Reliability and Authenticity: The Concepts and Their Implications

  • Luciana Duranti


This article defines the concepts of reliability and authenticity and their relationship, illustrates what makes records reliable and authentic, warns against the danger of emphasizing one concept over the other, and suggests the direction that research on electronic records should take.


Cet article définit les concepts de fiabilité et d'authenticité ainsi que leurs rapports mutuels. L'article illustre aussi les éléments constitutifs de la fiabilité et de l'authenticité et prévient le risque de surestimer l'un des deux concepts aux dépens de l'autre et suggère finalement quelques pistes de recherches souhaitables pour les documents informatisés.

Author Biography

Luciana Duranti
Luciana Duranti is Associate Professor in the Master of Archival Studies Programme (MAS) at the School of Library, Archival, and Information Studies, University of British Columbia, a position she has held since 1987. Prior to this, she was a Researcher Professor in the Special School for Archivists and Librarians at the University of Rome (1982-87); served as State Archivist in the State Archives of Rome (1978-1982); and was Project Archivist for the Italian National Research Council (1974-77). Professor Duranti holds a Doctorate in Arts (1973) and a Master of Archival Science (1975) from the University of Rome, and a Master of Archivistics, Paleography, and Diplomatics from the School of Archivistics, Paleography, and Diplomatics of the State Archives of Rome (1979). In addition to her university responsibilities, she is active nationally and internationally in several archival associations, and publishes widely on archival history and theory, and on diplomatics.
How to Cite
Duranti, Luciana. 1995. “Reliability and Authenticity: The Concepts and Their Implications”. Archivaria 39 (May), 5-10.