adj. (also post-custodial) relating to situations where records creators continue to maintain archival records with archivists providing management oversight even as they may also hold custody of other records


The term post-custodial was first conceived by F. Gerald Ham, in hyphenated form, in 1981. Ham devised the term in response to the growing demands of preserving electronic records, which necessitated a shift from the custodial tradition, where records are maintained by archives, to an alternative model where records are retained by their creator with archives providing oversight and support functions. Although postcustodial theory asserts that archivists can no longer hold custody of all records that might come under their care, the theory does not suggest that custody will totally disappear either.