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Being awarded a fellowship to attend the seminar, which was jointly funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, enabled me to take the time to read deeply in the literature of the profession, where I discovered that the failings I had been seeing in American archival institutions were not primarily a consequence of bad management, but of the fact that the best methods of the profession were inadequate to the task at hand.
SinceI have not pursued this research directly and the work has remained dormant. I have spoken about it publicly from time to time, but have not forced others or myself to deal with its conclusions.
Increasingly I have felt that this is irresponsible of me, and am glad to be bringing it out for public scrutiny at this time.
In the process, the first four chapters have been substantially rewritten, but the underlying structure of the argument, and its conclusions, have not been affected. Although references throughout the text were updated to reflect recent literature, the modest amendments and refinements of archival methods and practices proposed during the past three years have not required me fundamentally to revise my premises.
The first four essays address the four fundamental activities involved in the management of the physical record: Of each of these activities I ask whether our present methods are adequate and if not, how they can be adjusted within the practical limitations which cultural repositories face.
Throughout, my audience is the professional, but I do not mean simply those who work in repositories called archives. I include here museum curators, librarians and others whose efforts are devoted to preserving cultural memory and making it available to future generations, and who frequently are also responsible for archival materials.
Chapter five explores an idea relevant to the changes in methodology proposed in the first four chapters. Intelligent artifices are presented as a tool for expanding intellectual control, and consequently, access and use. Chapter six returns to the themes in the introduction to consider the role of the archivist and the nature of the archival endeavor, and to propose new views of both based on the ideas in the intervening chapters.
More important even than the generous financial support I received from the Mellon Foundation and NEH is the intellectual support of Francis Bluin and Bill Wallach of the Bentley Library, and of my colleagues in the Seminar - Chris Baer, Greg Bradsher, Judy Endelman, Avra Michelson and Peter Sigmond - who read and discussed drafts of these papers with me that summer and stimulated me by their own research.
In addition, I would like to thank Helen Samuels and Ed Bridges who read and critiqued drafts inand Richard Cox who read drafts in Finally, these essays have been greatly improved by the careful editing of Lynn Cox, Managing Editor of Archives and Museum Informatics Technical Report, without whose assistance they would not have been published.
Indeed, keeping and using the past is central to our concept of human cultures and civilization. In the oral culture of non-literate societies, in the myths and fables refined by centuries of retelling, we are delighted to discover a source of fundamental truths, of the themes which make us essentially human.
This record of apocryphal events, reflecting historical facts but not bound utterly by them, is a distillation of a once living testimony. The thematic integrity and size of the oral record, made it possible for a single human mind to comprehend the whole, and to relate it to the next generation in appropriate contexts.
The advent of literacy posed a new problem for human societies, for in freezing the memory of a culture in material formats, in creating a written or recorded memory which resists transformation, man provided himself with an objectified past which stands in opposition to the present in a way which the oral tradition, so bending and resilient, never did.
Because societies were enabled to extend themselves further across space and time through writing, and subsequently through the recording of sounds and images, than through the oral record, the "technology of preserved communication" has allowed for the development of a more variegated cultural repertoire 1.
In so doing, it has created a world so complex that no individual can possibly master it all. Recently, the record of human endeavor has grown so large that no individual can even master where to find it all. In such a world, special roles have been created to assure the interpretation, retention and transmission of culture and special institutions have been established to support these functions.
Archives, historical societies, libraries and museums are the institutions created by our society to play the role of selecting, conserving, and providing access to the record of our culture.
To an extent far greater than the society admits, these professional keepers of cultural evidence are not simply custodians of our recorded past, but shapers of the cultural memory.
This is true in the first place because archives and museums are in no position to acquire a complete record of our culture though libraries might, in the aggregate, acquire a nearly complete set of the published record of our society. But it is true for a more basic reason as well: Consequently, like Adam naming the creatures of the earth, they frame our conceptual universe and constitute at the same time both our cultural heritage and the record of that heritage.
The first, and greatest, challenge of archives is to select the archival record, and shape that heritage. The cultural record is continuously being deposited and eroded.
It is deposited at different rates by different groups within the society and at different times in the life of the culture reflecting the socio-economic and cultural-political requirements of the society.
The cultural record is also subjected to differential rates of erosion due to the properties of the physical medium upon which it is recorded, the care taken of it by the sub-culture in which it is created, and the need which the culture has for the particular information it holds.
Archivists live with the certainty both that all activities leave some recorded memory in our society, and that each recorded memory will disappear in time without intervention by some preserving agent.
No technologies currently exist that will permanently arrest those natural processes of decay that erode even the tiny portion of the overall record which is retained in archives. Thus the second challenge of the archival profession is to preserve a record, by necessity a portion of the total record, and thus further to shape the memory of our society.
Ultimately, archivists are expected to provide access to whatever is kept for however long it can be used. The memory of the society is not a dead record but a tool in the continuing reinvention of the culture.
The record is the seed of a developing culture, it is the source of identification that individuals feel to their state and their society.
The record also details the obligations of individuals to the state and to society, and the accountability of social institutions to individuals. In the immediate need that a culture has for its own memory lies the third major challenge to the archival professions - to assure the use of cultural evidence in the continuing construction of the culture.
Finally, just as the culture has grown beyond the memory of the individual, so have its individual repositories grown too large for individuals to serve as guides to the materials therein.Party Discipline and Parliamentary Politics 7 Demotion and dissent in the Canadian Liberal Party, – 8 Discipline and dissent in the Australian Coalition, – The marginal effect of government status on the extent of dissent modified by party seat share An unofficial collection of CRS reports on national security.
"Dave" Reichert (b. August 29, , in Detroit Lakes, Minn.) is a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives representing Washington's 8th Congressional ph-vs.comrt was first elected in On September 6, , Reichert announced that he would not seek re-election to the House in Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Reichert is a more.
This rule was amended in to provide a specific requirement for notice in both revival-of-judgment proceedings and release-of-judgment proceedings, as well as in cases involving petitions seeking relief from certain final judgments.
The world is a newly affluent place. Economic growth has brought enormous changes to the ways in which the populations of the Western world live. Preliminary versions of economic research.
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