Back from the archives – historians, archives, and histories of archives

Beginning this week, SHAW will host two workshops providing students and faculty the opportunity to discuss their recent research in archives around the world, and to reflect on the impact of archival practices, archive design, and archivists on their work. Please join us!

Ancient to Early Modern Archives – Greece, Italy, Hapsburg Empire, France
Friday, March 9, 2012
History Department 200-302 (Faculty Lounge)
James Kierstead, Classics
Jeffrey Miner, History
Suzanne Sutherland Duchacek, History
Katherine McDonough, History

Modern Archives – China, Great Britain, India, South Africa
Tuesday, March 12, 2012
History Department 200-307
Aidan Forth, History
Lauren Jarvis, History
Philip Thai, History

Recent publications that have inspired these events include:

  • Processing the Past by Francis X. Blouin, Jr. and William G. Rosenberg (available online through SULAIR). This book has been recently discussed in a series of posts at the wonderful ArchivesNext blog, as well as in a panel at the 2012 AHA (with Kate Theimer, Peter Wosh, Antoinette Burton, and the Processing the Past authors).
  • Also by Blouin and Rosenberg, the edited volume of essays from the Sawyer Seminar: Archives, Documentation, and Institutions of Social Memory (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 2006). Includes sections on “Archives and Archiving,” “Archives in the Production of Knowledge,” “Archives and Social Memory,” “Archives, Memory, and Political Culture,” and “Archives and Social Understanding in States Undergoing Rapid Transition,”
  • “History is Past Politics”? Archives, “Tainted Evidence,” and the Return of the State” by Todd Shepard, AHR, vol. 115, no. 2 (April 2010): 474-483.
  • Archive Stories: Facts, Fictions, and the Writing of History by Antoinette Burton (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005). From the introduction by Burton: “[These] essays…try to denaturalize the presumptive boundaries of official archive space, historicize the production of some well-known and not-so-well-known archival collections, and point to some contemporay political consequences of archive fever.” (6)
  • “The Archive(s) is a Foreign Country: Historians, Archivists, and the Changing Archival Landscape” by Terry Cook, The American Archivist, vol. 74 (2011): 600-632.
  • 2 special issues of Archival Science. The first “Toward a Cultural History of Archives” (2007, vol. 7, no. 4), and the second “In and Out of the Archives” both include Introductions by Ann Blair, who is well known for her excellent work on early modern information science. (Jennifer Milligan, a scholar of modern and colonial French archives, co-authored the 2007 introduction).


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