The Turn Away from Archival Authority in History

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:
The Turn Away from Archival Authority in History

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Just as archivists were moving away from the historical authorities that had long structured their practices, historical scholarship was undergoing its own conceptual shifts. This chapter traces the emergence of new paradigms that expanded the boundaries of historical exploration in recent decades beyond the institutional focus that once bound the work of the archivist and the work of the historian together. These new questions were not so easily researched in traditional archives. While this chapter explores the problems of historical narration, evidence, the linguistic and cultural turns, postmodernism, and other matters that may be well-known to academic historians, it does so in terms of the challenges they raised for archives changing meanings of “authority” in history they reflect and their consequent challenges for archives.

Keywords: access; grammar of objectivity; Annales; social history; evidence; narration; linguistic turn; cultural turn; postmodernism; deconstruction

Chapter.  10535 words. 

Subjects: Methods and Historiography

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