IRMS008- Tim Callister on the Geological record and the International records management standard

The idea of this podcast is to explore whether or not records management principles are truly timeless.

For example the criteria for what makes a good record keeping system contained in the International records management standard (ISO 15489) were intended to be technologically neutral, and to apply equally well to paper or electronic recordkeeping systems.

But can they be applied even further than that – for example could they be applied to non-human recordkeeping systems?

In this podcast Tim Callister of the UK’s National Archives endeavours’ to answer the question of whether or not the earth can be regarded as a recordkeeping system, on the grounds that it keeps the geological record. He also
assesses the earth’s geological record to see whether it meets the criteria for what makes a good records management system.

Also in this podcast Heather Jack discusses the proposed revision to ISO 15489. The records management community will get their chance to comment on the latest draft revision when it is released for public consultation sometime between February and April this year.

For more information about the ISO15489 revision:

  • background article on the revision of ISO 15489   (this article was also printed in the IRMS November Bulletin)
  • There is also a short discussion thread on the Information and Records Management Society mailing list archive 


  • Tim Callister on the geological record considered as a recordkeeping system (starts 2 minutes into the podcast, last for 46 minutes)
  • Heather Jack on the proposed revision to ISO 15489 (starts 49 minutes into the podcast, lasts for 21 minutes)


Play the podcast with this player:

Or download the podcast from here

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