Engaging with Records and Archives: Histories and Theories

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors
  • Reviews

This new book provides an authoritative and inspiring response to today's growing fascination with the idea of the archive and contains cutting-edge research articles on the history and theory of archives and records, written by internationally renowned and emerging scholars.

Engaging with Records and Archives offers a selection of the most original, insightful and imaginative papers from the Seventh International Conference on the History of Records and Archives (I-CHORA 7).

The "histories and theories" collected in this volume offer a wide variety of views of records, archives and archival functions, spanning diverse regions, communities, disciplinary perspectives and time periods.

From the origins of contemporary grassroots archival activism in Poland to the role of women archivists in early 20th century England; from the management of records in the Dutch East Indies in the 19th century to the relationship between Western and Indigenous cultures in North America and other modern archival conundrums: this book reveals the richness and complexity of archival thinking through historical and contemporary compelling examples that will captivate the reader.

Introduction - Fiorella Foscarini, Heather Macneil, Bonnie Mak, and Gillian Oliver

PART 1: Rethinking Histories and Theories

1. Moving the Margins to the Middle: Reconciling ‘the Archive' with the Archives - Jeannette Bastian

2. Organisms, Skeletons, and the Archivist as Paleontologist: Metaphors of Archival Order and Reconstruction in Context - Juan Ilerbaig

3. Records in Context' in Context: A Brief History of Data Modeling for Archival Description - Jonathan Furner

4. Mapping Archival Silence: Technology and the Historical Record - Marlene Manoff

5. Hidden Voices in the Archives: Pioneering Women Archivists in Early 20th Century England - Elizabeth Shepherd

PART 2: Engaging Records and Archives

6. The Use and Reuse of Documents by Chancellors, Archivists and Government Members in an Early Modern Republican State: Genoa's Giunta dei Confini and Its Archives - Stefano Gardini

7. The Bumpy Road to Transparency:  Access and Secrecy in 19th-Century Records in the Dutch East Indies - Charles Jeurgens

8. Melanie Delva and Melissa Adams, "Archival Ethics and Indigenous Justice: Conflict or Coexistence?"

9. History and Development of Information and Recordkeeping in Malawi - Paul Lihoma

10. History of Community Archiving in Poland - Magdalena Wiśniewska

11. Reflecting on Practice: Artists' Experiences in the Archives - Sian Vaughan

Fiorella Foscarini

Fiorella Foscarini is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. She holds a PhD in archival science from the University of British Columbia. Before joining academia, she worked as an archivist and a records manager for various institutions, including the European Central Bank and the Province of Bologna. She also taught archival studies at the University of Amsterdam. She currently serves as General Editor of Archivaria.

Heather MacNeil

Heather MacNeil is a professor in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto where she teaches courses in the areas of archival theory and practice and the history of record keeping. Her research and publications focus on the theory and methods of archival arrangement and description, the trustworthiness of records in analogue and digital environments, and archives and archival finding aids as cultural texts.

Gillian Oliver

Dr. Gillian Oliver is Associate Professor of Information Management at Monash University in Australia. Previously she led teaching and research into archives and records at Victoria University of Wellington and the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand. Her research interests focus on data cultures, including the information cultures of workplaces and issues relating to the continuity of digital information, particularly in development contexts. She is the author of four books and is co-editor-in-chief of the journal Archival Science.

Bonnie Mak

Bonnie Mak is an associate professor at the University of Illinois, jointly appointed in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science and the Program in Medieval Studies. She has previously held the title of Visiting Fellow at the Coach House Institute at the University of Toronto, and is currently Senior Fellow at the Center for Humanities and Information at the Pennsylvania State University. She is the author of How the Page Matters (University of Toronto Press, 2011), and teaches courses in the history and future of the book, reading practices, and knowledge production.

”All of the essays are well-researched and clearly written ... For those interested in archival theory and its intersection with historiography, this volume will provide insights into the history and continuing evolution of important concepts."
— Library Journal

”The diverse papers submitted by eleven authors make challenging reading, so this book will interest academics and can be used as a textbook in history or archives courses. It may also interest records managers and scholars in media studies and history, as well as data curation, art history, library science, and other disciplines."
Journal of the Medical Library Association

”...it is certainly the case that the majority of articles are engagingly written, the authors are well-informed and expert commentators, and the topics themselves relevant to many professionals."
— Archives and Records

”It is a welcome, and almost necessary, addition to the shelves of academic institutions and to those of practicing archivists, especially those wanting to keep up with the developments and issues of their field ... It’s not often that such an intellectual book is also eminently approachable. The editors and contributors should be well pleased with their efforts; no doubt readers will be, too."
— College & Research Libraries

”The editors have compiled a book that is both remarkably open-minded and forward-thinking, while still retaining the rigor of traditional historical and archival practices. Each essay stands firmly on its own yet complements the others in a refreshing way; not unlike when you introduce a favorite piece of music or artwork to someone who has never seen it before and they point out something poignant and meaningful that you had overlooked, adding to the complexity and beauty of your own perspective. Sometimes that new information is hidden in plain view, as several of these essays illustrate, but it brings a more holistic outlook that unites all involved in creating, using, and appreciating that piece. This book accomplishes that for records and makes familiar topics new again, ready to be rediscovered in promising ways."
— Archival Issues