The increasing use of computers in both administrative record keeping and in social science research challenges archivists to reevaluate previous appraisals of many types of records. The creation of computerized data bases which contain information from legal, criminal, medical, welfare, and other investigatory, regulatory, client, and personnel files has brought case files into this group of records which must be reappraised. Although they may include the same subject matter as textual case files, machine-readable case files may be appraised differently because of the media on which they are recorded and the amount of information they contain. This new media greatly reduces some of the problems in preserving and using textual case files--for example, large volume, slow and tedious access, and protection of privacy.



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