Conclusion

Archives have undergone many changes since their creation in ancient times. Access has changed from allowing citizens to enter archives to only the wealthy and now, all members of society are able to access the archives. Methods of accessing archives have also evolved through the years. Reference services have been present since ancient archives; however, it is not until fairly recently that there has been a focus on customer service and providing the user with good reference help. There has always been a certain level of description of records as well; however, like reference services, description levels have changed and become standardized nationally. Another development in the very recent past is legislation protecting the people and contents of a record. While this legislation does restrict access, it is necessary to protect peopleís privacy. Digitization is another major factor affecting userís access to records. There is now an expectation that materials are accessible online; in order for an archive to keep up with other organizations; they must provide at least a minimal amount of online content. Digitization is also necessary for certain web 2.0 technologies to be utilized by archives in the future. However, in order to get to the place where they can start applying web 2.0 technologies, an archive must first catch up technologically to the point where there is some online content available to users.