Trends in Archives Practice by the Society of American Archivists is a new, open-ended series of modules featuring brief, authoritative treatments — written and edited by top-level professionals — that fill significant gaps in archival literature. The goal of this modular approach is to build agile, user-centered resources. Each module will treat a discrete topic relating to the practical management of archives and manuscript collections in the digital age.
The first three modules address archival arrangement and description and are designed to complement Kathleen D. Roe's book, ARRANGING AND DESCRIBING ARCHIVES AND MANUSCRIPTS. They include:
STANDARDS FOR ARCHIVAL DESCRIPTION
Sibyl Schaefer and Janet M. Bunde
Untangles the history of standards development and provides an overview of descriptive standards that an archives might wish to use.
PROCESSING DIGITAL RECORDS AND MANUSCRIPTS
J. Gordon Daines III
Builds on familiar terminology and models to show how any repository can take practical steps to process born-digital materials and to make them accessible to users.
DESIGNING DESCRIPTIVE AND ACCESS SYSTEMS
Daniel A. Santamaria
Implementation advice regarding the wide range of tools and software that support specific needs in arranging, describing, and providing access to analog and digital archival materials.
Despite the importance of archives to the profession of history, there is very little written about actual encounters with them—about the effect that the researcher’s race, gender, or class may have on her experience within them or about the impact that archival surveillance, architecture, or bureaucracy might have on the histories that are ultimately written. This provocative collection initiates a vital conversation about how archives around the world are constructed, policed, manipulated, and experienced. It challenges the claims to objectivity associated with the traditional archive by telling stories that illuminate its power to shape the narratives that are “found” there.
Archive Stories brings together ethnographies of the archival world, most of which are written by historians. Some contributors recount their own experiences. One offers a moving reflection on how the relative wealth and prestige of Western researchers can gain them entry to collections such as Uzbekistan’s newly formed Central State Archive, which severely limits the access of Uzbek researchers. Others explore the genealogies of specific archives, from one of the most influential archival institutions in the modern West, the Archives nationales in Paris, to the significant archives of the Bakunin family in Russia, which were saved largely through the efforts of one family member. Still others explore the impact of current events on the analysis of particular archives. A contributor tells of researching the 1976 Soweto riots in the politically charged atmosphere of the early 1990s, just as apartheid in South Africa was coming to an end. A number of the essays question what counts as an archive—and what counts as history—as they consider oral histories, cyberspace, fiction, and plans for streets and buildings that were never built, for histories that never materialized.
Contributors. Tony Ballantyne, Marilyn Booth, Antoinette Burton, Ann Curthoys, Peter Fritzsche, Durba Ghosh, Laura Mayhall, Jennifer S. Milligan, Kathryn J. Oberdeck, Adele Perry, Helena Pohlandt-McCormick, John Randolph, Craig Robertson, Horacio N. Roque Ramírez, Jeff Sahadeo, Reneé Sentilles
In Archiveology Catherine Russell uses the work of Walter Benjamin to explore how the practice of archiveology—the reuse, recycling, appropriation, and borrowing of archival sounds and images by filmmakers—provides ways to imagine the past and the future. Noting how the film archive does not function simply as a place where moving images are preserved, Russell examines a range of films alongside Benjamin's conceptions of memory, document, excavation, and historiography. She shows how city films such as Nicole Védrès's Paris 1900 (1947) and Thom Andersen's Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003) reconstruct notions of urban life and uses Christian Marclay's The Clock (2010) to draw parallels between critical cinephilia and Benjamin's theory of the phantasmagoria. Russell also discusses practices of collecting in archiveological film and rereads films by Joseph Cornell and Rania Stephan to explore an archival practice that dislocates and relocates the female image in film. In so doing, she not only shows how Benjamin's work is as relevant to film theory as ever; she shows how archiveology can awaken artists and audiences to critical forms of history and memory.
Andrew Lison University of Minnesota Press, 2019 Library of Congress CD947 | Dewey Decimal 027.001
How digital networks and services bring the issues of archives out of the realm of institutions and into the lives of everyday users
Archives have become a nexus in the wake of the digital turn. Electronic files, search engines, video sites, and media player libraries make the concepts of “archival” and “retrieval” practically synonymous with the experience of interconnected computing. Archives today are the center of much attention but few agendas. Can archives inform the redistribution of power and resources when the concept of the public library as an institution makes knowledge and culture accessible to all members of society regardless of social or economic status? This book sets out to show that archives need our active support and continuing engagement.
This volume offers three distinct perspectives on the present status of archives that are at once in disagreement and solidarity with each other, from contributors whose backgrounds cut across the theory–practice divide. Is the increasing digital storage of knowledge pushing us toward a turning point in its democratization? Can archives fulfill their paradoxical potential as utopian sites in which the analog and the digital, the past and future, and remembrance and forgetting commingle? Is there a downside to the present-day impulse toward total preservation?
The humanization of the archival craft is particularly compelling for transgender-related archives and archiving. As attention to transgender phenomena continues to increase, the need for thoughtfully conceived and ethically executed trans archival practices becomes all the more pressing. Yet the very basis of this undertaking relies on a daunting definitional and epistemological challenge: in the context of archives, what counts as transgender? This issue of TSQ will investigate practical and theoretical dimensions of archiving transgender phenomena and will ask what constitutes “trans* archives” or “trans* archival practices.”
Archives and Justice
Verne Harris Society of American Archivists, 2007 Library of Congress CD2451.H36 2007 | Dewey Decimal 027.0968
ARCHIVES AND JUSTICE: A SOUTH AFRICAN PERSPECTIVE is collection of Verne Harris's best writing during the first decade of South Africa's post-apartheid democracy. Harris is the project director of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory in Johannesburg. While South Africa is his immediate context, Harris always engages wider geographical and conceptual worlds.
The volume is organized into five sections. "Discourses" illuminates Harris's engagement with writings and discussions related to archives. "Narratives," the second section, "explores the stories that archivists tell in certain domains of professional work-appraisal, electronic recordmaking, and arrangement and description." The third and fourth sections, "Politics and Ethics" and "Pasts and Secrets," recount and reflect on events and issues with which Harris has wrestled as a South African archivist. The op-eds contained in the final section, "Actualities," provide evidence of Harris's "deliberate endeavors to bring awareness of archive to popular debates in South Africa."
Drawing on the energies of Derridean deconstruction, Harris suggests an ethics, and a politics, expressed in the maxim "memory for justice." And he portrays the work of archives as a work of critical importance to the building of democracy.
In premodern Korea, archives were gathered and housed not only in official or state storerooms but also in unofficial sites such as the libraries of lineage associations and local academies. Contributors to this special issue reveal how these archives cast light on what and who were left out of the conventional historiography of premodern Korea, taking the archive beyond its usual definition as a collection of historical documents of the past. Topics include how premodern Korean record-keeping was used to shape contemporary historiographical knowledge of Chosŏn Buddhism; the role of the Catholic Archives in documenting life in Chosŏn Korea; and whether the term “archive,” as used in European traditions, is relevant to premodern Korean traditions. By addressing topics such as the formation and use of archives and the role of archives in the circulation of knowledge, contributors invite a vital conversation about how histories of the archive might reshape stories about premodern Korea.
Contributors. Ksenia Chizhova, Jungwon Kim, Sung-Eun Thomas Kim, Franklin Rausch, Graeme Reynolds, Sem Vermeersch, Sixiang Wang, Yuan Ye
As sites of documentary preservation rooted in various national and social contexts, artifacts of culture, and places of uncovering, archives provide tangible evidence of memory for individuals, communities, and states, as well as defining memory institutionally within prevailing political systems and cultural norms. By assigning the prerogatives of record keeper to the archivist, whose acquisition policies, finding aids, and various institutionalized predilections mediate between scholarship and information, archives produce knowledge, legitimize political systems, and construct identities. Far from being mere repositories of data, archives actually embody the fragments of culture that endure as signifiers of who we are, and why. The essays in Archives, Documentation, and Institutions of Social Memory conceive of archives not simply as historical repositories but as a complex of structures, processes, and epistemologies situated at a critical point of the intersection between scholarship, cultural practices, politics, and technologies.
Archives in Libraries
Jeannette A. Bastian Society of American Archivists, 2015 Library of Congress CD971.B29 2015 | Dewey Decimal 020.92
Many libraries have archives, which serve a distinct function, albeit in a shared setting. Reconciling differences between archivists and librarians has been a long-standing issue for the information professions in the United States. Today more than ever, librarians and archivists need to understand one another and harmonize their divergent but complementary professional paths. ARCHIVES IN LIBRARIES: WHAT LIBRARIANS AND ARCHIVISTS NEED TO KNOW TO WORK TOGETHER builds a bridge toward that harmonization, suggesting ways in which archivists working in libraries can better negotiate their relationships with the institution and with their library colleagues. It also helps librarians and library directors better understand archival work by providing overviews of archival concepts, policies, and best practices. Vignettes and interviews throughout the book articulate similarities and points of departure between libraries and archives while highlighting the issues and offering solutions to practical problems.
This is volume 60 issue 1 of Archives of American Art Journal. First published in 1960 as the Archives of American Art Bulletin, the Archives of American Art Journal is the longest-running scholarly periodical devoted to the history of art in the United States. This peer-reviewed publication showcases new approaches to and out-of-the-box thinking about primary sources. All contributions must be appropriate for the journal's broad audience and engage in a substantial, meaningful way with the holdings of the Archives of American Art.
This is volume 60 issue 2 of Archives of American Art Journal. First published in 1960 as the Archives of American Art Bulletin, the Archives of American Art Journal is the longest-running scholarly periodical devoted to the history of art in the United States. This peer-reviewed publication showcases new approaches to and out-of-the-box thinking about primary sources. All contributions must be appropriate for the journal's broad audience and engage in a substantial, meaningful way with the holdings of the Archives of American Art.
This is volume 61 issue 1 of Archives of American Art Journal. First published in 1960 as the Archives of American Art Bulletin, the Archives of American Art Journal is the longest-running scholarly periodical devoted to the history of art in the United States. This peer-reviewed publication showcases new approaches to and out-of-the-box thinking about primary sources. All contributions must be appropriate for the journal's broad audience and engage in a substantial, meaningful way with the holdings of the Archives of American Art.
This is volume 61 issue 2 of Archives of American Art Journal. First published in 1960 as the Archives of American Art Bulletin, the Archives of American Art Journal is the longest-running scholarly periodical devoted to the history of art in the United States. This peer-reviewed publication showcases new approaches to and out-of-the-box thinking about primary sources. All contributions must be appropriate for the journal's broad audience and engage in a substantial, meaningful way with the holdings of the Archives of American Art.
The Archives of Cuba/Los archivos de Cuba is the first comprehensive guide to the archival holdings and manuscript collections located throughout the fourteen provinces of Cuba, and each is identified with its local address. The collections hold a vast assortment of research materials from the sixteenth through the twentieth centuries. Records encompass family papers, government documents, parish collections, notary records, corporate papers, archives of private associations, personal collections, and much more. Sites listed include the Archivo Nacional, the Biblioteca Nacional José Martí, provincial archives, municipal archives and museums, parish archives, cemetery archives, and many others. The volume also provides a general descriptive inventory of each archival holding and manuscript collection. It is an indispensable reference tool for anyone conducting research on Cuban history or culture.
A rich collection of primary materials, the multivolume Archives of Empire provides a documentary history of nineteenth-century British imperialism from the Indian subcontinent to the Suez Canal to southernmost Africa. Barbara Harlow and Mia Carter have carefully selected a diverse range of texts that track the debates over imperialism in the ranks of the military, the corridors of political power, the lobbies of missionary organizations, the halls of royal geographic and ethnographic societies, the boardrooms of trading companies, the editorial offices of major newspapers, and far-flung parts of the empire itself. Focusing on a particular region and historical period, each volume in Archives of Empire is organized into sections preceded by brief introductions. Documents including mercantile company charters, parliamentary records, explorers’ accounts, and political cartoons are complemented by timelines, maps, and bibligraphies. Unique resources for teachers and students, these volumes reveal the complexities of nineteenth-century colonialism and emphasize its enduring relevance to the “global markets” of the twenty-first century.
While focusing on the expansion of the British Empire, The Scramble for Africa illuminates the intense nineteenth-century contest among European nations over Africa’s land, people, and resources. Highlighting the 1885 Berlin Conference in which Britain, France, Germany, Portugal, and Italy partitioned Africa among themselves, this collection follows British conflicts with other nations over different regions as well as its eventual challenge to Leopold of Belgium’s rule of the Congo. The reports, speeches, treatises, proclamations, letters, and cartoons assembled here include works by Henry M. Stanley, David Livingstone, Joseph Conrad, G. W. F. Hegel, Winston Churchill, Charles Darwin, and Arthur Conan Doyle. A number of pieces highlight the proliferation of companies chartered to pursue Africa’s gold, diamonds, and oil—particularly Cecil J. Rhodes’s British South Africa Company and Frederick Lugard’s Royal Niger Company. Other documents describe debacles on the continent—such as the defeat of General Gordon in Khartoum and the Anglo-Boer War—and the criticism of imperial maneuvers by proto-human rights activists including George Washington Williams, Mark Twain, Olive Schreiner, and E.D. Morel.
A rich collection of primary materials, the multivolume Archives of Empire provides a documentary history of nineteenth-century British imperialism from the Indian subcontinent to the Suez Canal to southernmost Africa. Barbara Harlow and Mia Carter have carefully selected a diverse range of texts that track the debates over imperialism in the ranks of the military, the corridors of political power, the lobbies of missionary organizations, the halls of royal geographic and ethnographic societies, the boardrooms of trading companies, the editorial offices of major newspapers, and far-flung parts of the empire itself. Focusing on a particular region and historical period, each volume in Archives of Empire is organized into sections preceded by brief introductions. Documents including mercantile company charters, parliamentary records, explorers’ accounts, and political cartoons are complemented by timelines, maps, and bibligraphies. Unique resources for teachers and students, these books reveal the complexities of nineteenth-century colonialism and emphasize its enduring relevance to the “global markets” of the twenty-first century.
Tracing the beginnings of the British colonial enterprise in South Asia and the Middle East, From theCompany to the Canal brings together key texts from the era of the privately owned British East India Company through the crises that led to the company’s takeover by the Crown in 1858. It ends with the momentous opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. Government proclamations, military reports, and newspaper articles are included here alongside pieces by Rudyard Kipling, Charles Dickens, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, Benjamin Disraeli, and many others. A number of documents chronicle arguments between mercantilists and free trade advocates over the competing interests of the nation and the East India Company. Others provide accounts of imperial crises—including the trial of Warren Hastings, the Indian Rebellion (Sepoy Mutiny), and the Arabi Uprising—that highlight the human, political, and economic costs of imperial domination and control.
Expanding the insights of Arlette Farge and Michel Foucault’s Disorderly Families into policing, public order, (in)justice, and daily life
What might it mean for ordinary people to intervene in the circulation of power between police and the streets, sovereigns and their subjects? How did the police come to understand themselves as responsible for the circulation of people as much as things—and to separate law and justice from the maintenance of a newly emergent civil order? These are among the many questions addressed in the interpretive essays in Archives of Infamy.
Crisscrossing the Atlantic to bring together unpublished radio broadcasts, book reviews, and essays by historians, geographers, and political theorists, Archives of Infamy provides historical and archival contexts to the recent translation of Disorderly Families by Arlette Farge and Michel Foucault. This volume includes new translations of key texts, including a radio address Foucault gave in 1983 that explains the writing process for Disorderly Families; two essays by Foucault not readily available in English; and a previously untranslated essay by Farge that describes how historians have appropriated Foucault.
Archives of Infamy pushes past old debates between philosophers and historians to offer a new perspective on the crystallization of ideas—of the family, gender relations, and political power—into social relationships and the regimes of power they engender.
Contributors: Roger Chartier, Collège de France; Stuart Elden, U of Warwick; Arlette Farge, Centre national de recherche scientifique; Michel Foucault (1926–1984); Jean-Philippe Guinle, Catholic Institute of Paris; Michel Heurteaux; Pierre Nora, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales; Michael Rey (1953–1993); Thomas Scott-Railton; Elizabeth Wingrove, U of Michigan.
Both a historical recovery and a critical rethinking of the functions and practices of textbooks, Archives of Instruction: Nineteenth-Century Rhetorics, Readers, and Composition Books in the United States argues for an alternative understanding of our rhetorical traditions. The authors describe how the pervasive influence of nineteenth-century literacy textbooks demonstrate the early emergence of substantive instruction in reading and writing. Tracing the histories of widespread educational practices, the authors treat the textbooks as an important means of cultural formation that restores a sense of their distinguished and unique contributions.
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, few people in the United States had access to significant school education or to the materials of instruction. By century’s end, education was a mass—though not universal—experience, and literacy textbooks were ubiquitous artifacts, used both in home and in school by a growing number of learners from diverse backgrounds. Many of the books have been forgotten, their contributions slighted or dismissed, or they are remembered through a haze of nostalgia as tokens of an idyllic form of schooling. Archives of Instruction suggests strategies for re-reading the texts and details the watersheds in the genre, providing a new perspective on the material conditions of schooling, book publication, and emerging practices of literacy instruction. The volume includes a substantial bibliography of primary and secondary works related to literacy instruction at all levels of education in the United States during the nineteenth century.
In Archives of Labor Lori Merish establishes working-class women as significant actors within literary culture, dramatically redrawing the map of nineteenth-century US literary and cultural history. Delving into previously unexplored archives of working-class women's literature—from autobiographies, pamphlet novels, and theatrical melodrama to seduction tales and labor periodicals—Merish recovers working-class women's vital presence as writers and readers in the antebellum era. Her reading of texts by a diverse collection of factory workers, seamstresses, domestic workers, and prostitutes boldly challenges the purportedly masculine character of class dissent during this era. Whether addressing portrayals of white New England "factory girls," fictional accounts of African American domestic workers, or the first-person narratives of Mexican women working in the missions of Mexican California, Merish unsettles the traditional association of whiteness with the working class to document forms of cross-racial class identification and solidarity. In so doing, she restores the tradition of working women's class protest and dissent, shows how race and gender are central to class identity, and traces the ways working women understood themselves and were understood as workers and class subjects.
In this jarring look at contemporary warfare and political visuality, renowned anthropologist of violence Allen Feldman provocatively argues that contemporary sovereign power mobilizes asymmetric, clandestine, and ultimately unending war as a will to truth. Whether responding to the fantasy of weapons of mass destruction or an existential threat to civilization, Western political sovereignty seeks to align justice, humanitarian right, and democracy with technocratic violence and visual dominance. Connecting Guantánamo tribunals to the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, American counterfeit killings in Afghanistan to the Baader-Meinhof paintings of Gerhard Richter, and the video erasure of Rodney King to lynching photography and political animality, among other scenes of terror, Feldman contests sovereignty’s claims to transcendental right —whether humanitarian, neoliberal, or democratic—by showing how dogmatic truth is crafted and terror indemnified by the prosecutorial media and materiality of war.
Excavating a scenography of trials—formal or covert, orchestrated or improvised, criminalizing or criminal—Feldman shows how the will to truth disappears into the very violence it interrogates. He maps the sensory inscriptions and erasures of war, highlighting war as a media that severs factuality from actuality to render violence just. He proposes that war promotes an anesthesiology that interdicts the witness of a sensory and affective commons that has the capacity to speak truth to war. Feldman uses layered deconstructive description to decelerate the ballistical tempo of war to salvage the embodied actualities and material histories that war reduces to the ashes of collateral damage, the automatism of drones, and the opacities of black sites. The result is a penetrating work that marries critical visual theory, political philosophy, anthropology, and media archeology into a trenchant dissection of emerging forms of sovereignty and state power that war now makes possible.
Roughly 1.7 million people died in Cambodia from untreated disease, starvation, and execution during the Khmer Rouge reign of less than four years in the late 1970s. The regime’s brutality has come to be symbolized by the multitude of black-and-white mug shots of prisoners taken at the notorious Tuol Sleng prison, where thousands of “enemies of the state” were tortured before being sent to the Killing Fields. In Archiving the Unspeakable, Michelle Caswell traces the social life of these photographic records through the lens of archival studies and elucidates how, paradoxically, they have become agents of silence and witnessing, human rights and injustice as they are deployed at various moments in time and space. From their creation as Khmer Rouge administrative records to their transformation beginning in 1979 into museum displays, archival collections, and databases, the mug shots are key components in an ongoing drama of unimaginable human suffering.
Winner, Waldo Gifford Leland Award, Society of American Archivists
Longlist, ICAS Book Prize, International Convention of Asia Scholars
Arnold Newman: At Work
By Roy Flukinger University of Texas Press, 2013 Library of Congress TR680.H295 2013 | Dewey Decimal 016.77092
A driven perfectionist with inexhaustible curiosity about people, Arnold Newman was one of the twentieth century’s greatest and most prolific photographers. In a career that spanned nearly seven decades and produced many iconic works, Newman became renowned for making “pictures of people” (he objected to the term “portraits”) in the places where they worked and lived—the spaces that were most expressive of their inner lives. Refusing the label of “art photographer,” Newman also accepted magazine and advertising commissions and executed them to the same exacting standards that characterized all of his work. He spent countless hours training aspiring photographers, sharing his own vast experience, but allowing them the freedom to experiment and discover.
Rich with materials from Newman’s extensive archive in the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, Arnold Newman offers unprecedented, firsthand insights into the evolution of the photographer’s creativity. Reproduced here are not only many of Newman’s signature images, but also contact sheets, Polaroids, and work prints with his handwritten notes, which allow us to see the process by which he produced the images. Pages from his copious notebooks and calendars reveal Newman’s meticulous preparation and exhausting schedule. Adsheets and magazine covers from Holiday, LIFE, Newsweek, Look, Esquire, Seventeen, Time, and Sports Illustrated show the range of Newman’s largely unknown editorial work. Roy Flukinger provides a contextual overview of the archive, and Marianne Fulton’s introduction highlights the essential moments in the development of Newman’s life and work.
Kathleen Roe's guide to arranging and describing archival materials provides both practical advice and critical context, creating an important resource for archivists in all walks of their professional lives.
The arrangement and description of archival materials has so changed since Fredric M. Miller's 1990 edition of ARRANGING AND DESCRIBING ARCHIVES AND MANUSCRIPTS that it may nearly seem a new practice. Kathleen Roe's thorough and readable revision, however, shows that this critical function of archival work is truly one based on core principles that still hold today.
Roe has intermingled the theory and context in which collections are arranged and described with clear and practical instructions on the process, resulting in a work that is richer than an instruction manual, yet equally valuable. The chapter on "The Context of Arrangement and Description" provides a clear discussion of the origins of the practice in Europe and the United States, and moves into an historical overview of developing standards that archivists of all levels will appreciate for its clarity. The lengthy chapter on "The Practice of Arrangement and Description" is complemented by appendices that offer sample scenarios, arrangement patterns, and finding aids. Together, these provide a sturdy foundation for students or novice archivists seeking to hone their processing skills. Just as the importance of arrangement and description to the archivist cannot be overstated, neither can the significance of this text in describing that process. Roe's work will introduce new archivists to the practice as well as refresh the sensibilities of seasoned professionals for years to come.
How does evidence happen? And when evidence happens badly, how can we find a fitting response to those making extraordinary claims? These are the questions driving Jenny Rice’s groundbreaking study into the life of evidence as she seeks to uncover why traditional modes of argument often fail in the face of claims that rely on bad evidence. The chapters make a deep dive into the nature and character of evidence itself by examining literal archives, though some quite unorthodox, as well as more popular archives that exist within public memory. Rice looks to examples that lie at the fringes of public discourse—pseudo-science, the paranormal, conspiracy theories about 9/11, the moon landing, UFO sightings, and Obama’s birth record. Such fringe examples, Rice argues, bring to light other questions about evidence that force us to reassess and move beyond traditional forms of ethics and debate.
After sketching a broader framework for understanding what evidence is, Awful Archives then asks how we can practice more ethical and productive forms of debate, especially when we’re faced with arguments that feel like a dead end. Thorough, engaging, and deeply insightful, Awful Archives:Conspiracy Theory, Rhetoric, and Acts of Evidence introduces an entirely new perspective on evidence—one that will impact the field for years to come.