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ERIC Number: EJ884709
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1533-2748
Revisiting the Archival Finding Aid
Cox, Richard J.
Journal of Archival Organization, v5 n4 p5-32 2007
Archivists have been creating finding aids for generations, and in the last three decades they have done this work via a succession of standardized formats. However, like many other disciplines, they have carried out such work in violation of systems analysis. Although purporting to have the users of finding aids systems first and foremost in their mind, archivists have carried out their descriptive work apart from and with little knowledge of how researchers find and use archival sources. In this article, questions are raised about the utility of archival finding aids and how they will stand the test of time. Indeed, archivists, purportedly concerned with considering how records function and will be used over time, ought to apply the same kind of analysis and thinking to their finding aids. In this article, we explore three ways archival finding aids might be examined by outsiders, namely, those concerned with museum exhibitions, design experts, and accountability advocates. Doing this should assist archivists to reevaluate their next wave of experimentation with descriptive standards and the construction of finding aids. Archivists should expand the notion of what we are representing in archival representation. (Contains 72 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A