“The way in which we view the nature of archives and the role of the archivist has changed significantly in the last few decades. With increasing interest from outside of the profession, the idea of archives as the static, impartial carriers of truth and the archivist as a guardian of records has been questioned: how can society take greater control over its own written memory? There have been a number of other changes which have impacted upon the way archivists conceive of themselves and the way in which they work. Chief among these are the rapid rise of technology and the challenges this poses, and the changing place of archives within related fields, such as records and information management.
It is imperative that archivists engage with these challenges if archives are to emerge as a renewed force in the 21st century. This much-needed book is designed not as a practical guide to professional practice, but rather as a reader addressing these challenges. The chapters are contributed by leaders in the field, and are grouped around the following four core themes:
• defining archives
• shaping a discipline
• Archives 2.0: archives in society
• archives in the information age: is there still a role for the archivist?
Each chapter represents a defined argument in its own right to enable readers to dip in and out of the collection as they wish, and the book is structured to highlight chapters that share a common theme.
This book offers a clearly organized approach to developments in archives and recordkeeping and will prove an invaluable resource for students following postgraduate training courses in archive administration as well as for archive professionals wishing to refresh and update their understanding of the profession.
Jennie Alison Hill BA(Hons) MA MSc(Econ) is a Lecturer in Archives and Records Management at the Department of Information Studies, Aberystwyth University. She has previously worked in a wide range of local and national archive services.
November 2010; 256pp; paperback; 978-1-85604-666-4”