restricted access Archive and Database as Metaphor: Theorizing the Historical Record

Digital media increase the visibility and presence of the past while also reshaping our sense of history. We have extraordinary access to digital versions of books, journals, film, television, music, art and popular culture from earlier eras. New theoretical formulations of database and archive provide ways to think creatively about these changes to the cultural and historical record. This essay explores the ways in which the current digital environment can be theorized in terms of, what I call, its archival effects.