“It’s my job to see what’s waiting around the corner”

Lars-Erik Hansen is head of archives at TAM-Archives and is responsible for storing, maintaining and making available archive material for trade unions in the civil service. This work has historically been about storing documents on paper, but today it means finding solutions that simplify the digital life of members.

The passion for history and archiving was already there during university. As a doctor of history with a phil. kand. in Archival Science, Lars-Erik applied to the National Archives. And before he was tasked with helping TAM-Archives’ member associations introduce digital archiving, he worked at the Social Insurance Agency.

The art of being relevant

The answer to the question of what an archive manager does comes quickly. According to Lars-Erik, TAM-Arkiv’s relevance is not just about building on the archive’s 11 kilometers of paper documents, but about supporting members with document management in any medium.

Archiving by design is long overdue

Archiving by design, or built-in archiving, has long been requested by the profession. An approach of starting archiving as soon as the systems are put in place, in a way that enables digital archiving.

The challenge has been that there has been no system support adapted to comply with established principles. Often, manual processing has been required to assess whether a document should be archived or deleted, and documents have subsequently had to be removed or deleted manually.

Recently, a solution that designs archiving rules as you work on the document has become available, MetaShare Orbit. In short, the solution means that the archiving and deletion work in Microsoft 365 is handled fully automatically according to the union’s regulations.

Active participation in development work

TAM-Archives came into contact with Ways, the company behind MetaShare Orbit a couple of years ago and had the opportunity to present the industry’s challenges and important standards for e-archiving.

– We are currently testing MetaShare Orbit on our internal documents. Soon we will be able to log in to our archiving area and know that everything left there will be long-term archived. The whole process is automated and accelerated, which will make it much easier not only for our members but also for us,” says Lars-Erik Hansen.