Independence came from a Document

7/4/2014 in Records Management

When you think of the 4th of July, it’s likely that images of fireworks, parades and picnics come to mind. That is what the day is about for most Americans, and it should be. It is a celebration of freedom and the memorial of the day that the Declaration of Independence was signed.

The Declaration is a formal legal document that announced to the world the reasons that led the thirteen colonies to separate from the British Empire. It is certainly not the first legal record in history, but alongside the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights, it is one of the most important for democracy not just for the United States but for the world over.

However, in 1776, there were no record centers to store legal records nor had the means yet been invented to properly preserve it and keep it safe from damage. So how was this most important of documents kept? Well, it was rolled up and toted around like a map for a while, water spilled on it while a copy was being made, and then it was tacked up on a wall exposed to sunlight after that.  Finally, it was put in a protective case in the National Archives where it remains today.

Obviously, The Declaration was very lucky to have survived through all that and to still exist today. It’s not likely that many other important documents today would live through such treatment. Have you taken proper precaution with your documents and legal records? If they are just stored as physical files in your office, not only are they taking up valuable space, but they are vulnerable to being lost or damaged. One big step to responsible document management is digitizing your documents so that they are backed up in data centers and available on demand. Then, storing the physical files in a regulated facility, your they will be available when you need them and most importantly preserved and accessible in case of discovery or audit.

It just makes good sense. Need help getting started? Talk to us. We can help. It's what we do.

So back to the celebrations, which is absolutely what it is all about on the 4th of July and what Thomas Jefferson wanted. He announced that the day, “ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” [1]

So happy Fourth to you and your loved ones. Just remember it is all about a document!

 

[1] – Wikipedia


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