A code of ethics is a statement of generally accepted standards for judgment and conduct that addresses responsibilities unique to a profession. In the 1970s, changing responsibilities and increased complexities for archivists created a need for a comprehensive code of ethics. A Society of American Archivists committee wrote a code, which was adopted by the Society. The author, who chaired that committee, compares the code with the statement written in 1955 for the National Archives and with the codes of similar professions. General adherence to the principles in day-to-day practice and continuing discussion of ethics will lead to reevaluation and revision of the code of ethics.

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