Chapter

Archival Authorities and New Technologies

Francis X. Blouin Jr. and William G. Rosenberg

in Processing the Past

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199740543
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894673 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199740543.003.0004
Archival Authorities and New Technologies

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While it is obvious that the development of new information technologies has revolutionized communication, their effect on archives has been complicated and in some ways quite problematic. This chapter begins a discussion (continued in Chapter 10) by showing how emerging information technologies opened new possibilities for archives that required a radical change in archival training and management. Tracing the initial steps toward the development of on-line access systems, and then examining in some detail the implications for archives of born digital records, it discusses the problems of defining attributes of digital documents in comparison to those that are paper based, The chapter reviews the archivists’ “appraisal debates” and explains how archivists have marginalized historiographical authorities in favor of conceptualizations drawn solely from what was now called archival theory and from a broader sense of mission.

Keywords: computer-based access; library model; MARC-AMC; Encoded Archival Description; Standard Markup Language; essentialism; appraisal; digital records; information technology; enduring value

Chapter.  5835 words. 

Subjects: Methods and Historiography

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