Archival Science

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 207–224 | Cite as

In the shadows of the continuum: testing the records continuum model through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office ‘Migrated Archives’

  • Michael KarabinosEmail author
Original Paper


This article offers a test of the records continuum model. As a case study I use the Foreign and Commonwealth Office “Migrated Archives”, those records first made known to the public in 2011 during the court case against the British government. Through this case, records from over 30 former colonies were found to have been stored away by the FCO, since the colonies had become independent. While testing the continuum model with this case, I simultaneously use the records continuum model to tell the history of the Migrated Archives. My research finds that by highlighting the hidden moments—the shadows of the continuum—the Migrated Archives reveals that the continuum model can be too dependent on pluralization and a culture of openness and accessibility. Using the term “shadow continuum,” I attempt to rectify this situation by allowing for continuum model processes to continue, albeit in the shadows.


Malaysia Singapore Migrated Archives Colonial archives Decolonization British Empire Records continuum 



Author thanks to Eric Ketelaar and Mandy Banton for their helpful comments on this updated version. Research in Singapore was undertaken while an Asian Communication Research Centre Visiting Research Fellow at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University in 2013.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AmsterdamThe Netherlands

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