Title: Archival Anxiety and the Vocational Calling
Author: Richard J. Cox
6″ by 9″
Published: March 2011
Richard J. Cox’s fifteenth book on archival studies related topics, this collection of essays responds to anxieties affecting the archival profession as societal changes highlight the importance of archives and records-keeping and begin to push archival work in new directions. The initial part of the book consists of three essays exploring the notion of archival calling, including a lesson about a lost opportunity for advocating the critical importance of the archival mission and a very personal reflection on the author’s own calling into the archival field. The second part of the book concerns one of the pre-eminent challenges of our time, government secrecy, and how, if left unchallenged, it can undermine the societal role of the archival profession. The third part of the book considers one of the most important issues facing archivists, indeed, all information professionals, the possession of a practical ethical perspective. The fourth and final part of the book concerns the matter of teaching the next generation of archivists in the midst of all the change, debates, and controversies about archives and archivists. In a brief concluding reflection, the author offers some final advice to the archival community in charting its future.