There is the erroneous notion among records managers in the public sector and the business setting that preservation of records is an activity reserved for the conservator late in the life of the document. In order to find out the care and handling of records in Government ministries and departments, 69 registries were surveyed. A questionnaire was designed to collect information from the surveyed ministries. Fort- four or (64%) responses were received. The analysis reveals that the degradation of records begin in registries in which most records spend their active life. Also, a majority of records which end up in the archives are at various stages of deterioration before reaching their destinations. The article concludes that preservation is an activity that runs through the total life of records must form an integral part records management.
(African Journal of Library, Archives and Information Science: 2002 12 (2): 155-166)