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Processing the PastContesting Authorities in History and the Archives$
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Francis X. Blouin, Jr and William G. Rosenberg

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199740543

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199740543.001.0001

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On the Intersections of Archives and History

On the Intersections of Archives and History

(p.3) Introduction On the Intersections of Archives and History
Processing the Past

Francis X. Blouin Jr.

William G. Rosenberg (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The introductory chapter reviews the origins of this study and introduces the problems it raises in subsequent chapters. It emphasizes how these problems relate to the changing points of connection between archives and the writing of history, as well as relations between historians and archivists. The chapter also defines what is meant by “an archive” and “the archives,” and discusses how these and other relevant notions like “authority” are often differently understood in the archival and historical communities. It foreshadows later discussions about the explosion of both traditional and electronic documentation as they have affected both historical and archival practices, and introduces the notion of an “archival divide.”

Keywords:   archive, the archives, authority, archival divide, humanities research, historical understanding, digitization, Jacques Derrida

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