This paper is reprinted from John McDonald, "Information Management and Office Systems Advancement," in Information Handling in Offices and Archives, edited by Angelika Menne-Haritz (New York: K. G. Saur, 1993). It describes a public-private-academic partnership project that was led by the National Archives and that investigated the impact of office systems technologies on the management of electronic records. Prototype software for managing electronic records was tested, and functional requirements and other related products were developed. This paper describes the project and summarizes the findings.
IMOSA represented an important milestone in the evolution of the National Archives' guidance in this area. The consultation drafts of this guidance, which were made available by the National Archives in June 1995, are shaped largely by the findings of the IMOSA project. For a description of this guidance and a more recent perspective on the management of electronic records in the office systems environment, please see John McDonald, "Managing Records in the Modern Office: Taming the Wild Frontier," Archivaria 39 (Spring 1995):7-79. Copies of the IMOSA reports and the consultation draft of the Guide to the Management of Electronic Records in the Electronic Work Environment are available from the National Archives of Canada, IMSP, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Canada, K1A 0N3.
The IMOSA project was managed by Susan Gillies of the Canadian Workplace Automation Research Centre of Communications Canada and supported by Christiane Desautels of the National Archives of Canada. Many of the points raised in this paper resulted from their observations during this project. The author is grateful to David Bearman, Terry Cook, Margaret Hedstrom, and Lisa Weber for helping to shape many of the ideas expressed in this paper.