these divisions are created based on the differences of the laws relevant to the secret records and the application methods of secret management system in reality.

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