In 1989, David Bearman published an essay entitled Archival Methods, in which he argued that traditional methods employed in archives for appraisal, description, preservation, and access to records would fail to meet already identified archival needs because the extent of known demands exceeded the capacity of the profession by more than an order of magnitude in each case. In response to a shortfall of this degree, he argued, the profession needed to invent new approaches or redefine its problems. In this paper, Bearman defines strategic approaches to achieving the archival mission given that assessment of our requirements and methods. He then reviews some efforts that have been made in archives worldwide in recent years to redefine archival methods along these lines. Finally, he suggests some radical strategies as yet untried that could also contribute, along with those being tested now, to a revolution in archival methods.

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