Abstract

The history of archives seeks to understand archives as subjects of history, not just as its sources. The field has opened up new ways of thinking about major historical trends: the rise of the nation state, the development of public and private spheres, the growth of global institutions, and the ever-increasing emphasis on data in our information-rich “knowledge economy.” Archives are crucial sites for the exercise of political power as well as profoundly important resources for defining community identity. The work that archives do emerges from the tension between these functions, as well as the gaps between archival ambitions (information mastery, objectivity) and archival realities (partiality, anxiety, failures of access).

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1499
Print ISSN
1098-7371
Pages
pp. 332-359
Launched on MUSE
2015-10-30
Open Access
No
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