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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Jimerson, Randall C.

Second Advisor

Diehl, Peter D.

Third Advisor

Stewart, Mart A.


While many authors have compiled guides and treatises on records management in general, employees of local governments such as counties and cities have a scarcity of sources to reference. Despite many local governments falling under the purview of their state archives or equivalent, specialized, practical guides in applying records management principles in today’s economic climate are crucial to the success of a local government’s records program. This thesis compares the writings of several authors on records management theory, including some writings specially tailored to local government records management. This comparison reveals similarities running throughout all the authors’ works, even in those from the beginnings of the field in the United States. The City of Bellingham, Washington is used as a case study to examine the situation of a local government’s records program under increasingly difficult operating restrictions. An overview of the different departments’ knowledge of records management requirements and existing recordkeeping practices reveals crucial areas that need to be addressed both for the City of Bellingham and in local government records management theory.




Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Records--Washington (State)--Bellingham--Management--Case studies; Municipal government--Washington (State)--Bellingham--Records and correspondence

Geographic Coverage

Bellingham (Wash.)




masters theses




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