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October Readings

October 29, 2014

Check out this month’s entry from the Reading Archivists group (an informal study group that examines historic speeches from SAA presidents). October’s readings deal with archival education and identity, a great follow-up to the archival education panel and forum at the 2014 SAA Annual Meeting .

Reading Archivists

Welcome to October! Since autumn always conjures up images of back to school, graduate archival education seems a fitting theme for this month. I’ve recently formed a deep interest in the history and development of archival education. The two presidential addresses we’ll read this month were delivered 40 years apart.

Christopher Crittenden, 1948/The Archivist as a Public Servant
— This address shows the marked turn from archivist as historian to archivist as part of an archival profession. Although there isn’t a lot here on graduate education, the shift to thinking of archivists as archivists first, as opposed to a flavor of historians, is really important. This sets the stage for later debates on whether archivists should receive training as historians or librarians (or as archivists!), and whether archives-land had enough unique characteristics to constitute its own profession.

William Joyce, 1988/Archival Education: Two Fables
— This address provides a…

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