Archives, Documentation and Institutions of Social Memory (2007)

Archives, Documentation and Institutions of Social Memory: Essays from the Sawyer Seminar.  Edited by Francis X. Blouin, Jr. and William G. Rosenberg.
University of Michigan Press, 2007.  503 pp.

Searching this morning for articles by Canadian archivist Hugh Taylor, I came across the above work, available for review on Google Books.  While not the whole of the work is available for viewing, there is enough presented to allow you to make a more informed decision for possible purchase.  The content looks promising.  Here is an overview of the content structure:

I. Archives and Archiving
II. Archives in the Production of Knowledge
III.  Archives and Social Memory
IV. Archives, Memory, and Political Culture
V. Archives and Social Understanding in States Undergoing Rapid Transition

And from among the 45 articles, here are some of the highlights that caught my eye:

“The Problem of Publicité in the Archives of Second Empire France,” by Jennifer S. Milligan
“Not Dragon at the Gate but Research Partner: The Reference Archivist as Mediator,” by Kathleen Marquis
“Between Veneration and Loathing: Loving and Hating Documents,” by James M. O’Toole
” ‘Records of Simple Truth and Precision’ : Photography, Archives and the Illusion of Control,” by Joan M. Schwartz
“The Question of Access: The Right to Social Memory versus the Right to Social Oblivion”, by Inge Bundsgaard.
“Remembering the Future: Appraisal of Records and the Role of Archives in Constructing Social Memory, by Terry Cook
“Creating a National Information System in a Federal Environment: Some Thoughts on the Canadian Archival Information Network,” by Laura Miller
“Archives, Heritage, and History,” by David Lowenthal
“The Role of Archives in Chinese Society: An Examination from the Perspective of Access,” by Du Mei.

The article by Inge Bundsgaard looked particularly interesting, given some current research interests, but I found it wasn’t included as part of what had been made available.  No problem:  just a bit of further searching and there it is in an earlier form from 2002, available in Comma, a publication of the International Council on Archives.
Here’s the direct link:, though that article turned out to be disappointing, not taking the matter to sufficient depth for my purposes.


About wsparkman

Director of the PCA Historical Center, St. Louis, Missouri.
This entry was posted in ACA Domain 3, Access, Reference Service. Bookmark the permalink.

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