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Title:Finding a Sustainable Place for Archivists within the American Library Association: A Historical Survey
Author(s):Lenstra, Noah
cultural heritage
Abstract:The convergence trend compels many archivists, librarians and museum professionals to work together closely. Although some claim this trend is caused by digital technology, many of the issues influencing collaboration have a long history. An investigation into the attempts to find a place for archivists within the American Library Association (ALA) offers a compelling portrait of how archivistlibrarian relationships develop over time. This investigation offers lessons both for individual archivists and for SAA in their attempts to build bridges across contemporary professional divides. In terms of research methods, this paper “reads” archival history through the lens of “outsiders” by focusing not on archives and archivists themselves, but rather on how archives and archivists have been perceived and positioned in other societal venues over time. The theory grounding this research comes from Louise Craven of The National Archives, UK. Craven recently posited that archivists should seek to externalize their profession to find answers to contemporary problems: “[by] looking outwards, rather than from the inside .... [comes] a new set of answers to the question 'What are archives?'” This research also draws on the work of Davd B. Gracy, II, and his 1984 SAA presidential focus on “Archives in Society.” Finally, Robert L. Brubaker was in 1976 the first to chart the history of interactions between ALA and archives/archivists.
Issue Date:2009-08-11
Publisher:Society of American Archivists
Citation Info:Lenstra, N. (2009). "Finding a Sustainable Place for Archivists within the American Library Association: A Historical Survey." Poster presented at 2009 Society of American Archivists Research Forum Foundations and Innovations, Austin, Texas, August 11, 2009.
Genre:Conference Poster
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Peer Reviewed:not peer reviewed
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-07-27

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