ARCHIVAL THEORY AND THE DUTCH MANUAL
record are determined by the business functions that led to their creation.43There- fore, before we can appraise or use records, we have to analyze and appraise the business function^.^^ This is the new appraisal methodology developed independently but with an astonishingly common approach by both the Canadian National Archives and the Dutch State Archives. As I said in 1989, "appraise the records creators, in- stead of appraising the records only."45
The principle of respect for archival structure was discovered by Van Riemsdijk and codified in the Manual as the basis for arrangement and description. However, in a functional archival science it is also the basis for appraising the value of records. This makes functional archival science meaningful not only for archivists, but for all people who use archives.We have to make our users--historians, other professionals, the public at large--understand that the unique character of archives is due to their provenance as transactional records created within a functional context. This con- textual approach is a powerful tool for any user to find, to use, and to interpret his1 her sources properly.46This presupposes, however, that the user is enabled by the archivist to answer the question: how does the original purpose of the record affect what may be done with it?47Functional archival science obliges the archivist to look through the records to their contextual history. A fonds is a whole, a historically determined structure, a fabric of relationships and context. Because we have to re- spect that structure and to understand that fabric, we have to study its history to get insight in the historical process that determined the structure of thefonds.48 And so we come back to the ~ u t c Manual and Van Riemsdijk. Paragraph sixty-one of the Manual ("This is an imp. section," Henry Eddy noted) prescribes an accurate and complete administrative history at the beginning of the inventory. Muller remarked (in the note to paragraph sixty-one) that "the fulfilment of this requirement will cause little trouble for the serious archivist who, if he wishes to arrange his inventory well, will first have to study the mechanism of the old administration." This is exactly what Van Riemsdijk did, and which he did so well that it made Muller a bit jealous.
Accordingly, Dutch archivists have always considered the introduction to be one of the most important parts of the inventory. Indeed, the value of the inventory from the viewpoint of archival science is measured at the introdu~tion.~ istby the introduc- tions to their inventories that Dutch archivists have contributed to archival science. The preeminence of research into Lhe administrative history and of diplomatic re- search into the processes of records creation and contemporary use is not only a Dutch feature, it is typical for European archival science,50which has its roots in diplomatic^.^^
Archivists, however, should explore deeper. As Terry Cook has advocated, the lo- cus of archival theory and the profession's potential unique contribution to the broader humanities and social sciences lies in studying the deeper dimensions of the im- pulses in society that lie behind the creation of record^.'^ Socio-historical research in the "history of the record," to use Nesmith's phrase, can provide insights into the evolution of information and communication in ~ociety,as' demonstrated by such studies as Clanchy's "From Memory to Written Record" andYates's "Control through Communication." For her publication, Joanne Yates was awarded SAA's Waldo Gifford Leland Prize.s4Waldo Leland in 1909 presented the archival theory of the Dutch Manual to the first conference of American archivist^,^^ a very real tribute to its fundamental and sound theoretical basis.