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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Five Key Characteristics of a project

Project is that planning in which we try our best under a perfect system for making a product or buying a fixed asset or creating services for our customers. For example, you have to start a new business. To start a new business is a simple example of a project. In business area there are large number of projects like construction projects, IT projects, product development projects, organizational projects, logistics projects, marketing projects, community projects and cultural projects. In this paper the author is going to analyze with the aid of a diagram, the (5) five key characteristics of a project that have to be managed.

A project according to Lester A (2007:1) is “a unique set of co-ordinated activities, with definite starting and finishing points, undertaken by an individual or organization to meet specific objectives within defined schedule, cost and performance parameters”. William M(2008:2) defines project management as “the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements.” Project management is also defined by as the application of processes, methods, knowledge, skills and experience to achieve the project objectives. In general a project is a unique, transient endeavor, undertaken to achieve planned objectives which could be defined in terms of outputs, outcomes or benefits.

The first element amidst the five key characteristics is the scope of the project. Usually the scope or the coverage of the project is covered within the project scope statement. Project managers use the scope statement as a written confirmation of the results of your project will produce and the constraints and assumptions under which you will work. A good scope statement includes the following: justification, a brief statement regarding the business need your project addresses. The product scope description is part of the scope statement; it describes the types of products, services, and/or results your project will produce. The scope statement must also define the acceptance criteria which are conditions that must be met before project deliverables, that is, the products, services, and/or results your project will produce also as the objectives. The project exclusions should include in the scope statement, that is, what the project will not accomplish. Exclusions are constraints, restrictions that limit what you can achieve it, and how much achieving it can cost and lastly, the assumptions of the project, that is, statements about how you will address uncertain information as you conceive, plan, and perform your project.

The second element of the five characteristic of a project is the resources, that is, what can be used to meet the scope. The project plan must also include the resource plan which summarizes the level of resources needed to complete a project. A resource plan is created during the project resource planning phase. Anyone responsible for project resource management will need to create a comprehensive resource plan to ensure that all resource needed to complete the project are identified. By implementing proper resource planning practices, it also helps you with budgeting and forecasting project expenditure.

The third element is time. What tasks are to be undertaken and when. Time management is another key aspect of managing a project. As such, it is considered to be a core knowledge area, and is closely knit to scope and cost areas. The main purpose of this knowledge area, as its name suggests, is to build processes and outputs into the project that assist the manager and team to complete the project in a timely manner. The controlling and monitoring process is concerned with tracking and reporting on the progress of work, as well as adjusting time outputs to address shifts and changes in the project plan. Time management can be divided into the following: schedule development, define activities, sequence activities, estimate activities resources and estimate activities duration.

Time management is one element to be managed in a project. Time management is necessary because a team have to managed, organized to meet certain deadlines and to streamline collaborations. Past experiences is one of the best guides to creating a plan. Objectives are taken from the project charter and subdivided down into manageable subsections and deadlines are attached. They are prioritized and given the amounts of time needed to complete the objective with extra time added for troubleshooting. The objectives are then put together and each team member is assigned to the different subsections.

The project management team uses time management tool to focus priorities, and give clear, detailed deadlines. For the stakeholders it gives them a due date that they will receive the project as well as when different prototypes or earlier objectives will be completed. Times are for part determined by the team, with final deadline negotiated with stakeholders, allowing room to negotiate deadlines for other deliverables.

The third element to be considered in a project is the project quality.According to PM4DEV(2008:3) quality management is the process of ensuring that all project activities necessary to design, plan and implement a project are effective and efficient with respect to the purpose of the objective and its performance. Project quality management is not a separate, independent process  occurs at the end of an activity to measure the level of quality of the output. Quality management is a continuous process that starts and ends with the project. It is more about preventing and avoiding than measuring and fixing poor quality outputs. It is part of every project management processes from the moment the project initiates to the final steps in the project closure phase.

Quality management focuses on improving stakeholder’s satisfaction through continuous and incremental improvements to processes, including removing unnecessary activities; it achieves that by the continuous improvement of quality of materials and services provided to the beneficiaries. It is not about finding errors after the fact, quality management is the continuous monitoring and application of quality processes in all aspects of the project.

The fifth element is the project risks. According to Heagney (2012:56-57) project risk management begins early in the project life-cycle. A clear understanding of the risks that face the project must be established. The sources of project risk are almost limitless, emphasizing the need for a well thought out, detailed plan. Typical examples are the loss of a key team member, weather emergencies, technical failures and poor supplies.

Many project managers wait for too long to assess risk factors and they delay the risk plan because they assume they don’t know enough yet, that there are too many unknowns. During the initiation phase of the project life-cycle, an initial high level assessment ought to be conducted. A “what can go wrong” approach must be done at the beginning laying the foundation for the detailed plan to follow. Without this foundation, projects often experience the negative impact of risks that become reality, risks that might have been prevented or mitigated through contingency planning.

Risks management is defined by PMBOK ® guide as “the process of conducting risk management planning, identification, analysis, response planning, and monitoring and control on a project.When applied to processes variation often equals inefficiency” Usually project risks are managed through a six-step process ,establishing a project risk plan including making a list of potential risks, determining the probability of risk occurrences, determining its negative impact, preventing or mitigating the risks, considering contingencies and establishing trigger points for activating contingencies.

The author had discussed the five key characteristics of a project that have to be managed, namely, the project scope which is defined as what will be covered in a project, resources which can be used to meet the project scope, time, which is are tasks which are undertaken and when. Quality which is the spread or deviation allowed from desired starndard and risks which is defined as the anticipation of what may happen to drive the plan off course, and what will be done to recover the situation.


Heagney J,2012, Fundamentals of Project Management, New york, American Management Association.

Etiwel Mutero works for the National University of Science and Technology,he holds a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Records and Archives Management through the Zimbabwe Open University and a National Certificate in Records and Archives Management from Kwekwe Polytechnic.You can contact him on 0773614293 or

How information professionals match up to information policy development.

The information and knowledge society calls for skills in information policy analysis, design, implementation and evaluation. Librarians, Records Managers and Archivists as well as often information professionals need to be well versed in information policy analysis, design, implementation and evaluation to enable them to contribute effectively in information policy processes. In this paper the author is going to discuss how information professionals match up to information policy development.

Definition of terms
According to Mutongi K. (2012:4) Policy is a set of principles guiding decision making. It provides a framework against which proposals or activities can be tested and progress measured. Stueart and Moran (1994:42) asserts that, ideally, a policy contains a definition of the problem being addressed, a statement of goals (the desired state of affairs), and at least the broad outline of the instruments (approaches and activities) by which the goals are to be achieved. In actual practice, policy making is part of decision making. Policies, while they are usually expressed in positive terms, are essentially limiting in nature since they dictate courses of action and are aimed at preventing deviation from that norm. The School of Information and Library Science, University of Carolina defines policy as “The set of rules, formal and informal, that directly restrict, encourage, or otherwise shape flows of information. Information policy includes, literacy, privatization and distribution of government information, freedom of information access, protection of personal privacy, intellectual property rights and the like”.

Information professional had a major role to play when it comes to information policy development. Reding (2005) says library, managed by information professionals, is a district institution that plays prominent role in shaping the society closely driven and guided by information policy. The architecture of information provision stems out from this institution as it has the expertise in acquiring, disseminating, organizing and administering information. Thus information professionals are not only collectors but also stewards safeguarding the nation’s heritage which in turn assure quality of access for citizens.

It is only information professionals who are capable to deliver their expertise in monitoring, regulating, shaping and implementing activities such as trans-border data flow, national information system, information expert and profession, information system, information expert and profession, information skill, consent dissemination, laws related to books, data usage and distribution, reading campaign, information retention, public access, knowledge sharing, national bibliography, repository library, acquisition of foreign publications, availability of information and book access. With all this host of expertise the information professional is in a good position in formulating information policy.

Orna (2008) suggests the development of information policy be coordinated by an advisory committee representative of private sector, local government, academics and professionals related to library and information science. Nwosu and Ogboma (2010) says the role of library and information professionals is even pivotal in the development of information policy. The library and archives acts as gateways to the information resources on the global superhigh ways.

Kargbo (2007) argues that matters relating to information policies should be the responsibility of the library and the information professionals. The library had a policy to select, organize and disseminate information, in addition to handling issues related to it. According to Gill (2001) and Kargo (2007), as well as information providers, libraries need to be a developer. They play an instrumental role in the information policy making, especially national information policies.

Scholars in the field of information policy commonly use two approaches in the development of policies. Both general and specific approaches focus on economic, social and cultural activities (Gray 1988). An approach based on library and information policies can be seen clearly in the classification of information policy as advocated by Bustamante (2007). According to him, the information policy can be classified into eight groups. These are public access policies, the promotion of reading habits and control of book policy, science and technology policy, a policy regarding mapping and statiscal information, a policy pertaining to the general public accessing to government information, a traditional information policy; communication technology related policies, and societal information policy.

There are two functions in this context that library and information professionals could usefully perform. First, with the current economic climate, policy emphasis is on efficiency savings and information staff can show how good use of information can save money. Again, information professionals could articulate to government the value and benefits of information, both for itself and the public.

One of the functions of the library is the dissemination of information. The library is assumed to play a crucial role in policy implementation. Other than the library, there is no agency of government that has a wide knowledge of the social significance of the accumulated resources, of knowledge in the public domain. With this vast knowledge at the hands of information professionals, they are positioned to play an important role in the information policy development.

The library or information professionals had a duty to create awareness on the said policy, ensuring feedback on policies, educating the public on the new policy since information professionals are trained to relate to members of the public. The libraries can create consortia; it is only through co-operative endeavors and consolidated effort that government policies can be effectively implemented. No single committee, commission, agency or institution can single handedly ensure an effective implementation of any government policy. The library or information professionals can aid in the development of new policies by providing the necessary information on government policies which is turn aids the development of such policies as well as improving on the existing ones.

The author had discussed how information professionals match up to information policy development by having expertise to acquire, disseminate, organize and administer information, monitoring, regulating, shaping and implementing activities to do with information sharing. Information professional promote efficiency in savings and show how good use of information can save money for the government.

Barbara Buckley, Owen L. Matthews G, 2012 Journal of Information Policy, Information Policymaking in the UK; The Role of The Information Professionals, United Kingdom.
Paul T., Olaifa, Oluwakeni O, 2011, The Role of Libraries and Information Centres in Government Policy Implementation in Nigeria, LIP Journal, Nigeria.
Gray J. (1979), National Policies for Scientific and Technical Information: The United Kingdom” Journal of Information Science, USA.
Rowlands I. 1999, The Role of The Library in Modern Society”, Paper presented at CENL Conference.
Luxemburg 29 September 1999 (SPEECH/05/566)

Gill, 2001, The Public Library Service: IFLA/ UNESCO guidelines for development, the Hague IFLA and institutions.

Etiwel Mutero works for the National University of Science and Technology,he holds a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Records and Archives Management through the Zimbabwe Open University and a National Certificate in Records and Archives Management from Kwekwe Polytechnic.You can contact him on 0773614293 or

The relevancy of the National Archives Act for the management of websites and any related online information.

Roper and Miller (1999:1) listed the benefits of electronic records as resulting in increased access to information, flexibility in the creation and use of information, improved efficiency and effectiveness, increased economic and business opportunity and improved capacity for audit and compliance. It is these benefits that should make all organizations and states ensure that electronic records are managed properly and remain accessible. In this paper, the author is going to discuss the relevancy of the National Archives Act for the management of websites and any related online information.

The National Archives Act of Zimbabwe (1986) is an act of parliament published in 1986 enacted to provide for the storage and preservation of public archives and public records; for the declaration and preservation of protected historical records. The act was also enacted to repeal the National Archives Act (Chapter 309). On the other hand web definition of a website is “a location connected to the internet that maintains one or more web pages”. While online information simply means any information available or information which can be accessed through the internet.

According to the National Archives Act (1986) section 6 the word record is defined as “any medium in or on which information is recorded.”  Basing on this definition of a record one may be tempted to think that the management of electronic records is covered by the National Archives act of Zimbabwe. However, the author argues that the management of websites and other online information is not well covered by this act. Although the National Archives Act defines records defines the word record as any medium used to store information, the act do not give practical guidelines on how electronic records should be preserved despite the fact that the government is producing a lot of electronic records in form of websites, emails and other electronic records storage media such as compact discs etcetera.

The National Archives Act of Zimbabwe should have gone a step further to explain that the management of websites and other online information must comply with the ISO 16175-2;2011 named the “Information and documentation_ Principles and Functional Requirements for Records in Electronic Office Environments” and its part two titled “Guidelines and Functional Requirements for Digital Records Management Systems.”
The ISO 16175-2:2011 articulates a set of functional requirements for digital records management systems. These requirements apply to records irrespective of the media in which they were created and/or stored. The requirements are intended to define the processes and requirements for identifying and managing records in digital records management systems; define the records management functionality to be included in a design specification when building, upgrading or purchasing digital records management systems software etcetera. It should be noted that the national archives act of Zimbabwe excludes specifications on the design of websites and other online sources.

The National Archives Act again is unclear on the qualifications of the Director of the National Archives of Zimbabwe. We so happen to find out that the Director in not an information management practitioner but a historian who may not be in a position to advise or lead in the crafting of sound electronic records management policies. The National Archives Act of Zimbabwe should have given guidelines on how electronic records should be managed from agency level right up to the National Archives.

The standard Archives law should state how electronic files should be managed be managed. File naming is important part of any records management program. Thus the archives law of Zimbabwe should have emphasised on the capturing of electronic records metadata be captured and preserved with the records. The purpose of metadata as summarized by IRMT (1999:22-23 ) includes identifying records, authenticating records, administering terms and conditions of access and disposal, tracking and documenting uses of records, enabling access/location, retrieval and delivery for authorised use; and capturing in a fixed way the structural and contextual information needed to preserve the record’s meaning. Metadata can be defined as a set of data elements used to describe, represent, and manage information objects over time. It is unfortunate the National Archives Act is silent on the capturing of the records metadata.

The National Archives Act of Zimbabwe do not have electronic records readiness.Mnjama and Wamukaya as quoted in Ngulube (2012:89) says “ Given that African governments have largely operated in paper –based environments for very long time, the change process from paper to electronic systems is bound to be more complex than is often realised.” This clear in case of Zimbabwe by the way the National Archives Act was written, it does get into details on how electronic records must be managed. The act falls far short of giving any guidelines on how government websites should be managed or give any starndard guidelines on the building and maintenance of government websites.

National Archives Act of Zimbabwe should have included in its clauses that file naming policies of organisations should be straight forward and simple, scalable, unique; file names should be comprehensible and should make sense to users, not just the persons who created the file.  There must be policies to determine how to manage different reasons of the record.  Some of the organisation includes a version number in the file name.

The National Archives Act should have spelt out how emails should be managed in creating agencies up to the National Archives itself.  E-mail messages both sent and received, that provide evidence of a government transaction are considered public records.  Agency and local Record Officers must ensure that email is organised for convenient retrieval, maintained, and disposed of in accordance with an approved record retention and disposition schedule, and accessible as technology is upgraded or changed.

The effort to develop and implement an e-mail management policy is the responsibility of the National Archives together with each agency or locality and involves a cooperative effort between records management staff, administration, legal counsel, and information technology departments.  While IT is necessarily involved in many aspects of records management, such as server maintenance and destruction of backup tapes, creation and dissemination of e-mail management policy is the responsibility of the Records officer. The National Archives Act should have made room for e-mail management policy which spell out how e-mail is stored, archived and disposed.

The National Archives Act should have also direct web content Management.  Government web sites contain records that document public transactions just like paper records and, as a result, a web site must be retained like any other record because of the volatile nature of web sites, however, web record retention has remained a challenge for Archives and Record Managers across the country.  Static sits are uncommon, especially in government, where policies, procedures, and public notifications posted on web pages changes frequently.

The National Archives Act Zimbabwe must have specified how database are to be managed.  Databases must incorporate at least the following features if they are to be properly managed.  First databases must enable the user to take and store file off-line.  Second, databases must be able to identify records that have reached the end of their retention period.  Lastly, databases should have ability to allow users to attract records from the database for the purpose of disposal.

The National Archives Act should also have included on its clauses how electronic records should be preserved; the electronic records plans must consider the probability of hardware and software obsolescence and guarantee long tern access to records.  Proprietary software will eventually become obsolete as companies upgrade or stop producing the product altogether.

There are several approaches to electronic records preservation.  This includes emulation; emulator programmes simulate the behaviour, look, and feel other programs, thus preserving the functionality of the records in their original format without the necessity of saving the original equipment and software.  Other methods include encapsulation, migration, and conversion.

The last issue in the management of electronics is their storage.  The National Archives Act should have set out environmental conditions for the storage of electronic records such as floppy disks, compact disks, DVDs; USBs should be specified in the National Archives Act.

This paper had attempted to discuss how the National Archives Act can help in the management of electronic records.  It had discussed the management of emails, databases, web content, electronic files, electronic storage media and preservation of electric records.It is the view of the author that the National Archives Act falls far short from being an ideal act in the management of electronic records. The author concludes that the National Archives Act of Zimbabwe needs a complete overhaul in order for it to address electronic records management requirements.

Roper & Miller, (1999), Management of Electronic Records, IRMT, UN
Virginia Library, (An online document)
Sutton, Michael, (1996), Document Management for the Enterprise: Principles, Techniques and Applications, Wiley.
Thorpe, 1992, keeping Archives 2nd Ed, American society of Archivists.
Ngulube P,2012, National Archives 75 @ 30, 75 years of Archives Excellence at the National Archives of Zimbabwe, Harare, National Archives of Zimbabwe

Mutero E,2011, The Responsibilities of the National Archives in the Management of   Electronic Records.” Online, found on accessed on 18/03/2015

Mutero E, 2011, The Flaws of the National Archives Act. Online found on accessed on 18/03/15

Etiwel Mutero works for the National University of Science and Technology,he holds a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Records and Archives Management through the Zimbabwe Open University and a National Certificate in Records and Archives Management from Kwekwe Polytechnic.You can contact him on 0773614293 or

Compare and contrast Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs with Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory.

Among various behavioral theories long generally believed and embraced by American business are those of Frederick Herzberg and Abraham Maslow. Herzberg, a psychologist, proposed a theory about job factors that motivate employees. Maslow, a behavioral scientist and contemporary of Herzberg's, developed a theory about the rank and satisfaction of various human needs and how people pursue these needs. These theories are widely cited in the business literature. In this paper the author is going to compare and contrast Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs with Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory.

Definition of Terms
According to the Wikipedia the Herzberg’s  motivation-hygiene theory and dual-factor theory) states that there are certain factors in the workplace that cause job satisfaction, while a separate set of factors cause dissatisfaction on the other hand Maslow wanted to understand what motivates people. He believed that people possess a set of motivation systems unrelated to rewards or unconscious desires.
Maslow (1943) stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs. When one need is fulfilled a person seeks to fullfil the next one, and so on.

According to Ummamina (2010)The similarities are as follows: Both theories confer that a specific set of needs must be met in order to propiciate behavior, and maintain it. In Manslow's theory, it is through a Hierarchy of Needs.  In Herzberg's theory it is through a 2 way paradigm in which two specific needs must be met and they are hygiene (basic physical and psychological needs) and motivation.
The main difference is that Manslow is more specific in terms of categorizing the areas of human need and includes less concrete areas such as emotions and other feelings. Herzberg is more specific in what psysiological and concrete things must be present to produce motivation. Also, Herzberg's ultimate goal is for motivation to be the prevailing attitude among individuals (quite clearly a need for a good quality of life), while Manslow's main goal is for needs to be met in order for an individual to develop in a healthy mental and physical way.
According to Akranni (2011) Maslow’s theory is based on the concept of human needs and their satisfaction while Hertzberg’s theory is based on the use of motivators which include achievement, recognition and opportunity for growth. On the basis of theory Maslow’s theory is based on the hierarchy of human needs. He identified five sets of human needs ( on priority basis) and their satisfaction in motivating employees while Hertzberg refers to hygiene factors and motivating factors in his theory. Hygiene factors are dissatisfies while motivating factors motivate subordinates. Hierarchical arrangement of needs is not given.
On the nature of theory, Maslow’s theory is rather simple and descriptive. The theory is based on long experience about human needs. Herzberg’s theory is more prescriptive. It suggests the motivating factors which can be effectively. This theory is based on actual information collected by Hertzberg by interviewing 200 engineers and accountants.
On applicability of the theory, Maslow’s theory is most popular and widely cited theory of motivation and has wide applicability. It is mostly applicable to poor and developing countries where money is still a big motivating factors. Herzberg’s theory is an extension of Maslow’s theory of motivation.Its applicability is narrow. It is applicable to rich and developed countries where money is less important motivating factor.
Maslow’s theory or model is descriptive in nature while Herzberg’s theory or model is prescriptive in nature. According to Maslow’s model, any need can act as motivator provided it is not satisfied or relatively less satisfied. In the dual factor model of Herzberg, hygiene factors do not act as motivators.Only the higher order needs act as motivators.
On applicability of the theory, Maslow’s theory is most popular and widely 
However, there similarities which are as follows:Both use a hierarchical scale..where one stage must first be fully or largely completed before advancing to the next stage,both are based on the argument that "we behave as we do because we are attempting to fulfill internal needs." (Bartol et al., 2005) i.e. needs theory.They both specify the criteria as to what motivates people. However, this is controversial because entrepenuers and people from different cultures have different values and norms, and therefore have different criteria or have criteria which are percieved as more important e.g. Greek and Japanese employees stated that safety and physiological needs are more important to them, where as employees from Norway and Sweden saw belongingness needs as being more important.
Herzberg's hygiene idea corresponds with Manslow's Physiological, Safety and Belongingness needs i.e. they both have the same critieria (basic pay, work conditions etc...) Also, Herzberg's motivators idea corresponds with Manslow's Esteem and Self-Actualisation needs i.e. they both have the same criteria (recognition, growth, achievement etc...).Both theories are influenced by environmental conditions, employee attitudes and as a result, their motivation. These influence an employees performance.
Although Herzberg's paradigm of hygiene and motivating factors and Maslow's hierarchy of needs may still have broad applicability in the business world, at least one aspect of each, salary as a hygiene factor (Herzberg) and esteem as a lower order need than self-actualization (Maslow), does not seem to hold in the case of elementary and secondary school teachers. These findings may begin to explain why good teachers are being lost to other, higher paying positions and to help administrators focus more closely on the esteem needs of teachers, individually and collectively.

Akrani G._Campare Maslow and Herzberg Theory of Motivation-Difference.Found online
Charlesdan-,A critical Review and Comparison Between Maslow, Herzberg and McClelland’s Theory of Needs. Found online on
Michelle O &Umnamira,-What are the Similarities and Differences Between the Theories of Maslow and Herzberg? Found on
Bellott, F. K., & Tutor, F. D. (1990). "A Challenge to the Conventional Wisdom of Herzberg and Maslow Theories." Paper presented at the Nineteenth Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association. New Orleans, LA.
Herzberg, F., Mausner, B., & Snyderman, B. B. (1959). The Motivation to Work (2nd ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Maslow, A. H. (1970). Motivation and Personality (2nd ed.). New York: Harper and Row.
Tutor, F. D. (1986). The Relationship between Perceived Need Deficiencies and Factors Influencing Teacher Participation in the Tennessee Career Ladder. Doctoral dissertation, Memphis State University, Memphis, TN.

Etiwel Mutero works for the National University of Science and Technology,he holds a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Records and Archives Management through the Zimbabwe Open University and a National Certificate in Records and Archives Management from Kwekwe Polytechnic.You can contact him on 0773614293 or

The Paper De-acidification process

The Michigan State University Libraries says before the American civil war paper was made from cotton and linen.  These fibres made a very durable paper, but acquiring the materials and processing them was time consuming and costly.  As the demand for paper increased, a new material and paper making techniques were required to meet the demand.  Wood pulp was the new material and while it met the increase demand for paper, it came a host of problems.  When paper made from wood pulp reacts with heat, light and moisture, acids are formed.  These acids in paper weaken the strength of the paper making the paper turn yellow, less flexible and becoming brittle.  In this paper the author is going to write on the de-acidification process as a conservation treatment employed to retard or slow down the rate of deterioration.  The author will also try to find if de-acidification is a total solution to paper preservation problems.

Definition of Terms
According to, de-acidification is a process of treating paper documents for the purpose of neutralizing acids within the paper and to create an alkaline buffer.  High acidity levels contribute to the deterioration of paper, causing yellowing, brittleness, and instability.  Chiwanza and Tsvuura (2011:14) says “de-acidification is the process of removing acids from paper to give a support and prolongs its life span”.  The above authors also say a number of de-acidification procedures have been developed to bring paper from acid state to one of alkalinity.  Alkalinity is the opposite of acidity.  The PH scale reads from 0-14, paper with a PH of 7.0 is neutral.  Values below 7.0 represent increasing acidity.

According to a Technical evaluation Team Report for the preservation directorate, library congress 1994:2-5 the first step in the de-acidification process is the setting up of Technical Evaluation Team.  The duty of the team is to establish the methods to be used and the actual testing of the documents.  The technical evaluation team will make sure that the de-acidification meet laid down standards.  Secondly, the process had to meet specification applicable to process engineering criteria, its ability to be scaled up, and its environmental impact, and health effects.  Thirdly the technical team will consider if library materials or records remain safe and to see if the process could not result in any harmful or unacceptable side effects. After all the above consideration the materials are then tested and selected for de-acidification.

Tsvuura and Chiwanza says there is no single process for de-acidification of paper due to the fact that there are types of de-acidification methods namely, aqueous (water based), non-aqueous (non-water solvent) and vapour.  Chiwanza and Tsvuura say the aqueous de-acidification process involves the immersion of paper document in an aqueous solution or brushing the sheet with an alkaline compound dissolved in water.  The Michigan State University Libraries website suggests that if the pages of a book are particularly dirty, they can be cleaned and washed in a water bath.  The book must first be totally disbound.  Each page is checked for excessive dirt and markings.  These are cleaned off with a soft brush or an acrylic eraser.  Then each leaf is gently placed in the water and left to soak for 15 minutes to one hour.  The water will usually turn (tea colour” as the acids and dirt in the paper is dissolved by water.  A second bath is used to rinse the paper before it is removed to the drying rack.  The last step is to press the paper while it is just slightly damp to flatten it.  Care must be taken on how much pressure is used so as not to flatten the impressions of the printing on the page.  Chiwanza and (Tsvuura 2011:15) says the aqueous treatment is not suitable for items containing water-soluble inks, pigments and dyes, and all media must be tested for solubility before treatment.  The process can only be used safely with printed items.

For the non-aqueous de-acidification the process is as follows:  it involves immersion, brushing or spraying of an alkaline compound dissolved in an organic solvent rather than water, to give the document an alkaline buffer.  Chiwanza and Tsvuura (2011:15) According to cool conservation – aqueous methods cannot be used to treat archival materials in cases in which ink is susceptible to the action of water; therefore, in such cases a non-aqueous method is essential.  The process involves treating the document with a solution prepared by dissolving 19gm of crystalline barium hydroxide octahydrate (BaCOH) 2.8H2O) in one liter of methyl alcohol.  The normal procedure is non-coming led to immerse the document in the solution, but it may be brushed or sprayed on if the document is too fragile for immersion.
While drying any excess borium hydroxide is counted into barium carbonate (BaCO3) by the action of atmospheric carbon dioxide.  Tsvuura and Chiwanza list the advantages of the non-aqueous de-acidification process as, it can often be used on items that cannot be touched by water, the organic solvent do not cockle paper to the extent that water dress and also evaporate much move quickly, and the process is much faster.  If the item is immersed in a non-aqueous bath, some acidic compounds will be washed away, although less than in a water bath.

The vapour phase de-acidification shortened as (VPD) goes as follows according to Harris of Columbia University Libraries is sold either as pellets encased in cheesecloth pouches to be placed in archival storage boxes, or in thin porous envelopes which can be used to interleave a book.  The solid pellets vaporize to permeate the paper with an alkaline gas which neutralizes the acid in the paper.  No buffering are kept in the paper, so there are no long term effects.  Chiwanza and Tsvuura say the vapour phase de-acidification is of most importance for use on bound volumes which do not have to be unbound and to institutions which could not be treated on one-by-one bans.

Collections of libraries and archives are threatened worldwide by paper decay manual de-acidification in a single-leaf process, which is a routine procedure face a constantly mounting problem worldwide that has reached catastrophic and does not present a solution for the preservation of entire collections.  The main problem with paper de-acidification is that it is,, de-acidification is a preventive and not a curative measure i.e. it is most effective when papers are still intact and not brittle.  In some cases paper de-acidification may be too late and the investment in de-acidifying these documents would bring no long-term benefits.  De-acidification could merely “buy precious time” for the preservation of brittle materials.  Therefore de-acidification is not a total solution to paper preservation problem

The author throughout the paper had defined what de-acidification is and explained the aqueous, non aqueous and the vapour based phase de-acidification processes.  Lastly the author had explained that paper de-acidification is not a total solution to paper preservation problem

Chiwanza U.Tsvuura G, 2011, Conservation and reprography, Harare, ZOU
Bluher A, 2000, Experience in paper de-acidification
Ziruch, Swiss National Library
Harris C, 2003, Preservation of paper based materials, mass de-acidification methods and projects, Columbia, Preservation Department Columbia University Libraries downloaded on 23/02/15

A critique Schellenberg’s model of primary and secondary values.

T.R Schellenberg worked in an American archive and shortly after the second world war he was overwhelmed by a huge influx of records which prompted him to devise a strategy of appraising records.  The result was the appraisal of records using what he called records values, that is, primary and secondary values.  In this article the author is going to critique Schellenberg’s model of primary and secondary values.

Definition of Terms
The author will define what the Schellenberg’s model of primary and secondary values is all about.  According to Bettington (208:20-21) T.R. Schellenberg was a US Archivist who advocated that archivists needed to be involved in the selection of records of value to researchers.Bettington says Schellenberg devised a system of values to assist archivists in making appraisal decisions.  Schellenberg explained that public archives have two types of values:  a primary value to the original agency and secondary value to other agencies and non users.  Schellenberg’s taxonomy of values have since become adopted as the appraisal frame work throughout the USA and in other English speaking countries, including Australia.  It is a theory herein referred as the Schellenberg’s theory of records values.

According to Kent (2010) the Schellenberg theory which is often referred to as the traditional theory focus on finding value in records, these values commonly expressed as primary and secondary, with secondary values being divided into evidential and informational values.  This methodology which was propounded by Theodore Schellenberg places special emphasis on the archivist’s responsibility for appraising records to identify secondary values, as his definition of archives makes it clear:  “These records of any public or private institution which are adjudged working of permanent preservation for reference and secondary purposes.

Schellenberg’s theory of records values do have its own advantage which are listed by Jackie (2008:20) are as follows; it is easy to implement, it helps resolve immediate problems, it may be more closely managed, controlled and directly implemented by the archives and requires minimal involvement of other personnel.  There is a large body of documentation, experience and tools available to anyone implementing this method.
Although Schellenberg’s theory of records values has been popularized it had been critised by a number of critics.  Kent (2010) argues that by defining appraisal primarily in terms of secondary research value based largely on content analysis, the Schelleberg model does not provide a proper answer for why we appraise records.  Kent (2012) says critics of Schellenberg have put forward four arguments to support this judgement.  In the first place they argue that predicting or anticipating research needs or trends is not a realistic goal, and at best will mean the archivist will remain nothing more than a weathervane moving by the changing winds of histology

Kent (2010) also says content-oriented appraisal cannot give a true or even representative image of society.  Archivists who support Hilary Jenkinson’s theory on the nature of archives assert that selection by content to support research is in direct conflict with basic archival theory and the very nature of archives.  Finally, critics of traditional appraisal methodology assert that in the modern world of high volume documentation and electronic records that exist as logical and not physical entities, archivists can no longer hope to focus on the record and appraisal by content.  This view is supported also by Jackie (2008:20-21) when he says “The traditional approaches had worked fairly will in a paper-based world, but the explosive growth in the volumes of records generated in the later decades of the twentieth century, especially in conjuction with the widespread adoption of digital technology, gave rise to a re-examination of these approaches.

Jackie (2008:20-21) says critics argue that the traditional approaches involving retrospective file-by-file appraisal could not keep up with the demands of digital record keeping and the increasing dynamic administrative structures, entities and work places in which records were generated and used.

Cox (2000) says archivists themselves have warned of the dangers of being too closely tied to the academic market place with the ultimate result that archival holdings too often reflected narrow research interests rather than the broad spectrum of human experience.  Cox 2000 also says Schellenberg’s theory left the historical user-oriented archivists unable to engage with non-historical uses and users of records such as those in medicine, science, business, sociology and environmental studies.  While trying to predict future research trends, the archivist was neglecting to document the wider society in which the record creators and institutions functioned.

Jackie (2008:20-12) summerised the shortcomings of the Schellenberg’s theory as follows: it is reactive than proactive, it is inefficient in the long run and lack integration with and other record keeping practices.  It may result in the fragmentation of evidence and memory consequently reduces the likelihood of retaining full and accurate records.  It may fail to manage vital records appropriately and may fail to manage migration of records especially electronic records.  It may result in the wrong records sent to the archives.  Decisions are more prone to inconsistency; there is often duplication of effort, limited accountability.

Kent (2000) says Schellenberg’s critics have offered the functional records appraisal theory which they argue that the principal objective is the preservation of evidence-documenting functions, processes, activities, and transactions undertaken and completed by the institution or individual.  Kent (2000:54-55) assert that in the search for evidence and value, the most accurate and complete documentation will be provided by examining the function, activity and transaction that generated the record rather than the record itself.  In short, supporters of functional appraisal argue that the context and not the content of the record must be the starting point in the search for evidence and hence value.

The author had defined Schellenberg’s theory of records values and went on to state some of advantages of Schellenberg’s theory of primary and secondary records values which includes its easiness to implement, helps in resolving immediate problems etcetera.  However much effort have been made trying point out the shortcomings of Schellenberg’s theory of records values and pointed out that Schellenberg’s critics had offered the records functional theory which archivists argues is more of macro-view of records than Schellenberg’s theory which argues majors on the micro-view of records.


Tough A. and Moss M, 2006, Record keeping in Hybrid Environment Managing the Creation, Use, Preservation and Disposal of Unpublished Information Objects in Context, Oxford, Chandos Publishing

Etiwel Mutero works for the National University of Science and Technology,he holds a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Records and Archives Management through the Zimbabwe Open University and a National Certificate in Records and Archives Management from Kwekwe Polytechnic.You can contact him on 0773614293 or