By Richard J. Cox
The public bring up of curiosity some time past has now not inevitably introduced with it a better realizing approximately how files are shaped. To this finish, Richard Cox takes a major examine archival repositories and collections. Cox means that documents don't simply take place, yet are consciously formed (and occasionally distorted) by means of archivists, the creators of files, and different contributors and associations. during this sequence of essays, Cox deals archivists infrequent perception into the basics of appraisal, and historians and different clients of records the chance to understand the collections all of them too frequently take for granted.
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Extra info for No Innocent Deposits: Forming Archives by Rethinking Appraisal
It is not the intellectual content of the manuscript that is important but its material presence-ink spots, tobacco stains, pinworm holes, and foxing included. . That the magic value of manuscripts surpasses their meaningful value can be further attested by the passion both private collectors and public institutions exercise in obtaining the personal effects of famous writers. . 52 Of course, what such value says about the increasing responsibility of archivists for electronic records and record-keeping systems is uncertain.
One European commentator on North American archives notes first that above all archives are essential for administration, but that the tradition was not as strong in the United States: The first driving force behind collecting archives in this country was historical interest. Historical societies started to collect archives because of their historical value even before public archives existed. The result in the United States is an archival system split in two. . The societies also influenced the view and use of archives.
49This is the start of his chapter on acquisition and appraisal. ”50For a while archivists even looked at collecting as a temporary activity. Forty years ago, an archivist wrote, “In America, I think we know where the manuscripts are. "^^ Such knowledge, flow, and connection between private and public acquisition have proved to be inaccurate. Now, archivists need to seek more aggressively not just an understanding of appraisal methods but of the collecting phenomenon. There have been efforts to grapple with this phenomenon, seeing a “magical” attribute in the original manuscript.
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