A while back I wrote a post sharing a list of readings that have helped me learn and grow as an archivist. In the few months since my archives has been closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve been at working from home and taking time to read a lot about archives and history.
We’re never done learning and growing in our careers (at least we ought not to), and these pieces have challenged me and made me think about the HOW and WHY in my approach to archives and history. Most of these pieces were written recently, but others are old and I just discovered them now. And these are just in the order that I read them.
Maybe I’ll start this as a running series and post new things I’m reading every couple of months, we’ll see…
If you have a suggestion for something good to read on the practice and theory of archives/history let me know!
1. “The Paternalist Nature of Collecting” by Nathan “Mudyi” Sentance (June, 2017)
2. “Institutional Silences and the Digital Dark Age” by Eira Tansey (May, 2016)
3. “Collecting History: John Peel, J Dilla, and the Record as Artifact” by Eric Harvey (May, 2012)
4. “Telling the Story: The Historian, the Filmmaker, and the Civil War” by Leon Litwack (1996) This essay appeared in the collection of essays: “Ken Burns’s the Civil War: Historians Respond” edited by Robert Toplin.
5. “Granular Certainty, The Vertical Filing Cabinet, and the Transformation of Files” by Craig Robertson (December, 2019)
6. “Letter to the Editor” by Christine Anne George [responding to “To Everything There is a Season” by Frank Boles] (April, 2020)
7. “We Are What We Collect, We Collect What We Are: Archives and the Construction of Identity” by Elizabeth Kaplan (Summer 2000)
8. “‘The Archive’ is Not an Archives: Acknowledging the Intellectual Contributions of Archival Studies” by Michelle Caswell (2016)
9. “10 Tips for Making Hard Facts Easy Reading” by Roy Clark (February, 2016)
10. “The True Costs of Research and Publishing” by Kathryn Rundy (August, 2019)
11. “Hegemony’s Handmaid? The Library and Information Studies Curriculum from a Class Perspective” by Christine Pawley (April, 1998)
12. “No One Owes Their Trauma to Archivists, or, the Commodification of Contemporaneous Collecting” by Eira Tansey (June, 2020)
13. “Flies in the Buttermilk: Museums, Diversity, and the Will to Change” by Lonnie Bunch (July, 2000 and republished May, 2019)
14. “Imagining Better Futures for Archival Labor” by Dorothy Berry (May, 2020)