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ERIC Number: EJ884255
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1533-2748
Reading Robin Kelsey's "Archive Style" across the Archival Divide
Schwartz, Joan M.
Journal of Archival Organization, v6 n3 p201-210 2008
This article presents the author's comments on Robin Kelsey's "Archive Style: Photographs and Illustrations for U.S. Surveys, 1850-1890," a book about government documents that happen to be visual materials. The word "archive" now has intellectual cache in the academic world, but its currency has little to do with the "real world of archives" as "Journal of Archival Organization" readers understand it from a professional or institutional perspective. Rather, it is the metaphorical archive of French philosophers, their followers and interlocutors, who employ the concept of "the archive" as something produced by the nineteenth-century "drive to extract from the world a complete and corresponding record of itself (Kelsey 2007, p. 9)." While his "Archive Style: Photographs and Illustrations for U.S. Surveys, 1850-1890" is, thus, not about the "real world of archives," to dismiss--as theoretically driven or professionally irrelevant--Kelsey's elaboration of the practices of visual representation that created the archival record of nineteenth-century surveys of the American West would be a grave mistake. This reading of "Archive Style" straddles the "archival divide" separating academic and institutional, theoretical and professional understandings of "the archive" and the "real world of archives." "Archive Style" offers an opportunity to extract important lessons not only for archival theory and practice but also for professional self-reflection and identity. Taken as a whole, Kelsey's book demonstrates the important role of visual materials in the course of government business, in this instance specifically the United States' surveys of 1850-1890. (Contains 6 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States