Archival research of any magnitude can be daunting. With this in mind, Alexis E. Ramsey, Wendy B. Sharer, Barbara L’Eplattenier, and Lisa Mastrangelo have developed an indispensable volume for the first-time researcher as well as the seasoned scholar. Working in the Archives is a guide to the world of rhetoric and composition archives, from locating an archival source and its materials to establishing one’s own collection of archival materials. This practical volume provides insightful information on a variety of helpful topics, such as basic archival theory, processes, and principles; the use of hidden or digital archives; the intricacies of searching for and using letters and photographs; strategies for addressing the dilemmas of archival organization without damaging the provenance of materials; the benefits of seeking sources outside academia; and the difficult (yet often rewarding) aspects of research on the Internet.
Working in the Archives moves beyond the basics to discuss the more personal and emotional aspects of archival work through the inclusion of interviews with experienced researchers such as Lynée Lewis Gaillet, Peter Mortensen, Kathryn Fitzgerald, Kenneth Lindblom, and David Gold. Each shares his or her personal stories of the joys and challenges that face today’s researchers.
Packed with useful recommendations, this volume draws on the knowledge and experiences of experts to present a well-rounded guidebook to the often winding paths of academic archival investigation. These in-depth yet user-friendly essays provide crucial answers to the myriad questions facing both fledgling and practiced researchers, making Working in the Archives an essential resource.