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Processing the Past


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Table of Contents

Introduction: On the Intersections of Archives and History PART I: ARCHIVES, HISTORY, AND THE OPENING OF THE ARCHIVAL DIVIDE Chapter 1 - Authoritative History and Authoritative Archives Chapter 2 - The Turn Away from Historical Authority in the Archives Chapter 3 - Archival Authorities and New Technologies Chapter 4 - The Turn Away from Archival Authority in History Chapter 5 - Archival Essentialism and the Archival Divide PART II: PROCESSING THE PAST Chapter 6 - The Social Memory Problem Chapter 7 - Contested Archives, Contested Sources Chapter 8 - The Archivist as Activist in the Production of (Historical) Knowledge Chapter 9 - Rethinking Archival Politics: Trust, Truth, and the Law Chapter 10 - Archives and the Cyberinfrastructure Chapter 11 - Can Archives and History Reconnect: Bridging the Archival Divide Index

About the Author

Francis X. Blouin Jr. is director of the Bentley Historical Library and professor in the history department and School of Information at the University of Michigan. From 1984 to 2004 he led an effort to do a complete inventory of the archives of the Vatican. He has served on the board of the Council on Library and Information Resources. William G. Rosenberg is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Michigan. He has authored, co-authored, or edited some thirteen books on Russian and Soviet history. His interest in archival issues developed from his responsibilities as vice president for research of the American Historical Association. He has also served as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, and is a vice chair of the board of trustees of the European University at St. Petersburg.


"Blouin and Rosenberg have once again joined forces to write what is very like a total history of the modern western archive. From lust to dust to techno-rust, they detail the convergences and divergences of historical authority and archival practice, providing a sweeping and deeply researched account of the impact of political and technological change on archives past, present and future. As indispensably, the authors narrate the tectonic shifts we in the last few generations of historians and archivists have lived through without, perhaps, fully realizing the revolution under our feet - and under our fingertips as well. Both genealogy and prophecy, this book is a must read for anyone who cares about what history is and what it will be beyond our lifetimes."--Antoinette Burton, editor, Archive Stories: Facts, Fictions, and the Writing of History "Processing the Past provides a compelling and well-illustrated analysis of the growing divergence between archivists and historians. Blouin and Rosenberg will generate constructive reflection and discussion with this substantial work of scholarship. They will help the community take a step towards bridging the gap between humanists and those who would serve their needs."--Roger C. Schonfeld, Manager of Research, Ithaka S+R, and author of JSTOR: A History "Processing the Past is a stellar work of historiography and archival history that succinctly tackles the major methodological and theoretical underpinnings of these two professions [i.e. archivist and historian] as well as the transformations that have occurred over the past 150 years."--Archival Issues

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